Here's how they did it. Rent was $550/month with a one year lease, which works out to $6600/year.
When the least expired, you had the option of going month to month, or signing another lease. Month to month would be $600/month ($7200/year). However, they said, if you'll sign another one year lease, they'll let you keep the old rate ($6600/year), which will be implemented by giving you one month free. That is, you'll pay $0 for January, then $600/month for the remaining 11 months of the year, bringing the total to $6600/year.
A year later, when it was time to renew again, they told people rent would probably be going up soon, but if they renewed now for another year, they could avoid the increase and just keep paying $600/month.
Since that is what people were already paying, most did not see this as a rent increase. Yet they would be paying $7200 for the year, as opposed to $6600 for the year before--a $600 increase--because this time there was no free month for signing the lease.
It also sounds vaguely similar to the thing you hear factory workers do.
Bob is paid weekly, on Thursday. Bob starts by being frugal. This means that instead of having to use his wages on Thursday he can push it back a day to Friday. He still gets paid on Thursday.
He keeps doing this - keeping 8 days between each time he takes his money out of the bank.
After 7 weeks Bob gets a double pay packet.
I know a few people who tried this, and I know a couple of people who managed to last for the 7 / 8 weeks needed. Most of them got more benefit from frugal spending and a bit of planning than from the double pay at the end, but that's a nice treat too.
It's just a standard 1-month free signup discount followed by annual increases.
There's no reason the discount has to be for the full rental amount in a month. To obscure an increase from $550/month to $575/month, the offer could be be $300 off for January: 12 x $550 = $275 + 11 x $575.
How would you be sure it was that masterful? From your description it sounds pretty much like a standard sales pitch. It could just as well be that you're simply rationalizing being talked into spending $100 on something you didn't want to buy. You seem to be thinking "He was so good, he even managed to get me to buy this stuff", but the truth may unfortunately just as well be "Gee, I fall for this kind of stuff much more easily than I would have liked/thought".
Doing a postmortem of such a sales-pitch as a target yourself seems to be loaded with subjectivity problems.
I worked as a bartender/server at a corporate restaurant when I was in college. You would be surprised how easily people will do something if you just tell them. Me: Order a margarita. Customer: OK.
And not to get too judgmental, but this is especially true with the stereotypical internet dweller. For some reason Ive come to notice that people of this ilk are less likely to say no for fear of offending/not pleasing someone.
I'd say "OK" too. One of my problems going into a restaurant is I don't know what the restaurant is good at making; I used to make the mistake of ordering stuff the restaurant hasn't made in weeks and it tastes horrible.
If the waiter/waitress was going to recommend me something, its unlikely something the restaurant was especially bad at making, and it would solve part of my problem, and so I'll accept his/her recommendation.
I think this was discussed in Kitchen Confidential in terms of food.
That's where you lost brother. For that matter, I'll expand that to Middle-Eastern. I have a lot of friends from Israel and some from other ME countries. A lot of them tend to be very good at selling. I never got to the bottom of it. Maybe it's something in the water? I don't know.
I've gone on sales calls with Israeli friends (yes, as an engineer I decided I needed sales training from the best when it came time to sell my own products). We used to play this game that we loosely referred to "Shut-up and sell something". The idea was to see how little you could say and still close a deal. In my early days I tended to talk too much. And, as an engineer, I'd get lost in long explorations of features and even stuff we were planning on doing. I'd loose sales right and left. Then came "shut-up and make a sale". It is amazing how sometimes you can say absolutely nothing. Zero. And make a bigger sale than when you start flapping your jaws. The art is in knowing when to speak and when no to.
Hey you! Yes you. The one reading this thinking that it is a pejorative comment. Stop it! It isn't. It's more of a compliment than anything else.
It usually goes like this:
1. Hey my friend, where are you from? — So that he can set an initial price for you. None of the items ever have prices on them because of this. If say you're from Russia or Germany and the like you'll get the big initial price, if you're from Serbia like me, you'll probably get a smile.
2. Let's say you are from Germany, and were looking at a shirt, he'll tell you €40. — You simply can't allow yourself to buy it at this price, neither is he expecting you to (although I'm sure that happens). At this point he just wants you to pile up the stuff you like from the store.
3. When you're done, he'll sit you down for "the deal". Now's the time to haggle, and you should have been thinking of ways to cut the price while you were picking up the clothes. He'll probably give you a small discount "for bulk" that you should dismiss at once, and aim for at least 30% off of everything (50% is standard somewhere, some parts is less), and don't be afraid to return some things you don't want to buy.
