What Makes People Buy: Rejection
Many years ago, I was dating this lovely singer/actress; let’s call her Fedra because that’s her name. She asked me to come with her to an audition for this agency that was able to put you in commercials and what not.
So off we went and then waited 20 or so minutes in an airy NY loft converted into casual office space along with few other candidates and a constant stream of people walking in and out.
When we got there, the dude that was acting as a receptionist handed us -both of us- a clipboard with a basic job application type of deal attached to it.
I explained to him that I was there for moral support alone, but he acted very interested and was impressed with my artistic disposition, and after brief conversation he explained that they represent many musicians.
So I said to my self “what the fuck…can’t hurt none”. So I filled out the application.
Then our number was called
Few minutes later we –yes, both of us- were invited into the office and were warmly received by the agent who asked us to have a seat across her desk.
It seamed little weird to me that they were seeing two people at once but the receptionist explained to me that this was quicker and they have a lot of candidates.
Seamed like a reasonable explanation so there we were, sitting in the lady agent’s office.
After a brief introduction, what happened can only be described as a virtual kiss-ass session for Fedra and a total ripping-of-the-new-asshole for Dino.
The lady agent was very impressed with Fedra and apparently I was the worst thing she had ever laid her eyes on.
The lady agent concluded that they are not in the least interested in representing me, but they would be very interested in representing Fedra. All she has to do is come up with $800.00 for headshots and the portfolio that they put together.
I’m glad that’s over
Anyways, I walked out of there slightly dizzy and only years later was I able to explain what had happened. So here it is.
- The agency encouraged the candidates to bring friends along. After all, what do they have to lose?
- Once there, few factors were at play. The receptionist made it clear that they were busy. Remember when he said that “they have a lot of candidates?” Sure, there were few people there, but they weren’t THAT busy. However, it was important to appear busy because that makes them look like they are in demand.
In psychology, this is called Social Proof. I mean, why do people buy Coke, or iPhone? Because these products have Social Proof.
Because the agency was basically a scam (it was a way to generate revenue for their real business of charging for headshots), they knew they would be lucky if they got 50% of the candidates to pay the “entry” fee.
So how do you do that efficiently while appearing selective?
Figure out which come-along-friend is more interested, see both friends together and severely reject the one that’s less interested.
From the agencies perspective, they lose nothing while creating a strong sense of selectiveness in the candidate that they did “accept”.
This is an often used principle in commerce.
- All the douchebags on TV do it (Bill O’Reilly, Glen Beck, Sarah Palin, and so on.) And if you think that politics is not commerce than you don’t know shit about politics.
- Howard Stern is a very divisive individual, works for him.
- When Apple puts the cool-looking, young Mac dude against chubby, suit-wearing PC guy, they are asking you to pick a side and reject the other. Never mind the fact that both Mac and PC are just tools we use to get shit done and shouldn’t say anything about our personality.
So what makes people buy?
You’ll never appeal to all. So reject the ones that are not in your demographic and you appear authentic, selective and bold. Plus you create a strong sense of desire in the ones that you didn’t reject.
In case you were wondering, Fedra never forked over $800.00 for the headshots.
Word of warning.
You WILL appear like a giant asshole to most if you do this. So make sure the rejection is coming from a genuine place and it’s not a put on.
For example, when I use words like “asshole”, I am rejecting people who shy away from that kind of language. But that’s ok, since I don’t really want to talk to those judgmental pricks anyway and I don’t want them on my site or in my life.
Did I just judge people for not cussing? Yup..I think I just did lol
Go ahead. Reject someone in the comments section right now.
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