We were greeted on the spot. The salesman was a younger attractive male by the name of Kevin. Serena was looking at the new Galaxy 3S, an android cell phone. She wanted to upgrade her Blackberry but wasn’t sure if she should go the Apple or Android route; two competing brands of smart phones. Mind you, we did not come into the store to purchase anything, we were simply looking. Little did we know, we would leave the store, android in hand and close to $400.00 less in our wallets. Serena told Kevin of her desires for an android. He actually had an android himself and was really pleased with its service and abilities thus far. He ranted and raved about the network and the applications that made it different from Apple products. “You have to buy most applications for the iPhone, the android has them for free!” However, this wasn’t 100% true because I own an iPhone and I mentioned that. I forgot what the response was verbatim but he made me feel that I was both right and wrong at the same time. I remember the subject changing quite fast, “the network is 10 times faster than the iPhone’s network.” He told me to take out my iPhone and we will both log onto Facebook simultaneously to see which phone is faster. His android did surpass my iPhone, but not by much. The internet service for the display products was not working so Serena couldn’t get the hands on feel for the product as she would have liked to. But since we were the only customers in the store, he said that he could go in the back and take out a brand new phone from its box for her to experiment with. He made it point to mention that normally, he does not do that. He could actually get in trouble, or so he said. We were both excited and felt special that he was doing such a unique thing just for us! Before he went in the back to get one, he asked Serena, “Hey what color phone do you want to test out?” Like the color would even matter, but it did. “Blue!” Serena replied. After about 20 minutes of testing out the new phone and also with Kevin at our feet to answer any question that came to mind, the deal was made. Serena was sold. She was then informed that she would need to sign onto a new phone contract to go with the new device, costing her an extra $100.00. No questions were asked, she swept her credit card and signed away.
The persuasion/manipulation tactics used in this situation is what got Serena to make a purchase that night. When I first entered the store and saw only one salesman, I thought that alone would give us an upper hand because we outnumbered him. I was wrong; it allowed for more personable interaction. His interest in us was only greater, allowing more time and commitment. Also, since it was late in the evening, his shift was almost over. I thought that he wouldn’t try as hard to sell himself, that he would just want to get out of there and go home. But it made it seem like more of a game, like how fast can I get these girls to buy something? He would have stayed as long as we wanted, which he did mention. That alone made us feel obligated to do something for him in return; the rule of reciprocity. He is giving us his own time and staying open for us so we should repay him in some way. Also, he broke the rules for us; he let us use a brand new phone. Our obligations just kept on piling up.
The triad of trust – likeability, honesty, and expertise, was also apparent in this situation. Upon greeting us, we noticed his nametag which read “Kevin, Professional Sales Associate Since 2007.” We did the math, he has been there for 6 years! He must know everything there is to know