A Case For Being Nice

By Christopher Zoukis

According to the psychologists we presently reside in an age of diminishing expectations.  And since all of us are products of this enormous bubble called the ‘social reality,’ we don’t expect much.  We actually believe that the future is “selling less of more.”  Image courtesy twitter.com

In other words, we expect little from life, society and our culture.

A syllogism:

The poor get poorer

The rich get richer

The poor shop at Wal-Mart.

We become self-fulfilling prophecies.  Because we expect little, we get less.  What we get is:  Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Costco, and other retail behemoths.  These monstrosities are the cancers of an economy based upon mass production.  And mass production demands organized consumption and leisure – “the culture of consumption.”

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Luxury Products Move Down As People Move Up

By Christopher Zoukis

The definition of the word “luxury” changes very rapidly. What was considered a luxury product yesterday is commonplace the next day. On a certain Tuesday only rich people could be seen wearing a certain brand of clothing. Two days later, everyone is wearing it.

Some experts call this phenomenon “product migration.” Another term used is “product devolution.” Simply put, it is “movement.” Luxury products move down because lots of people want to own them. They do not own them because they cannot afford them. So they work hard to improve themselves and their skills. They may start their own business. The result is they make more money. When they do, the first thing they do is “move up.” They go out and buy the luxury items they always wanted, but could not afford.  Image courtesy rides-mag.com 

People move up as soon as they can. This upward movement toward luxury products and services tends to pull the definition of “luxury” down. As more and more people obtain a luxury product, the product loses its luster. It is not as exclusive as it once was. In fact, it becomes almost commonplace. It becomes “affordable luxury,” which is an oxymoron, because the term “luxury” implies exclusivity. If people who make $50,000 per year are now buying it, technically, it is no longer a luxury product. And the company marketing and selling a luxury product that has become “affordable luxury” is no longer marketing and selling luxury. They are now selling a product that affluent customers perceive as ordinary. When this happens, affluent customers, who are just like everyone else, move up. They begin looking around for luxury products that are exclusive. Affluent customers always move up, never down.

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By Christopher Zoukis

Salespeople want to make more money.  The trick to making more money is making more sales.  And the trick to making more sales is, according to Dan Seidman, learning to speak the buyer’s language.  Once salespeople learn to interpret buyers’ verbal cues, they can choose the appropriate words to influence the buyers’ decisions.   Seidman’s book, The Secret Language of Influence teaches salespeople how to listen, gain psychological insight, and then influence others.

Patterns of Interruption

Seidman states that all buyers maintain patterns.  They do the same thing in the same way over and over again.  They respond to sales pitches the same way time after time.  The example is a buyer to whom the author has left forty-six voice mails over a three year period.  The buyer has never returned one of the calls.  Frustrated, Seidman leaves another voice mail announcing that the buyer has won the “prestigious Most Elusive Prospect Award,” for never having returned a call. Author Dan Seidman / Photo courtesy seihonolulu.com

Unsurprisingly, the buyer, now angry, returns the call.  The buyer eventually becomes a client.  Seidman’s story illustrates what psychologists call “pattern interrupt,” which is a method of changing people’s usual manner of thinking.  The author demonstrates how to use pattern interrupt in situations where buyers use their regular or usual brush-off techniques. 

In the example, the prospective buyer attempts to brush-off the salesperson by citing that the business environment is tough at the present time, thus the buyer does not have the budget to make any purchases.  Seidman’s pattern interrupt is to respond by asking an apparently irrelevant question, a non-sequitur.  The implication is that the buyer, because things are so bad, will probably soon be jumping out of his office window.  The buyer admits that business is “not that bad.”  Now that the pattern is broken, the salesperson may make their presentation.

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