Sales Tactics Revealed – Win the War Over Your Paycheck

September 10, 2007

You can’t follow a budget!  You don’t have self control! You can’t manage your money!  You, you, you…… 

Money Foolish?
Is it really all about you?  Is it all your fault?  As we go through life, we don’t always do what we’re “supposed” to do with our money.  When things don’t go right financially, we tend to get discouraged and down on ourselves.  Where does all our money go?  Why can’t we manage our money? 

Did you ever stop to think maybe it’s not all your fault? What if the problem isn’t just your lack of self control or inability to stick with a budget?  It’s definitely possible to have a budget and decent self-control and still overspend.

Gimme Your Money!
Every dollar you spend is just one side of a transaction.  The party on the other side is taking the money you’re using and chances are they played a role in convincing you to spend that money.  As a matter of fact, we have people trying to sell us things all day long!  They come at us in magazines & newspapers, in radio ads, on the Web, and now with direct sales even at work and in our homes. And we wonder why it is so hard to hold onto our money!

Taking a Different View
One view you could take is that we overspend because we are weak consumers.  Another way to look at it is that companies are overcoming our self-control and better judgment with sneaky sales tactics. What do you think about that perspective? Does it put your focus on the companies selling to you and their ability to persuade you to buy something instead of wallowing in financial self-deprecation?

Forget Defense, Go on Offense
Which do you think is the more effective argument as you try and talk yourself out of spending money:

“I shouldn’t buy it because I don’t need it.”

“These people are tricking me into buying what they’re selling!”

It seems to me the first approach doesn’t motivate you not to buy, it is simply is a defensive attempt at trying to stick to your budget.  It reminds us we’re constrained by money and we feel disappointed that we can’t buy something we want. 

The second approach on the other hand gets my blood boiling!  It reminds me that I worked hard to earn my money and I’m not going to hand it over to someone just because they have a few good sales tactics up their sleeve!

The War Over Your Paycheck
The sellers are waging a full assault against our wallets. They have an array of sales consultants, market research, cutting edge technology, & advertising agencies working to convince us to spend our money. So what are we to do?

A) Keep spending away and blame it on the sellers
B) Refuse to buy anything because they’re out to get us
C) Be aware of their tricks and learn how to beat them

The Art of Distraction
As a father, I’ve learned a large part of keeping a child happy is the art of distraction.  If you can take their attention off the issue at hand, they forget why they are unhappy.  The sellers have learned the same thing about us.  If they can use their selling tactics to distract us from the fact we’re spending money, we’ll hand over the cash and leave happy customers!

The most insidious thing about these sneaky sales tactics is that we don’t realize the effect they’re having on us.  They’re not illegal; you won’t see them featured on the news because they actually are legitimate business practices.  There are many more businesses selling with these tactics than selling with scams.  So why call them sneaky?  They are so well accepted that we don’t realize the effect they are having on us!

Sales Tactics Revealed
So what are these tactics we’re so vulnerable to?  Stay tuned to the “Sales Tactics Revealed” series as we document the most effective & frequently used tricks and ways we can recognize and overcome them. 

Each installment of the series will use a similar format to study a sales tactic.  First the tactic will be described and the warning signs listed.  Then an example will be given of someone who has been caught in the trap and finally, we suggest different actions that you can take to protect your paycheck.

If this sounds like something you’d benefit from, sign up for daily updates to Money Smart Life in your feed reader or via email and get ready for the first tactic in the series!

Sales Tactics


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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