So yeah, if you want some schooling in direct sales, go to Turkey (Alanya is very nice) and go shopping. Be prepared to come back with many knock–off Armani shirts and sweaters.
But the thing is that these people need the high margin sales to make a living. They'll sell at the lowest price that they're still making money, but if all of their sales are like that they're not making a living. That's why you shouldn't haggle all the way down if you like the vendor.
And here in Canada/USA, some stores have sales people that don't want to disturb you. They sit quietly in their chair in the back of the store, don't dare approach you, and don't speak until spoken to. That's not sales, that's "question answerer".
Real sales has an active component.
I dislike going to places where people work on commissions unless I'm really sure about what I'm getting; information asymmetry combined with a party out to get you for all they can is a bad combo. So those guys at the back of the mall store ignoring me is perfectly fine!
"I am sorry, it is 5pm. You must leave the store now."
Hotels are one service that I've found you can always haggle over the price, wherever you are. You're wasting money if you don't try!
In my experience, most people know very little about their job, and they are not interested in learning more. But they're happy to complain about their economic spot in the world and how they're not getting their fair share of the pie.
You get used to the techniques.
For example, I've had sales calls where it makes complete sense to say very little and force yourself to be respectful of what your customer might be saying during the conversation, even if sometimes what they are saying is wrong. I've also had cases where I've had to put one of the people in the room down hard because they'd come off as "experts" when they really didn't know the subject very well. So, you have to forcefully (verbally, I mean) establish yourself as the alpha dog and then the rest of the pack calms down. I've also had cases where not a bit of business was discussed at all. We'd go grab a cup of coffee or lunch talk about all manner of things personal but no business. And then you go back to the office. The next day a purchase order shows-up along with a thank-you email.
You can't teach these things in a few hundred words. You have to experience them and, depending on who you are, your personality and your upbringing it could take anywhere from six months to two years to pick it up. Because I spent a good part of my young life in Argentina I picked it up very quickly. Argies are pretty fast.
I should also say that I saw this cultural thing play out when it came time for me to hire sales people. I really wanted to focus on engineering so, eventually, I set out to fire myself as a salesman and hire someone in. I must have gone through seven or eight people. Men, women, younger, older, with and without experience. They all sucked. It was frustrating. That all changed when I found this Iranian guy who was hell-bent for selling. He had that middle-eastern drive to make a deal and he delivered. He wasn't super-polished, but he could certainly sell. On more technical sales I'd just tag along to deal with whatever he couldn't handle.
Hiring a good sales person has been one of the most difficult experiences in my entrepreneurial career. Most people who call themselves sales-men are order takers. They can grab fish if they jump into the boat. A real salesman knows how to find and catch fish. Huge difference.
We came across a Fair Trade shop in Luxor two weeks into our trip, where not only were there were price tags, but the shopkeeper just hung in the back until we approached them. It was such a relief, as I'd gotten sick of bargaining for absolutely. Everything.
I'm actually kind of confused why this warrants a post-mortem given that I would hope that no one ever duplicates this sort of tactic in a legitimate business. Let the product sell itself, don't "become the customer's friend" in order to push it on them.
I don't know, I feel that way, too. I've been through long sales pitches, mall workers, even TV commercials . . . and I'm pretty sure the emotions I feel are not the ones they intend me to feel.
When I hear friendly pleasantries or "This is a special deal just for you" or "I just marked down the price 50%" or "Super exclusive supreme top-of-the-line product" or whatever, I'm supposed to feel . . . I don't know, flattered? Excited by the opportunity? That's not what I feel. What I feel is more like, "Don't insult my intelligence, you jerk." And maybe a little, "Don't pressure me to make a decision with insufficient research. Jerk."
I don't know, I generally like to think the best of people, but every time I've interacted with a salesperson, I've spent the entire conversation with the forceful emotional impression that they were insulting me and trying to take advantage of me. And I never buy anything from them.
But man, when the unwanted upsell starts . . . I politely say no, but I'm sure you'd be able to tell from my demeanor that I feel quite insulted.
But with my parents who I think are quite "normal" and live in my small home town, the vendors and pan handlers can smell fresh meat a mile away. It's not that they're stupid or gullible. It's just that when someone approaches and starts talking - they give them their full attention. And as per small-town courtesy you wait for a conversation to wind-down - which will never happen with these guys. They will literally never let you walk away until either you buy something or you "rudely" remove yourself from the conversation. It takes them a little while to get into that "city" state of mind where you realize that the best approach is to not get yourself sucked into a conversation in the first place.
