I don’t shop much. But like you when I need to buy something, I appreciate a knowledgeable salesperson.
I find the whole process of how we make decisions fascinating, so I always welcome books like Buyology by Martin Lindstrom, and a new engaging audio book, Shoptimism by Lee Eisenberg. It explores historic trends as well as the Sell side and the Buy side. These get me through dull traffic jams and the tedious morning exercises that the Doc says I must do.
The Sell side is huge, skilled and subtle. We, the Buy side, are collectively, an impressive force, accounting for three quarters of spending in our economy. However, individually, we are often just clay in the hands of the Sell side. Last night, in my study at midnight, the Sell side won. I was furious.
I was trying to finish a report, but could not re-open my Word document. So I tried all manner of clicks, only to encounter – corruption. Yes, I was being protected by the power of security antivirus, and anti-spy, anti-malware, anti-whatever. If I would just activate my anti-whatever software for $90, I could clear up all the corruption that had infiltrated my computer and start fresh. I did not ask for this salesperson’s advice. I did not like the price tag. No you will not strong-arm me, I will remove you and find a polite, free anti-whatever software.
I searched for the reliable free software and to my amazement just as I found it, it was blocked and inaccessible. Same thing for helpful chat rooms.
Shut the machine. Start again. This refreshing clears up many problems. Not this time. Glaring at me was the red lettering and ultimatum which translated into: buy this or you can’t have your machine back.
Fortunately, I work with two computers on my desk – one for the report, the other for computations and research. So I search on the healthy machine for a solution to get rid of the pushy salesperson. I find a solution on the good machine. Type it into the sick machine and it is blocked. Oh no!
I’m monitoring my own reaction from: I can fix this, to I’m frustrated, to I’m angry, to all right, I give up. I accept being defeated, strong-armed, outwitted.
As I pulled out my credit card, I read the terms. Not so bad. I could win in the long run. I could buy now and return later and get my money back if not satisfied for any reason. Ah ha!
I calmed down. Just buy the software, get the machine working, then return it. Brilliant. Very traditional brick and mortar behavior.
Giving in to the pushy salesperson would work. But something went wrong with the credit card processing. Okay it’s after midnight. Shut it all down. Get some sleep.
Well, was I glad that I did. The next day more knowledgeable folks explained that the red-in-the-typeface-ultimatum salesperson was a hoax. It was the infection. It had hijacked my computer. My credit card company explained that the bogus business was pulling money into some remote foreign location. Had I given it my card information, it would have continued to charge the $90.
Disaster averted. Techies told me how to get rid of the corruption. My three take-aways:
1)Don’t do business with someone you can’t talk to. If a company does not have a phone number, it doesn’t get my business.
2)A sales person who gives you ultimatums on line or in person is a hoax. “Buy this minute because . . . “, “Do this now, or else . . . “. These are not salespeople, these are schoolyard bullies. A good salesperson serves you by providing information and guidance, so that you walk away with what you need and want. Except for the bully I met last night, I have been fortunate to have smart, well intentioned salespeople help me buy the right car, vacuum cleaner, cold medicine and much more.
3)Our economy needs a Sell side that represents the work hours, ingenuity and discipline of millions of people, and it needs a Buy side that response to quality, fair pricing and ethics. Corruption on Main Street, in computers, banks, Congress, or corporations throws people out of jobs and homes as we have just seen.
We each have a responsibility as buyers and sellers to support best practices that keep us working, coming home with the bacon, then socializing, Googling, and iTuning on our uninfected computers.
©Wealthy Choices ® LLC 2011
Penelope S. Tzougros, PhD, ChFC, CLU, is Registered in all fifty states and securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.