You’ll Be Sorry If You Don’t….. – Sales Tactic #2

September 13, 2007

What emotion could make you sign a blank check with no questions asked?  How about FEAR?  It makes us do crazy things.  Sellers use this tactic to scare us into spending money.  If you don’t spend money for this now, You’ll Be Sorry, later!  Sound familiar? If so, you may have fallen victim to the second sales tactic in the Sales Tactic Revealed series.

Fear of the Unknown
As we go about our lives, there is always a chance something unpleasant could happen.  We don’t fret over the countless things that could go wrong because it’s likely they won’t.  That is, until someone informs us of potential danger and offers to sell us protection against it.  They know if they can trigger fear in us their chances of making money just went up.

This tactic can be used for a wide range of products and services.  Many of you may have encountered this trick through a sales pitch for an extended warranty or some type of insurance.  It can also be used as an upsell to convince you to upgrade to the higher quality product that won’t break down or the service with better coverage.

Fear Factor
The sellers frighten us into paying money NOW for a product or service that either prevents or covers a POTENTIAL FUTURE “threat”.  So they get our money today and they know chances are good they’ll never have to give us our money back.

The crazy part is, they take our money and we feel better!  They scared us into parting with our hard earned paycheck and now we feel safer.   Who do you think wins when we fall for this tactic?

Warning Signs
• Don’t Let it Happen To You! • Sign Up & Sleep Easy
• Put Your Fears to Rest        • No More Worries
• Don’t Become a Statistic!    • New Victim Every 5 Seconds!
• Let Us Protect You!           • Don’t Wait Too Long! 

Tactic In Action
A friend of ours rented a car recently and unknowingly encountered a master of the “You’ll Be Sorry” tactic.  As she signed the paperwork for the week long rental the sneaky salesman asked, “Would you like to add the protection of rental car insurance for just $10 a day?”  She declined, mentioning her auto insurance covered rental cars. 

“How high is your deductible?” he asked, his mouth watering for an upsell.  Upon learning she was responsible for the first $500 he moved in for the kill.  “Well, would you rather pay $70 or $500?”, he asked persuasively.  He followed it up with the knock-out punch,“Some insurance doesn’t cover all the potential costs of an accident.  You’d be better off paying less and getting full coverage.”  The fear reaction kicked in overriding her logic and our friend caved, signing up for the insurance.

Our friend lived with the “threat” of paying a $500 deductible every day she drove her own car.  What was different about the rental car?  Nothing, of course!  She was just duped by the “You’ll Be Sorry” tactic.  The salesman comparing the cost of rental insurance with the amount of her deductible was definitely just a ploy.  The $70 insurance was a definite expense vs. a $500 deductible she probably wouldn’t have to pay.  Of course, all he had to do was use this tactic and her logic went out the window.

Protect Your Paycheck
You’ve likely experienced the “You’ll Be Sorry” tactic before and were probably aware they were laying it on in an effort to make a sale.  Here are some things you can do to prepare for the next onslaught and think about when you’re under attack.

Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself
Do you want to spend your money on things you need & want or something the sellers scare you into buying?  It’s your money, how dare they frighten you into spending it!  If you started spending your hard earned money on products and services to protect you against potential threats, you’d be broke before you finished signing up for them all!

Build a Contingency Fund
Create your own contingency reserve.  Put aside the money you would spend each month for the service into a separate bank account.  You get to keep your money if nothing goes wrong and if it does you’re covered!

Second Opinion
Always get a second opinion.  It doesn’t have to be from an expert, just someone who has knowledge of the item and doesn’t have a vested interest in making a sale.  Use your resources: friends, family, co-workers, or search the Internet to validate the claims of whoever is trying to sell to you.

Check Your Coverage
How many times have you tried to cash in on some type of coverage or return a product because it didn’t protect as promised and gotten the line, “I’m sorry, that’s not covered under category 17.2a”?  First they scare you into buying the protection and then when you try to redeem it they try and get out of it!  If you do go for the product or service, make sure you read the fine print.

Sales Tactics
An understanding and awareness of the strategies that others use to sell to you can save you a lot of money.  If you haven’t already, be sure to read the introduction to Sales Tactics Revealed and check out the details on the first tactic, “Don’t Miss Out”.


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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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6 Responses to You’ll Be Sorry If You Don’t….. – Sales Tactic #2

  • Mrs. Micah

    I think the one time it was a good idea for my dad to give in to the “sleep easy” tactics was buying a carbon monoxide detector. A few years down the road, something went wrong in our furnace and the detectors all went nuts. This was particularly good because it was at night. CO is different from money and insurance type stuff.

  • Joseph Sangl

    People who are most susceptible to sales tactics are those who enter a retail area without a clear plan and don’t take time to question “WHY” the retailer is offering the “extra feature”.


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