A-B-C: Always Be Closing!

The British Office of Fair Trading has taken aim at pushy doorstep salesmen with a new information campaign - your doorstep, your decision. A useful initiative, but also a perfect opportunity to recall some favourite movie quotes:

  • Chris Farley on being a bad salesman, and on guarantees.

    The OFT's six psychological selling techniques of doorstep salesmen - after the jump.

  • Reciprocity - creating in the consumer a feeling of indebtedness to the salesperson. Free samples, services and discounts can transform a business transaction into a social visit, imitating that of a friend.
  • Consistency and commitment - building up the consumer's commitment to the product so that a decision not to purchase looks inconsistent. Using personal information gleaned from the consumer's home to gain agreement that they are interested in a product 'if the price is right' means that the seller can remind the consumer of this commitment when offering a discount.
  • Scarcity and anticipated regret - generating a sense of urgency and of loss if a purchase is not made. People dislike feeling regret and are motivated to avoid it.
  • Social proof - making the consumer feel they are like everyone else who bought the product. People have a tendency to use the behaviour of others as a guideline for their own.
  • Liking and similarity - gaining information about a consumer's likes and dislikes in order to identify with them, build a rapport and gain their trust. People prefer to say yes to someone they like and liking is increased by perceived similarity.
  • Authority and expert endorsement - working on the principle that people will defer to expert opinion.
  • In