I've just got a bit sidetracked. I had an idea for a post, quite a serious subject, then I started to look for some bits and bobs to add to the words, to jazz it up a bit, and to get the message across. I am now rolling about laughing at the stuff I have found on yootoob. Oh my, I must try and concentrate more. Anyway, I'll try and get back to the original idea so here goes.
Topic for today......How gullible are you when it comes to believing everything you hear, or see, or read about? Can you spot a trickster a mile off? I'm talking about advertising here, not just the written and the spoken word, but also recognising the body language of the person trying to sell their products. Some of the signs are so very obvious, by their desperation to make a sale, but some of them are hidden and the story is so convincing that you end up believing in their patter and cave in. One of the reasons I am not in debt is that I don't believe what I read, or what people tell me. First of all watch this video, and memorise Victor Meldrew's words.
Then watch this funny video of how he winds a sales person up, and make a few notes on how to get rid of them. He's hilarious.
Advertising takes many forms, the obvious ones are easy to spot, the leaflets through the door, the adverts on the tele between programmes, the posters stuck on billboards, and the supposedly special offers shouting out for us to come on into the shop and spend, spend, spend. Dealing with these is a piece of cake. Bin the leaflets, make a cup of tea or feed the cat while the adverts are on, ignore the billboards, and walk straight past the shops without stepping over the threshold.
When I go to town to buy something, I know what I want. I don't have a list it's in my head. If there's one thing I hate it's a sales person who approaches me the minute I walk through the door. All smiles, asking me if they can help. My immediate answer is, 'no thanks I'm looking', that's if I don't march straight back out again. If I want help I will ask for it. They are not offering because they are nice people, they are asking because they want to make a sale. They are turning on the charm because that's what they do. They are not your friend, it's their job to appear friendly, in the hope that they can talk you into opening your purse and handing over your dosh. More importantly they also want you to visit the shop over and over again. They need to build a relationship with their customers so that they still have a job a year later.
The same rule applies whether it's a sales person in a shop, a lady who delivers the Avon catalogues, a salesman in a car showroom, a utility company that you buy gas from, a garage that services your car, a hairdresser that pampers you, the sellers at a car boot sale, a market trader, the pub landlord, in fact anybody that you buy from has a vested interest in being nice to you.
I need to invest in a new set of saucepans, because mine are in a terrible state. Hardly surprising given that they have served me well for the last 30 plus years. They are a well known brand name, no need to advertise, so I want the replacements to be just as good. I plan on living another 30 years, ha ha. So now I have to do some research. I will not step into a shop and buy willynilly off the shelf, thanks to the internet I can price them up before I get to the final stage of actually buying them. There will be no smiley sales person telling me what I need, no, I know what I need.
In my last house I needed new windows and front door. I checked prices, and knew how much I wanted to pay. I let the salesman go through his patter, he smiled a lot, was polite, said all the right things, he put everything he learnt in his training into practice. After watching him fidget a little I knew he was getting towards the end of his time and he was going in for the kill. Unlike Victor Meldrew above, I signed to accept the deal. I could have let him go an hour before, but I was enjoying watching him work hard.
I am now a customer, but I have also been on the other side of the fence as a sales person. I started my working life in shops, how things have changed. I remember Woolies in the sixties being chocabloc full of customers. It was heaving on a Saturday, customers queueing several deep to make a purchase. Now Woolies have gone because there are so very few customers, and every shop is fighting for their share. We didn't have to be nice and smiley, in fact I was sometimes a grumpy sales assistant because customers interrupted what I really wanted to do, and that was to restock the counters.
When I had my own small business of selling giftware at markets and shows, I had to turn on the charm. I used to go to a lot of cat shows, there was always the same people there, I had to work hard to build up a relationship with my customers. Watching sales people is interesting, the best ones don't harrass, dont pester, and don't bully, they tread carefully and take their time. They hover, they walk away, they come back, they smile, they talk about anything except the item they are selling. They watch your reaction, and they read your body language. They know when to back off, and they know the exact moment when you are on the verge of buying. Here's a little video to illustrate, with an advert at the end, ha ha.
When advertising is in your face, it's easy to deal with, as I said above, all you have to do is ignore it, which is where your will power comes in. But there are other ways of advertising which aren't so obvious. Take a look at this video which will give you an idea of how it works.
There are ways of hiding adverts, to disguise them, even to the point where they are hard to spot. The same sales techniques that are used face to face, can also be used in the printed word, the only difference being that you cannot see the persons body language. Writing sales material is a very skilled job, the smiley assistant in the shop can be eloquently transformed into text. Companies spend billions on crafting the exact words which will produce sales. They want to reel you in, not only through the front door, but the back door as well. Look around you, can you spot this back door advertising? You will find it in the most unlikely of places.
This kind of advertising relies heavily on building relationships.You are lulled into a false sense of security, you are made to feel comfortable, and you feel like you fit in. Just because it is written by someone down the road, or in another continent, does not make any difference. The internet is global, anyone can sell to anyone. We have all heard of the scam emails asking you to deposit an amount of money into a foreign bank account with the promise of a massive return. Hopefully we all know to dump these advertisements straight away. What we need to do now is look even deeper to spot the hidden adverts, because it's only by being vigilant and keeping our guard up that we will not be taken for a ride. The term, 'wolf in sheeps clothing' comes to mind, and describes the advertising trend exactly.
The only time you should be spending your hard earned money is when it is you who have instigated the purchase. Keep to that rule and any mistakes will be entirely your own doing. Savvy up on advertising.
I've rambled on long enough.
A LITTLE TREAT.
9 hours ago