There are two components to any good advertisement or sales pitch: an emotional appeal and a rational appeal. A good advertisement or sales pitch plays to both.
Here’s an example: let’s say your child can’t read very well, and you’re considering buying one of the many reading programs available. Check out an ad for any of them, and you’ll find they can be boiled down to two basic premises:
Your child can improve their reading skills. (That’s the rational appeal – he or she will do better in school, better in life, etc.) You need your child to read better. (That’s the emotional appeal – you’re the parent, it’s your role in life to raise your children well, if you don’t you’ve failed them….)
Most car dealers, once you’re in the showroom, will play on your emotions to help make the sale. (Sure, they’ll discuss fuel mileage and safety ratings… but if you think about it, most cars are very similar in terms of performance.
Styling varies a lot… but styling appeals to your emotions, not to your rational side.) To play on your emotions, they’ll often say things like:
“We only have two of these left – I can’t believe how fast they’ve gone.”
“The sale ends this Sunday… you better act now.”
“We have special factory prices… but just for this week.”
And my favorite: “If I sell one more car this month I’m over my quota – so I’ll do anything to get you the best price.”
What the dealer is doing is simple: by creating a sense of urgency they’re making you afraid you’ll miss out on a great deal, or a special price… or even make you worry that if you don’t act now all the cars will be gone.
Just keep this in mind: in 2004 alone over 15 million cars were sold in the US – there are always plenty of cars for you to choose from.
So how do you keep from falling prey to emotional sales tactics? Take away their edge. Educate yourself about the vehicle you would like to purchase and then make your decision before you buy a car. This will eliminate any emotional buying decisions and save you money.