It is Stockholm syndrome in miniature. I have seen people thank the salesman who has just roped them into buying unwanted, overpriced junk. Hell, I have even seen people thank aggressive panhandlers and wish them well.
And for the ones who push past that, well, annoying/ignoring the intentions of person you're selling to is sort of a jerk thing to do, so that mitigates the guilt a bit.
When you just wave the off and walk past you never enter the danger zone. Things get increasingly more difficult once you engage in conversation with them as they won't let you go unless you rudely quit and walk away, and most people don't want to do that. The logic goes that since you've already spent a while talking with them, spending your time and their time, why stop so suddenly and throw all that away unless you end up buying something to warrant the effort made. It's basically bullshit but that's how many people go about it: you either decline right from the start or end up "having to" buy something. It takes some strenght to break out of that pattern.
So if I see something offered that I need to buy and the price is attractive, I leave and wait for some time - again, depending on the sum in question it may be a day, maybe more. If after the wait the offer is still attractive - I take it. If after the pressure is off I discover the deal doesn't look as nice as it looked - I pass. If the salesman says "if you don't buy now, the deal is off" I say "it was nice talking to you, good bye". So far this rule worked quite well for me.
As for using it in business - it is used all the time. I've been subjected to it (to remove any doubt - in US, not Israel, and not by Israelis :) many times, and not only in the malls. It is being used because it works - you think people doing it do it for their own enjoyment? They do it because that's how they make the most money. Not my money, though :)
Every single smartphone maker in the world is listening
I have an aversion to anyone who is pushing sales onto me like this. Even if they were trying to sell something I would be really interested in, the method would cause me to avoid it.
Sounds like modern agribusiness.
This leaves open the question of why the OP approaced the salesman in the first place.
Thing is, techniques that work great on one type of person will repulse another, so it's perfectly normal for a nerd to be completely immune to a sales pitch targeted at a neurotypical. But that doesn't mean you can't be manipulated; it just requires different techniques. To believe otherwise is dangerous overconfidence.
>I'm actually kind of confused why this warrants a post-mortem given that I would hope that no one ever duplicates this sort of tactic in a legitimate business. Let the product sell itself, don't "become the customer's friend" in order to push it on them.
All co-location is sold this way. As are commercial real-estate leases... and most residential leases, for that matter. All of us, if we go into business, will have to buy products or services sold by those sorts of salesmen. Knowing a bit about how their manipulation works is the first step towards self-defense.
I mean, it's not usually unsolicited... but if you want to lease some co-lo? almost nobody except maybe some of the tiny nobodies list prices on the web page... and 90% of the time, those prices are not solid; they are significantly higher than the 'special for you' price.
If you want to lease bandwidth? same thing applies, only the difference between the first price you get and the 'special because you are my friend' price is larger. I'm paying 1/5 the 'list price' for my large Cogent pipe.
So... it should be obvious why you need to study this stuff. Well, obvious why I need to study this stuff; I blow through north of a hundred grand on co-lo, bandwidth, and other related fees every year; I'd bet money that I'm not within 20% of the lowest possible price, so yeah, it's worth quite a bit of effort to figure out how this bullshit works.
All that said, it is bullshit. I avoid it whenever possible. I build my own servers from parts, because you don't have to negotiate to get reasonable prices on parts, but you do have to negotiate to get reasonable prices on assembled servers. The negotiation effort is far greater than the assembly effort.
Really, I think this is one of the primary reasons "the cloud" seems so much easier to deal with than co-location. No negotiation, no dealing with the co-lo jacking up your rent every year. (Yeah, just like a commercial or residential real-estate lease, every time your lease is up, the rent goes up in proportion to how difficult the landlord thinks it is for you to move.)
I've tried putting 'real prices' on my website for things like bandwidth and co-lo (the bandwidth prices were really good, for the amounts I was offering. The co-lo prices were reasonable but not unheard of.) Almost no bites. I did get salesmen calling me up all over the place; for a 10% cut, they'd send me all kinds of customers.
So yeah... as far as I can tell? this is just how some goods and services are sold. As far as I can tell, the optimal move is usually to rearrange your life and your business so you buy as few of the products that require negotiation as possible; But eh, depending on your sector, well, this may be impossible. In that case? yeah, learning sales bullshit and negotiation is important, if nothing else, to defend yourself against others.
I mean, I've negotiated a fair number of co-lo deals. Probably more than your average person negotiates residential leases during their lifetime. But the person at the other side of the table? they are a professional. They do this all day, every day.
