I have been thinking about this for a while, and want to put it 'out there'. I should also preface this by saying that I really hate sales. There are people who love it and are really good at it, but I really don't like it. There really is an art to it.
But here are my top three head fakes that salespeople have used on me.
These are examples of very small purchases, but I imagine the psychological warfare is demonstrably stronger when higher ticket items are at stake (cars, appliances, renovations, etc..).
ONE: "Oh, I love that [piece of garbage tchochke]."
A friend who worked at an amusement park told me that this is one of the major feel-good techniques used at every gift/crap shop in the park. No matter what piece of garbage the customer decides to buy, at the cash, the cashier is meant to eye it, smile and exclaim "oh-I loooooooove that [whatever]". The customer instantly feels good about their purchase and will likely repeat the action on future visits.
TWO: "Oh, that's my favourite colour-I have it at home!"
This was used on me a few weeks ago when I was getting a pedicure. Have you ever seen a woman pick out a colour for her manicure or pedicure? It's excruciating and ridiculous, as if it's some kind of permanent commitment. I picked out a colour (and please-save the JAP accusations, I had a gift certificate that I still hadn't redeemed two years from when it was given to me), and the spa worker gushed "ooooh, that's my favourite colour-I have it at home".
Unfortunately for her, I heard her repeat the same script with the client that directly followed me. What a coincidence! Two favourite colours, and she has BOTH at home! Same attempt at feel good, you made a great choice, you go girl kind of shrinky-dink thing.
THREE: "Oh, I have that [random menu item that sounds moderately interesting] all the time, I love it."
Same idea. You ask the waiter about an item on the menu that you're not sure about and hear, magically, that it is either their favourite item on the menu, or that they eat it all the time!
I'd actually prefer an honest assessment about what really is worth trying. The last time I got this line I got a vomitateous soup that almost burned my tongue off because it was so spicy.
Do you have any to add?
Those are my top three for now.