Thursday, February 10, 2011

Daywalkers get the best deals

I made an afternoon trip to Fred Meyer to pick up a few groceries, as daywalkers do, and I stumbled into the most interesting thing. They give away stuff sometimes!

First, a man announced slowly and surreally over the loudspeaker that over by the Home section they'd be giving away some advertiser's products. I wasn't going to bother, but then I figured, ABSOLUTELY I WILL. So I lined up with a few other people and listened to the spiel.

The young man in charge of the "giveaway" had one of those setups you see at the fair, with a TV displaying the countertop. His performance was fascinating. He was an excellent speaker and he hit all of the major persuasive selling techniques.

He started by giving away a small item that juices and cores fruit, kind of cool. Thus we were all ensnared with our tokens of importance and tit-for-tat thinking. He then proceeded to get to the real item, demonstrating its simplicity, engaging the audience, highlighting a few items (kitchen shears) that he ended up giving away later, as if by coincidence - well, if you paid the limited availability rate for the real product (the scarcity technique!!!) you got the shears as a gift. It was like watching a theatre performance. Seriously, fascinating.

Now if he had only seeded the audience with a confederate those people would have been putty in his hands.

As for me there was no temptation. A little Jer lives in my brain now, and whenever I'm in a spot like that I picture him slowly shaking his head and saying, "You bought what? Tsk. Tsk."

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