So yeah. Even now? I do sometimes come away finding that the professional has manipulated me into doing something stupid. For me? key is to not agree to anything in person; take it home, show it to a (more conservative... my problem is that I optimistically buy more for a lower unit cost and end up not using most of it.) friend, sleep on it, and then decide. I mean, I am in business and my conservative friends are not, I can't completely defer to them, but getting a perspective that is different from your own is super important, because sales manipulations that work on one type of person don't work on another.
I know I've found myself buying things I don't need in the past because a sales person spent lots of time with me, and I thought "Well, I should reward them in some way for all this time they have given me!", when in reality, that's the whole point of them spending time with me in the first place :)
The book also has an interesting statistic (IIRC in the chapter about cutting in line for a photo-copier) of people that were first interviewed whether they thought they'd fall for (an abstract explanation of) the trick, who were then (unknowingly, as a set up psych experiment) exposed to a real-life situation playing that exact trick.
The percentage of people that were confident they wouldn't fall for it, but then in a real-life situation did, was surprisingly high. I don't remember how high exactly (maybe someone who's also read it can fill me in here?), but it was enough to seriously question my own confidence (in not being affected by certain human flaws), and make an effort in being extra conscious about that even when I rationalize myself to be immune (which seemed to be a common theme in defence tactics).
Not so much even to avoid being suckered or allowing people to cut in line, but especially after the chapter on Kitty Genovese type tragedies (aka "the bystander effect"). That chapter btw has a bunch of more specific defence tactics such as singling out people and talking to them directly instead of to a group (even if you feel you're not qualified or whatever to be the hero, you can always say "You, sir, in the blue jacket, you seem strong enough, please jump in the water and save that person!", which may feel cowardly but if it helps breaking the "bystander spell" and someone's life being saved, what the fuck does it matter?)
A couple of hours later, they came back and resumed working as if nothing happened.
The salesman, unfazed, asked her if she was perhaps mistaken and thinking of the 'Red Sea, because the Dead Sea is in in Israel'.
Thankfully, my aunt taught history, so she knew her geography well enough to know that he was just trying to pull the wool over her eyes.
 Which is technically true, since it sits on the border. But I wouldn't tell a Canadian that they were mistaken, because 'Niagara Falls is in the US'.
Do you remember those Zoom Copters that used to be in every single mall across America?
One bad thing about this selling technique, which might be effective in selling you stuff, is that right after walking out, you feel bad. You know you did not do the right choice and the probabilities of you walking again to buy more stuff from them or telling your friends how awesome these products are is so small, that they seem to aim to one-sell only. Maybe that's why they're so expensive: they know you're not going back for more. It's a cheap technique and it probably is not looking for anything long term... But in any case, you can always move to another mall or create a new crappy-good-looking product to scam more people.
If it's a bad product or bad salesperson, they'll probably end the conversation quickly, because their whole premise is to catch you off guard and convince you to buy something that you never would if you had 30 seconds to search the internet for reviews.
If it's a good product and a good salesperson, they'll gladly answer your questions and give you a business card. Then you can verify their claims later, and you have a somewhat-trusted contact that you can go back to.
It's a quick way to filter, even if you know you may end up purchasing the product within a couple of days.
This tactic is also a way to quickly stop a potential email conversation with a recruiter, while still being able to have them as a connection. "I'm sorry but I'm definitely not changing jobs for at least 6 months, but thank you for reaching out to me," is enough to do this.
Why do you want random recruiters as connections? This not sarcastic; it's a sincere question.
I'd have a hard time hiring great enterprise sales people on my own; it's worth it for me to talk to enterprise sales recruiters infrequently and to seek out great enterprise sales managers as contacts.
Same for finance people, etc.
The opportunity to do this kind of bargaining just comes up so rarely, it's hard to get good at it unless you spend time in developing countries. The much harder skill is to be able to do this for something you really want, something you've already made up your mind to purchase. Which is a shame, since this particular skill does come into play all the time in the US, particularly when it comes to big purchases like cars or houses where bargaining is expected. We have a weird culture.
This seems like to OP just wanted to be sold on something to observe sales techniques. Had he really never talked to a vendor before? Did he actually forget what he was doing and get caught up in the moment, or was this the outcome he was planning all along? Hard to say.
For me it was a guy who tried to sell me $800 of tooth whitening services and ultimately sold me two tubes of toothpaste for $20. Once he got me to sit in his chair and talk about myself he hung on tenaciously. It was clear he had authority to mark prices down to 25% of the first price he gave and he'd give you half of that off in cash and give you the other half by doubling the product on you.
