Avoiding Budget-Busting High-Pressure Sales Tactics

Posted by Dave

Certain realtors of my acquaintance love for the first house they show prospective buyers to be one which is from $10k to $50k above their clients’ stated price range. Naturally such homes have more architectural features, amenities, and square feet than every subsequent house viewed, making all the rest look seedy in comparison.

Surprise, surprise – certain wedding and party vendors indulge in similar tactics, to sell you more and bigger of everything your event needs. And, if you let them, they’ll have you buying truffles (even if you have a Triskets budget.)

How then can you avoid being bankrupted by unscrupulous salesmen who care only for their bottom line – not yours? Well, it will help if you simply read on.

1. Know the “tricks.” The classic high-pressure sales pitch, whether used by the late Billy Mays or The Music Man‘s phony Professor Harold Hill (“Ya got trouble my friends – right here in River City…”) starts with getting you to believe that you have a problem. Madison Avenue survives by its ability to convince us that “waxy yellow build-up,” “ring around the collar,” hair where we don’t want it (or no hair where we do) is a terrible and embarrassing blight on our good name. Where parties are concerned, this manifests itself in getting the “right” venue (even if it is too big for your needs), music (in which “right” actually means “most expensive”), wardrobe, and more. Without all these “right” touches, the high-pressure agents and sales reps will claim, your party is doomed to failure. Once you are hooked, you are then told that only one miraculous cure exists for this condition, a “cure” that often leads to other problems, of the financial kind. By recognizing that aggressive sales personnel derive their income by getting you to spend ever more – and that such salespeople may not really have your best interests in mind – you are better prepared to counter their pressures.

2. Be prepared to walk. It’s always good to tell your vendors (up front) that you won’t even look at something above your designated budget. It’s something else entirely to actually walk out when they test your resolve with cunning and manipulation. But that’s the only way to protect your purse. Once they know you are serious, some vendors will behave with more restraint. But I wouldn’t trust them, and – if other vendors of similar services are available (who haven’t tried to screw you) – I’d go with them.

Economic hard times create a reduced demand for parties, and that means problems for party professionals. Just don’t let their problems become yours.


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