When was the last time you saw some type of sales ad? It’s hard to go 5 minutes without being bombarded by some sales pitch. After hearing them for a while, patterns start to show up. For example, the ads almost always tell you to “Act Now!”
It should come as no surprise this is a major marketing strategy. In fact, one article entitled, “10 Ways to Get Customers to Buy Now” by April Duncan details out the ways they try to draw us in (The Balance). I am sure you will recognize most of them:
- Give a deadline for ordering.
- Warn customers of a price increase.
- Establish a trial/introductory period.
- Offer a free gift.
- Offer a “No risk” or “Risk-free” trial.
- Let people know it’s “Not available in stores.”
- Offer a genuinely free upgrade
- Hand out free supplies and accessories.
- Use powerful action phrases (Call now. Toll-free. 24 hours a day).
- Avoid passive phrases (e.g. Call us when you’re ready to order).
The question is, why do salespeople so badly want buyers to act immediately? To put it simply, they don’t want us to think too much about it. They are looking to induce an emotional response. They want us to do it right away without careful consideration about our finances, about if we really need it, and if this is really a quality product. Unfortunately, this strategy often works on people.
Perhaps the saddest thing about this sales technique is that even Satan uses it to sell sin. Think about it. Satan quickly bombarded Eve with reasons why she should eat the fruit (Genesis 3:1-7). Satan tempted Jesus and asked for an immediate response (Matthew 4:1-11). We are susceptible to sin when we don’t carefully consider it.
One of our greatest defenses against sin is to simply think about it. This is exactly why many passages that encourage us to be sensible (Titus 1:8, 11-12; 2:2, 5-6; Proverbs 14:8, 15, 18; etc). Living sensibly is about thinking things through and being rational about our decisions. If we do not think things through then we will be much more likely to fall into sin.
We don’t usually need to “act now.” So, whether it is in regards to sales pitches, our finances, sin, or anything else, let’s make sure we think carefully about the decisions we make.