Most of us want to be nice people. We want to say “yes” to others.
If our kids ask for $20 on Friday night to go out with friends, many of us want to hand over the money. If a salesman pressures us, we want to say “yes” because we don’t want to be rude and walk away. Yet, learning how to say no and to resist pressure tactics, whether they be from family or salesmen, can save you a bundle.
The Power of Saying “No”
My husband and I went to a car dealership a few weeks ago. Since our minivan is 11 years old and has 156,000 miles on it, we know a car purchase is in our future. We went to the car dealership simply to explore and see if our three kids would fit in a Toyota Camry. They did.
The salesman was very nice, accommodating, and friendly, until we entered his office. True, the car that was for sale was at a very good price, likely at a better price than we would find in the next few months. But we know that buying a car at this moment is not a smart money decision.
When I told the salesman that we were just looking and would be buying in six to twelve months, his tone changed. “A car that is this good of a deal isn’t easy to find. Buying it now is a no-brainer.”
When I repeated again that we weren’t looking to buy right now, we were just looking to see what the market was like, he became more aggressive.
“I don’t know how you do things, but when my wife and I are going to buy something, we figure out how much we have, and we buy it. We have an objective, and we meet it. Isn’t your objective today to buy a car?”
I told him our objective had been to see if all three of our kids fit in the car we were interested in purchasing later, and that they did. Our only objective had been met. Then I told him we need time to make a big decision, and that I didn’t appreciate his pressure tactics.
Would we have liked to have bought the car? Yes. It was a good deal. But we don’t have the money to buy it now, and we knew that. We stayed firm.
We said no, and we kept our money in our pocket.
However, that isn’t always easy to do.
Saying Yes Under Pressure
My mom has wood windows in her home that are really not suitable to the Midwest where she experiences many weather extremes. The wood is now rotting, so she knew she needed to look into getting replacements.
She is retired, and money is fixed, so she asked several companies for estimates. The first company gave her an estimate but did not pressure her.
The second company gave her an estimate (which was the highest of all the estimates that she got) and the salesman pressured her by saying that the deal he was offering would only be valid for that day. He told her she could sign a contract and pay a deposit that day to keep the price offered, but if she changed her mind, she could call at any time to rescind the offer.
My mom is notorious for giving in to pressure tactics, and when she told me about the situation, she said she was nervous about what she had signed. I asked her to rescind the offer immediately because I didn’t feel she should make such a big decision without thinking it over.
She did call to cancel the contract, and the company let her out of it. However, she had to make several phone calls to the company as well as threaten to hire a lawyer before the company gave her the deposit back.
Had she not followed her gut and rescinded the offer, had the company not agreed to cancel the contract, she would have paid several thousand more dollars going with this company than with the company she ultimately decided on.
That money is now safely in her bank account.
One simple, though not easy, way to keep more of your money is to learn to say “no” and not respond to salesmen’s or your family’s pressure tactics.
Do you find it difficult to say “no” when pressured?
We are trying to get the strength to also say no, if we don’t plan to purchase something. The pressure to buy now is indeed big, but it’s important to know our limits and follow our plans.
I am like you; I bristle at the pressure and run the other way. When I was ready to buy a new vehicle (12 years ago), I went to the local dealership and test drove what I wanted. I got a sleazy salesman who was all high pressure – to my boyfriend who had come just to spend some time with me.
Totally put off, I went to a nearby dealership that didn’t have their sales people on commission. That’s right – they earned a salary. They were friendly but left me alone. Guess who got the sale – even though the price tag was higher (it was also a better vehicle).
As you say, with something like this I think you need to be clear about your goal before you start. If you are not planning on buying, then don’t buy. Pressure tactics usually only benefit the salesman at the end of the day although ignoring them can be easier said than done!