I was shocked when I walked away then the next guy asked me if I knew about the dead sea salts and I told him "Yeah, some guy put them on my hand in the mall years ago and it felt great but then 15 minutes later my hands felt dried out and awful."
You might say the guy from White Science is a brilliant salesperson, but if you look at Yelp you'll see people are generally not happy with the products and services that they get there.
But in-person, like this? I'd think most people who live in major cities have become immune to approaches from random people - scammers, beggars, whatever. (Except for people selling the homeless newspaper, they're cool.)
If someone requests my attention and they're not asking a normal person question (like directions), I don't engage with them. Sorry. End of interaction, I have no interest in your crap, I have other things to do.
I burst out laughing and asked the salesman, in no uncertain terms, if he would like to borrow my tape measure.
About a week later, I was out of town at a funeral. My phone buzzed (vibrate mode) and I glanced at the number and realized it was one of the car dealerships. I clicked the button to send the call to voice mail and then shut my phone off since the buzzing was distracting.
After I left, I checked my voice mail only to find that the sales guy seemed offended by my sending him to the voice mail box. He yelled at me and questioned my manhood - "Oh, so you're not a real man, I see! A real man talks to somebody. A real man doesn't just avoid calls."
I couldn't believe he did that. I went back to the dealership after I got back into town and got ahold of a manager. I had him bring the sales guy over too. I played the voice mail for both of them and then told the sales guy that "a real man deals with the consequences of his actions."
He lost his job that day.
I apologize, as was off topic. Your comment brought bake that memory and made me rage a bit so I figured I'd post it up as another example of a poorly attempted manhood-questioning sales technique.
How do you know that? I think it's silly to go back there just because of a voice mail...
Tomorrow, it's the local ABC/NBC/CBS affiliate hungry to fill their "Tonight, We Fight For You!" consumer protection segment asking you for response (five minutes before air so they can say you didn't respond when asked), because the next customer just went straight to them.
I bet he really was fired.
If he did make lots of sells I bet he is still there, and the boss is laughing all the way to the bank.
But back onto topic.
For the dead sea sales folks. People should probably ask if the sales person has ever been to the dead sea, and have they ever seen the effects of stripping the sea of it's mud.
Being somewhat coarser language than I would normally use online, I decided to initially use a euphemism here while suggesting that other language was used.
One mall I went to in semi-rural Ohio had it right -- the kiosks had little boxes taped on the floor around each kiosk, and the hucksters weren't allowed to leave their box. It was easy to go to a mall to shop, not to be yelled at like some kind of third-world bazaar.
It's not saying anything about the culture in general, or the people, just the truth about third-world bazaars...
So, just at the point where he has totalled up his oh so great deal for you, and just as you are about to pay for the items, stop. Turn to the sales man and offer a deal of your own.
Two things happen. You have just taken control back of the whole sales routine, which suddenly changes your position completely not least because it refreshes your own sense of control. And second, the sales man is totally set off balance and facing the loss of the sale and his time. You can give a whole load of his patter straight back. "Because you are such a great sales guy, I would hate for you to lose this sale", "This offer of mine is a one time offer, could go home and order this lot much cheaper on line", etc.
At that point I start by offering 25%, yes 25%, and seeing where he wants to go. My reasoning for the low percentage is that is sends out a message about how much I value the product, and that despite everything the sales man has said, it hasn't worked. But, I might buy at a value I feel is right for me.
Having done all that, the pressure is off you, and you are freed up to make a rational decision, and being back in control makes it much easier to say, "No, thanks, but I'll pass today."
How is this any different than requesting a blowjob in the parking lot to every woman you encounter in the gym or grocery store? Occasionally your insulting offer will work. It will work a very small percentage of the time, and meanwhile, you gain a reputation as an annoying douchebag that will follow you around 100% of the time.
I'd rather just take or leave the deal at the asking price, or something reasonably close to it, and get on with my day.
And trying to chisel a 75% discount out of everyone you buy from is?
Whatever society it is that you're talking about isn't for me, I guess. Sounds like a lot of work.
They found that for reasonably inexpensive purchases (a $300 camera for example), the hard close can work quite well. But for more expensive, complex purchases, like million dollar software contracts, the hard sell is pretty much the worst thing you can do.
For more complex sells, it pays to uncover and explore the true expense associated with a problem and paint a picture of the user continuing with current product (their competitors put them out of business) vs your product (they put their competitors out of business).
