Tuesday, 10 June 2008


When trying to market an expensive product it just might be worth considering spending your time selling them the cheaper option instead!

Let me explain…

Buying is an emotional affair which plays an important role in any purchasing decision, even if only subconsciously.

People are naturally sceptical at first but are also willing to be wooed and coaxed into making the decision to buy, and that’s the traditional job of the marketeer.

Part of tapping into all that resourceful emotion is for us to explain to the customer the highlights and potential benefits of owning such an item. Depending on the type of product we might also need to provide detailed technical information before they part with their cash along with some educational stuff illustrating what the product is, can and/or cannot do. But for the most part, emphasizing the benefits and playing down the limitations is the game; and a gentle nudge is sometimes all that may be required to close the deal. As always, each sale is followed up by the obligatory complimentary bullshit; “congratulations on your making a good buying decision” etc. This little pat on the back, however gives them the feeling of well being & gratification, a little self appraisal that we all want as human beings. Some of these values still hold true but for the more expensive (or overpriced products) I have a slightly different approach in which I surreptitiously encourage them to spend even more money but blatantly insult them too!

Don’t just treat the customer like an idiot – insult them too!

Treating customers with kid gloves is just too much like hard work, and besides a charm- offensive is not the natural way to talk to people. Sure you can be charming and courteous and we all like a bit of flirtatious fun, but most people are used to such sales bullshit and you will only reinforce their feelings of scepticism anyway. If you’re trying to sell something then just cut to the chase - you’re just wasting everyone’s time and your desperation will be all too evident if you don’t. A more natural approach and a little bit of emotional blackmail will work every time!

Let’s exploit the buying decision briefly…

People are naturally willing to buy so why waste their time with bullshit when all you really need to do is spend time to explain and educate them as to the products potential benefits. The only difference in wanting the product and actually owning it is “the money” needed to buy it, and provided they actually have the necessary funds (or can get it) it should be a simple process. Selling something cheap is easy, especially without comparison to existing or similar products or competition (unique). Selling something of a higher perceived value in the face of competition however can be a little tricky.

Here are a few more emotions we can exploit. We can later use these emotions to insult our customers and get them to spend more!

  1. Greed
  2. Jealousy
  3. Curiosity and;
  4. Embarrassment

Human beings are instinctively greedy creatures, we all want the best for ourselves and our families and we all want more and more. It’s like a competition amongst us, always striving to outdo others wherever possible. We’re also envious of each other and embarrassed if we cannot or don’t have what other people have (keeping up with the Jones’s syndrome). Combining these emotions we can exploit anyone with their natural desire to want expensive things and makes for an easier sale.

What if the product is too expensive or overpriced?

If the product is beyond their reach then apart from offering finance there’s not much you can do about it except offering a cheaper alternative if one exists. If it is a matter of choice between buying the cheaper branded item then that’s what they will do but if more funds are available, then you should try to simply but subtly embarrass the client into suggesting perhaps they cannot afford the expensive option! A brief but passing comment here and there or reference to the expensive option is all you need to do... just enough information to make them aware of its existence with the occasional dismissiveness and to pitch the lesser item instead.

Human nature; greed, want, desire, jealousy, curiosity and fear of embarrassment will work in your favour, they will override your presumptuous attitude to provide them with a cheaper deal, (how dare you!) while the more expensive and profitable option (and all its benefits) is what you really want them to do anyway!

An idiot can do this

Insulting the customer this way won’t win you any friends but it will generate a higher turnover and make a big difference to your bottom line. Just try pitching the customer on the products limitations and see what happens! If they are aware you can provide them with a better alternative and they can afford it, which do you think they will buy?

A customer will always try to resist temptation to buy expensive from a salesperson because they have a natural inbuilt or learned distrust. But because you’re an idiot and you “inadvertently” treat them like one too - by pitching the lower end product... they can only assume and regard you as having inferior motives to sell effectively.

So you’re not really a proper salesperson after all are you?

Pitching the lower end product gives them the perceived upper hand (intellectually speaking) and their own distrust of you as a salesperson quickly wanes.

Your ineffectiveness to sell by pitching a lower priced product to someone who can obviously afford the better alternative convinces them that you’re not very good at your job. Either that or they think you’re not very good at reading people by statements such as:
“…but this is the more affordable alternative for you” or
“Because it’s more expensive let me show you this instead”

The other thing to notice here is that if you’re convincing enough they will actually question you and your motives for trying to sell a low valued item. Just be dismissive - try to look flummoxed, take on their embarrassment for your mistake, maybe apologize for your ineptness and be as passive as you can. People who have the means (the money) will insist on wanting the best, always wanting the unobtainable, dismissing your roll and talk themselves into buying the more expensive product for themselves – who needs you as a salesperson?

The whole process is made easier because nobody likes to be pitched-to but if you think about it, you’re not really spending your time pitching the product you’re actually selling. Instead you’re surreptitiously spending time pitching the lesser product while at the same time downplaying the more expensive (profitable) product. Your communication with the customer is therefore easier and more natural, less pushy and ultimately more convincing.

The only downside to which I call my “surreptitious marketing” technique however is for me to keep my poker face. It’s sometimes difficult especially in a face-to-face situation to keep eye contact with that bewildered look on their faces!

In a future article I will write about using “surreptitious marketing” to help you sell affiliate products online using ClickBank

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