How to avoid getting bamboozled by a pesky salesperson

We’ve all done it. In a moment of weakness, a dodgy salesperson has persuaded us to hand over our hard earned money for a purchase we didn’t really need, let alone want. Here’s how to politely rebuff a salesperson’s pressure tactics.

Whether it was a shiny new car, sports or leisure gear, or simply an impractical pair of shoes – we’ve all been guilty of making a luxury purchase that we didn’t really need in our lives that knocked our family budget off course.

Below are some classic salesperson techniques to avoid, as well as some tried and tested strategies you can use to prevent yourself falling victim to them.

1. “You’re in luck, this is our last one.”

This line and those similar to it are used to create a sense of urgency or FOMO (fear of missing out).

It’s usually delivered as a closer to ensure you make a purchase then and there on-the-spot.

It will usually be followed by something along the lines of: ‘How about I take it up to the counter for you so no one else buys it while you’re making your decision’.

Online stores will use a similar technique by displaying “only 2 items left in stock!” next to the ‘checkout’ button.

Rest assured that if you ever hear or see something along these lines, then chances are there’s more stock. And if there isn’t, rival businesses or a nearby franchise will most likely have them available anyway.

Other variations of this tactic include “this is a one-time only offer” or “our sale ends today”.

2. “Here’s a little something to say thanks”

If you ever receive a gift for “free” while you’re deciding on whether to purchase an item (or after you’ve attended a seminar), then there’s every chance that it wasn’t intended to be given to you for “free”.

Rather, its main purpose is to make you feel obligated to purchase something else.

So if you ever receive a free gift, remind yourself that it’s just that: free.

You owe the salesperson nothing in return.

Variations of this method include “I can do this just for you” and “don’t tell my boss, but…”

3. Just because you like them, doesn’t mean you need to purchase from them

Most salespeople are very personable. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and I’m sure most are decent, down-to-earth people just trying to make ends meet for their own family.

But remember: just because you like someone doesn’t mean you have to purchase what they’re pushing, or trying to up-sell.

For this reason, it’s important that you try and separate the two and ask yourself:

“Do you actually need the product?” Or are you being peer pressured by a charming person into making a purchase you can’t actually afford?

4. How to take the pressure off

We’ve all experienced a situation where we’ve decided we aren’t going to purchase something, only for the salesperson to somehow pull it out of the bag and get us signing on the dotted line a few minutes later.

Here’s a good response to give yourself some breathing room so that you can go home and research whether the product is dodgy, a lemon, or simply not very competitive:

I never purchase on the spot: “Thank you very much for your time today. I have a rule that I never break, which is to never buy or sign up to something on the spot. Can I please have your card so that I can make a decision with my (partner, mother, best friend, more research) please?”

This excuse works well because the salesperson most likely gets paid on a commission basis. By taking their card they feel they’ll still be the employee who gets the commission, should you buy the product.

And if they’ve offered you a “special deal”, get them to scribble it down on the card.

5. Finally, be firm

By now the salesperson may have built up a rapport with you, which can mean two things: a) it’s harder for you to be firm with them, and b) they’ll try their luck being a little pushier with you.

With that in mind it’s essential that you respond firmly.

Once you’ve asked for time to make your own, independent decision, stick to your guns.

Because while the salesperson might now be all chummy with you, remember that it’s highly unlikely the two of you are going to strike up a long-term friendship where you’ll meet every week for coffee or beers and discuss footy, children, grandchildren, etc.

Finally, remember that it’s your money. Money that could be better off going towards your kid’s education, your mortgage, or buying a superior product that you just haven’t gotten around to properly researching or saving for yet.

If you’d like to find out any more budget saving strategies, get in touch, we’d love to help out!

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.