We were talking earlier about car salesman. According to a recent Gallup poll, 95% of Americans don't trust them. Yet, they still manage to separate us from our money. Psychologist Robert V. Levine wrote a book called The Power of Persuasion. And he says there are plenty of tricks car salesmen use to reel you in. For example:

They never let you say "No." A salesperson won't ask you a question that can be answered with a "no" response   it stops a sales pitch cold. So, instead of asking if you're interested in a certain model, they'll say something like "Do you prefer the economic 4-cylinder, or the power of a 6-cylinder?"

Also: They stall. A good salesman will eat up time by rattling off safety features and crisscrossing the car lot. And as the minutes tick by, you feel guilty about walking away. Not just because you've wasted their time, but also your own.

Another trick car salesman use: They walk away. If he thinks your interest is slipping, a salesman will abruptly walk away and say "follow me", without telling you where he's going. This maneuver, known in car lot lingo as the "turn and walk," lets the salesperson gauge whether he's in control of the situation.

If you follow him, like most customers usually do, he is.

And finally: If you agree to take a test drive, they've pretty much got you. By that time you'll have spent so much time on the lot you won't want to go through it all over again. A salesman will do whatever he can to put the keys in your hand.

So, how can you outmaneuver a car salesman? Here are Levine's tips for dealing with the pressure:
  • Before you go, tell yourself "This is how much I'll spend   period." Then stick to it.
  • Also, keep in mind that you're not going to the car lot to make friends.
  • And finally...sleep on it. Tell the salesman that you have an arrangement with your spouse that you'll sleep on all big decisions. If he says you won't get the same offer tomorrow, tell him he's lost the sale. Because if you give in to the pressure, you give the sales-guy all your power   on top of a nice commission check
If you want to go further, check out the book The Power of Persuasion by Robert V. Levine.