Coercion - why we listen to what "they" say

Tags: advertisting, coercion, books

I picked up a new book, Coercion.  So far it's a pretty good book.  It talks about the ways the media, sales, and retail personel manipulate us without us being the wiser.

In the section I just finished reading, a retired auto salesman is describing to the author a popular way to break through the buyers defenses and make them more responsive to coercion.

   As Miller explained, "Somewhere during that demo drive, while you're making your trial close -- not asking for the sale yet -- you ask him, in these exact words, 'Is this the type of vehicle you would like to own?' It happens.  And anyone will tell you this, the vacuum cleaner salesman, the carpet salesman - the customer has a split second of insanity.  The mind goes blank, the body paralyzes, the eyes get glassy, dilated.  And you'd be surprised how many people have an accident at just that moment!  Ask any car dealer.  We always joke about it."
   How could a single question provoke such an extreme response?  Partly because it relies on disassociation.  The customer is already in a vehicle, being asked to imagine himself owning the same type of vehicle.  It's the same as if I asked you if this is the kind of book you can imagine yourself reading.  Your current situation is reframed in fantasy.  It creates a momentary confusion, or disassociation, from the activity you're involved in.  That's why so many drivers crash.  They are no longer just driving the car but imagining themselves driving the car.  It is a momtary loss of awareness, during which the customer's defense mechanisms and rational processes are disabled.

So far I think the book is great and would recomment it to everyone. I'll let you know more as I read on.

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