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Shane Decker

Shane Decker: Reverse Psychology Salesmanship




Cut to the chase with this surpriseing tactic.

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MOST of the time, when a customer says “Just looking,” it’s an involuntary spoken reaction, a habit. So I like to play a fun game called “reverse
psychology salesmanship.” 

When the customer says, “Just looking,” I’ll mirror his words and reply, “Well, just look at this!” This shows that I’m listening to him.

More important, as I say this, I’ll show him a large, brilliant loose diamond (at least 1 carat). I’ll put it into his hands (in the proper holder, of course). His reply will be
something along these lines: “Wow! That’s beautiful, but the real reason I came in is, I want some ruby earrings.” And I’ll say, “Well, they’re right over here.” And I’ll put the diamond away and have the ruby earrings he wants in his hands so fast he doesn’t have time to blink.

When you show the customer something he doesn’t want, he’s obviously afraid you’re going to try to sell that to him. He will then tell you very quickly what he does want!


Reverse psychology salesmanship creates immediate conversation. It makes it easy to find out who the jewelry is for, as well as what the occasion is. This tactic allows you to professionally find out what the client wants without walking away — as most salespeople do — when he says “I’m just looking.”

The more attention you pay your client, giving him a silent compliment by showing him something drop-dead gorgeous like a 1- or 2-carat diamond, the more chance you will increase your closing ratio. The diamond was $6,995 and the ruby earrings were $1,595, so all of a sudden, the price of the earrings seems very affordable by comparison, even though he may have come in planning to spend less. So not only are you more certain to close the sale, but you’ve likely raised the
ticket amount as well.

Your customer was wowed and closed, all in one moment. And if your customer is a man, he’s going to come back to see you because most men like to get in and out with the least time spent. He may even want to see the item that wowed him the first time.

Reverse psychology salesmanship creates a quick, easy connection with your customer that helps close the sale, and it’s a lot of fun too!

Shane Decker has provided sales training for more than 3,000 stores worldwide. Contact him at (317) 535-8676 or at

This story is from the September 2011 edition of INSTORE. 


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