In a lifetime, you will purchase something of high value, get into a business deal, buy a new house or car. Either way, at some point, you have to deal with a salesperson of some kind. It can be a real estate agent, car dealership salesperson or even an online ad. They all use different salesperson techniques. The thing is that you know they are trying to sell you something, but you do not know how to find out if the deal is bad.
Spotting a bad deal is understanding the value of the product being sold. Evaluating the product by comparing its value against other competitors and people recommendations. A good deal needs to provide a solution, bring value to the consumer, and guarantee a level of insurance to the buyer.
Once you understand the value of the product, it becomes easier to take charge of the sale. But I admit even if you do not know the value well, it can be difficult to bypass the salesperson hyping up the product. For many years I worked as a salesperson, selling computers, electrical and home products. I have also been on the consumer side; I have dealt with many real estate agents and car dealers. I developed a deep understanding of the different salesperson techniques.
Therefore, the following are steps to value the deal and assess the salesperson to ensure no one can take advantage of you.
10 ways to Spot a bad deal and a bad salesperson
1- Being pushy
When the salesperson tries to push the product on you, it tells you two things. First, inexperienced salesperson unable to build a rapport with the customer and build value to the product. Second, the product does not have anything valuable, and that is why the salesperson is pushy. Either way, the salesperson is devaluing their product.
2- No Breakdown or explanation to the price
Salespeople like to focus too much on the product, which makes it appealing to the customer, but they make little effort to explain why it has this price. Breaking down the cost of the product helps to justify the price, especially if it comes in a bundle. A good product is worth its price, but it could signify an overpriced product if they can not explain the price.
3- Discount sound too good
Buying at a discount is the best thing you can do to minimise your expenses. But if the product does not add any significant value to you or you have never heard of that product, but it is going for a crazy sale (40-70%), then it is usually a bad deal. That extra add-on sale or extra insurance that you do not think you need is usually a bad deal. Even if it has value to others, it is not for you if you do not believe you will need it or use it.
4- Using third party endorsement
We live in the internet age, so you will likely find reviews from real customers rather than third-party endorsements that the salesperson likes to bring. The silly thing is that the endorsements usually are pushy techniques, and it feels mostly generic. If you are on a sale page online and find reviews next to the purchase button, those are third party endorsements; they are not trustworthy, especially the positive ones. If you are buying something face to face, it is even worse because the endorsement is mostly verbal or another salesperson. Please do not buy into this old style of selling because it is usually a scam.
5- No clear refund policy or no policy
Beware of buying things without knowing the refund policy. Sometimes we get so caught up in the sale that we forget to ask this simple question “What is your refund policy?”. If you are on an online sales page, do not buy something without looking into the return or refund policy (Sometimes, the refund policy can be part of the terms and conditions). Knowing the return policy can protect you from walking into a shady deal and spotting it in the early stages of the sale. Usually, a good return policy guarantees a fault product replacement and a return period.
6- The sale is rushed
If the sale is rushed, the salesperson is doing a lousy job selling, or you do not understand the product’s value. In this situation, it is imperative to slow down the sale by saying, “Can you explain … again” or “Can you please slow down” the salesperson will notice that they are going fast and will take the time to explain things to you differently. This will save you from a rushed sale and help you gather more information before making up your mind.
7- They do not explain everything
This one is a red flag; the salesman sometimes leaves some details deliberately to make the product more appealing. Attributes such as life expectancy, flexibility and ease of use can apply to pretty much anything, yet if they are left out from the sales pitch, it is not because they are not important, but because the product is not perfect. The truth is nothing is perfect, so there has to be a downside to something. Use your common sense, no salesperson want to devalue the product they are selling, but you can always bring it to their attention by asking questions such as:
- Why do you think it is good for me?
- What is the life expectancy?
- How it will be better than my current product?
- Are there any downsides to this product?
8- Unadvertised “special offer end soon”
The “offer ends soon” technique is just the salesperson way to get things done. They bundle stuff for you and make a special offer that is not advertised, and no one knows about it because you are their valued customer! Well, the truth is they only made it to sweeten the deal because they are sensing you are getting cold feet. You can use this to your advantage if you are after something, and you can sense their desperation by acting unsure about the price and the product. This way, you will see how far they can reduce the price for you. The special offer end soon is common with last items and discontinued items.
9- No credentials
Either the product or the customer does not have credentials. This one is common with online stores, e-commerce, ebooks and online courses where you have too little information to go with. If you can not find online reviews on something, do not waste your money unless they have enough information to convince you otherwise. Credentials are any clear indications of the qualifications of the seller and the quality of the product. I wrote an article about spotting fake gurus trying to sell you products if you want to learn more.
10- Talking negatively about a competitive product
Famous salesperson technique: If you cannot sell your product, you should devalue competitors’ products. By doing so, they can convince you to buy their product. It is not wrong to compare your product to others. Still, when the salesperson starts to talk negatively about other products, it shifts your attention from finding the value in the seller product and making your purchase based on the negative commons on the competitive product. This is usually a bad deal because you purchase based on the salesperson selfish motives.
What should you do before buying something?
You should always research and do your due diligence, such as asking friends or looking online for answers; this will protect you from walking into a bad deal and make you more aware of the salesperson motives.
How to take charge of the sale
Remember, you are the customer, and it is your money, and it is your right to know everything before giving your card details. Therefore, you can control the sale by being firm and straight. Please do not shy away and think that your question is silly or unimportant because it is.
Make sure you know everything and ask as many questions as you can. Do not let the salesperson control the flow of the sale because they can take advantage of you. Staying vigilant will prevent you from walking into a bad deal, and if you do not see the value in the sale, you can always walk away.