How To Develop Sales Resistance

by Lee Doppelt
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Is your sales resistance greater than a retailer’s tools to overcome it? Learn how to resist retailers’ tactics and hold on to more of your hard-earned money.

According to, sales resistance can be defined as “the power, capacity, or disposition to resist buying goods or services offered for sale.”

If you search further using keywords such as “sales resistance” you will find suggestions and tips from the seller’s point of view for breaking down the sales resistance of a potential buyer, but much less information pertaining to how to develop or build your own sales resistance or discipline to resist buying products and services that you don’t need or want or intend to buy. You may have heard the Latin expression “caveat emptor”, which translates to “buyer beware.”

The Institute in Basic Life Principles outlines several questions to help sort out the necessity of a purchase such as “do I really need it”, “am I buying more quantity than I need”, “does it do what it claims to do”, and “will it become outdated and not useful.” These are just a few of many considerations you might want to adopt to help keep you on course for only buying what you intend to buy when you intend to buy it.

Typically, the seller needs you, the buyer, more than you need them.

Think about the solicitations to buy things that come your way during the course of a day. It might be a pamphlet left hanging on your front door to buy pizza from a new local carryout place. Or maybe something came in today’s mail; a flyer about a new dentist in your area offering a deal that seems too good to be true or the cable company selling a once-in-a-lifetime deal to only a few folks in your neighborhood, and you are one of the select few.

And, certainly a day doesn’t go by where some offer sneaks past your spam folder and presenting a special price on some product that you didn’t really think you wanted to buy that maybe you should consider. And if you don’t have or use the caller ID feature on your landline or cell phone, you may find yourself being offered a dream vacation on a cruise or to some exotic island that sounds too good to be true.

Stores, big and small, also frequently offer these special deals, often requiring you to buy right now to get in on the special offer.

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Ask yourself if it is a want or need.

Ask different people if a specific product or service is a want or need and you may be surprised at the balance of responses for each. Whether it is a cell phone, a summertime vacation, a therapeutic massage, or exchanging holiday gifts, there will be those who claim it’s a need, and others, typically the more frugal person, who claims it’s a want.

Peer pressure, even if you are an adult, can be powerful when if comes to buying things. “Keeping up with the Joneses” is an expression that easily comes to mind.

Maybe you actually need the product, just not all the features.

Possibly you are considering signing up with a new cable company. Their package which includes the most channels truly is the best value, costing less money per channel. But how many of those channels will you actually watch? If you are not a sports enthusiast, for example, you would likely not watch the numerous channels showing 24 hour sporting events. The same holds true for a vacation package, versus paying for travel and hotel and a few sights “a la carte.”

The same attitude goes for buying in bulk. Warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club truly do offer extraordinary deals. For example, potatoes last a long time, but even so, how many pounds of potatoes do you want to stockpile in your kitchen, especially if you are a single or couple or small family?

Stay true to your shopping list.

Keeping a shopping list in your wallet or a list of features you want when looking for a larger item such as a kitchen appliance will help you stay disciplined, buying only what you really intend to purchase.

Anytime you are pondering a purchase, particularly a large one, give it some serious thought, and sleep on it before deciding to buy. Give yourself a day or two to determine how necessary this purchase is. And ask yourself, what consequences would there be if you bought the item or service at a later date?

Have you overspent your way into debt?

Make a plan to get back out. Get How to Conquer Your Debt No Matter How Much You Have and create a debt payoff plan personalized to your budget and lifestyle.

Reviewed November 2022

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