Just don't break out the calculator, offer the one time only special deal, or do anything else from the school of 24 hour fitness gym membership sales training unless you want to get kicked out of your prospect's office.
The only difference was the salesperson was a cute girl and I was single at the time...
It would start off with the free sample push, often targeting older ladies. "Young lady, free sample for you." Then when there was eye contact, "Where are you from?". Then the sales pitch began in full force.
"I'm doing great! So well, in fact, that even Dead Sea products couldn't improve my day!"
Luckily, I DID manage to get a refund for the products later. I claimed that my wife was allergic to the things I had bought. The sales ladies were skeptical when they say the packages were unopened, but nevertheless I got a full refund - somehow.
This is not the first time I was seduced by the number 69. There's something about that number that's seductive. Like how all the cable TV packages are $69. I wonder what it is about that number that is so attractive to everyone in the US -- it doesn't seem to be that way in other countries.
you should get a paper out of it and sell the technique it to retailers ...
i see a lot of kahneman/ariely patterns here... how about if you string them up in a nice if-else style decision tree ...
Same basic pitch (and the dude had a very similar name), including lots of "touching" of your hands, which helps make that connection.
From the minute we made eye contact I pretty much knew it was going to be a high-pressure sales tactic. I let him do his spiel and offer us all the tremendous discounts, then thanked him for his time and left.
I buy things based on one tenant: don't trust anyone who attempts to take your money, ever. All commerce is done based on an imbalance of value, and the ability for one party to unilaterally leverage that gulf to make money. Moreover, the customer is diametrically opposed to the salesman. Their goals are antithetical to one another and their objectives are mutually exclusive. The seller wants to take the buyer's money and give them as little value as possible, yielding more lucrative margins; the buyer wants to acquire as much of a commodity as they can for as little money as possible, heightening returned value.
A capitalistic society is just a myriad of people trying to take whatever they can from everyone else. Sometimes we forget that.
Many people on HN will tell you that the imbalance of value means that if I'm paying $100 for skin products, they must be worth more than $100 to me.
There's both a certain element of truth and a certain element of circular reasoning in that. Your comment, though not exactly incorrect, reads tendentiously incomplete to me.
The best way I learned to deal with the kiosk people was to just not make eye contact and keep walking if they said anything to me. Rude, but effective.
Fortunately, my experience shows there are honest dealers that do not renege on their promises and respect both themselves and their customer. Even in this business, notorious for some bad apples, there are also decent ones.
Evangelical churches often do the love-bombing thing too.
"£10k is a really good deal but I need to OK it with my wife."
comes back 2 minutes later
"She says we can't afford any more than £9k."
Haven't had any problems with other mall kiosks with such sales pitches, so it appears those selling "Dead Sea skin care" products may be in some network where vendors are given a consistent method of selling.
The calculator part of this story gave me a chuckle. For those who have been to Bali before (well any part of Indonesia, Thailand and those kinds of countries) bartering is in their blood and they too employ the same techniques using a calculator to sell you stuff.
Also in the USA there's no such thing as No Refunds No Exchanges - if you pay for something by credit card you have extensive consumer rights regardless of the merchant's policies.
Finally, the real reason these sales pitches work so well is they MAKE SKIN CONTACT - and there's something about the actual physical touching that makes the sale a lot easier.
One easy way to find such places is to look for lack of pay by commission. REI and Apple are too relevant examples. However a lot of the time even stores that pay based on commission will have a larger customer focus than a sales-pitch focus. Nordstrom is one example that comes readily to mind.
In short, be careful where you shop.
The pricepoints ($100) make things much worse. Not sure about you but once I get to 3 $digits, there's an approval step required by my internal auditor even if it's just a "sticker price" that will be talked down.
I tend to avoid these situations by all means possible, even if it means taking a less efficient route to my destination.
I eventually worked out that if they were exploiting basic decency and human contact, that's fine. I'll smile and wave, even reciprocate compliments creatively, and then walk past.
It reminds me of this olde English phrase, "If they pay a penie or two pence more for the reddinesse of them..let them looke to that, a foole and his money is soone parted."
Live by that advice and you will always be free to walk away and think about it.
The kiosk phenomenon also makes the entire mall experience extremely unpleasant for me.
Actually works really well. But damn do they have the tactics down.
The only difference was that my salesman was in fact a woman, a very good looking and flirty woman. At the end of the day I didn't buy anything and I could feel her hatred towards me. Left a bitter taste in my mouth.