Author Archives: Ben Joseph Yaroslavsky

Compliance techniques (Extra Credit)

Its no secret why the informercial/ direct- response advertising industry is so big. The multi- billion dollar industry gained its notoriety from infomercial moguls such as Billy Mays, Anthony Sullivan, and many others. These salespeople figured out ways to make the average consumer buy plenty of objects that they may have not needed before, i.e- the slap chop, and OxiClean to name a couple. These concepts that they include in their sales pitches come from consumer psychology and the concept of compliance. Compliance is defined as changing behavior as a result of being asked to change. Some of the techniques largely used by salespeople are the foot-in-the-door, door-in-the-face, lowball and thats-not-all techniques. If you flip the tv to any channel and watch it long enough, you’ll inevitably see a infomercial and hear the ‘Thats-not-all’ technique- this is when the person makes an offer, such as selling a product for a certain price, and then he or she adds something to the offer such as a different item, without changing the overall price. This makes people believe that they are getting a good deal, when in reality, they’ve been tricked into buying it.

These consumer psychology techniques can work at home too. The other week, I went home to see my family, and observed my brother using the Door-in-the-face technique on my mom. He needed some money so he asked her for $50, (which was a lot). When she said no, he asked for $5 (a lot less) and she gave it to him. This techniques, as exemplified by my brother, is just asking for a large request, then asking for a smaller request.
In conclusion, the methods that salespeople use to get you to buy their stuff all comes from the psychological techniques attributed to compliance. Consumer psychology techniques really can change your behavior.