A few days ago I did a blog saying ‘how to buy a financial product’ – now I am telling you why you bought it…well see if you can see the symptoms. When I say he, it includes she – so in this story when I say ‘he the client’ and ‘she the beautiful sales person’ , you need to switch genders. If you are a girl reading this, well the salesman becomes a ‘handsome man’. Other than that both genders show similar buying patterns. Sometimes women seem smarter, and sometimes men. Sadly in India there is not enough psychological buying research….

So here are the reasons:

1. You are a middle aged man and the girl who came to sell to you was good looking, young, well dressed and liberally perfumed: Well physically speaking, the sale happened in your mind the minute she stepped into the room that you were sitting and she smiled! So what she say did not really matter too much – all that you had read, understood, applauded, liked on FB, heard somewhere was ALL LOST immediately.

You could not look stupid in front of such an attractive sales person, could you?

You had to buy that complicated sounding leveraged derivative product which was tracking the Japanese yen vs US $ reverse……OMG now you wonder what you bought…!

2. Because they gave you food: A big nice foreign bank invited you to lunch and made the sales presentation over lunch. Half the sales was done by the nice sumptuous food that you were busy eating. You may not know, but food is a strong player when it comes to hormones of your body – and it had played a nice role in pushing you into action.

3. Because she repeated what you said: ‘I am worried about my retirement’ is what you said and she said…’yes sir I heard you saying ‘I am worried about your retirement’ and I have a perfect solution to end all your worries. – when somebody agrees with us, we are thrilled. So thrilled that we think she agrees with us. Of course even if you had said Brian Lara is the greatest right hand fast bowler she would have gushed ‘Sir you are so well informed about cricket’ – that is what she is programmed to say IMMATERIAL OF WHAT YOU SAY…

4. Because she said this product has one defect: When a salesperson tells you ‘Sir this is a great product – but it has one defect – it pays ONLY 13% p.a. unlike other products which pay 15%p.a. So suddenly she is convinced YOU that this product has a defect AND SHE IS UPFRONT IN TELLING YOU THAT. What better way to win your confidence than telling you that the product has a defect. Now you are so impressed with her HONESTY also. Brilliant girl, she has completely won you over. Set game and match?

5. Because she was excellently trained in picking ‘buy’ signals: As soon as she entered your house your wife said you have a long portfolio which she does not understand. From that moment she pitched simple products, easy to understand, easy to track, and hey NOT A ULIP. Your previous 3 buys where ulips where you lost a lot of money…so now she tells you ‘this is not a ulip’ . Your wife is excited and says ‘see Subramoney also says we should not buy a ULIP…so we are right.

When I say ‘do not buy ulips’ – i do not mean that Endowment plans are better than ULIPs. I just meant (read my lips) say NO TO ULIPS. I actually mean say no to endowment. Say yes only to simple term insurance bought on the net…..


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  1. Excellent subra,articles like this help us be cautious time to time,it is a normal tendency of human to be complacent, ignorant, towards decisions we make, thanks for such articles,
    An avid reader of your blog for the last 4 years

  2. I’ve seen bank and broker relationship managers change colors better than chameleons to suit the situation:
    One set of guys started with doing a complete financial planning for me free of charge as a relationship manager, but halfway through the ‘plan’, the ‘solution’ to all my requirements became a 2 lakh per annum ULIP!
    Another guy *started* with a ULIP and asked me to go for the ‘protector’ plan (whose declared returns by the way was worse than 4% p.a.) Then he realized I was not falling for it, switched tack, asked me to start a SIP in a debt mutual fund which was in NFO at the time. Finally when I didn’t yield even to that, started peddling a term plan (thank God for that atleast) that was more than twice as expensive as its online equivalent.

    Nowadays, whenever these ‘relationship managers’ call up asking to ‘just meet me and get to know’ me, I flatly say that I’m unavailable for such meetings, and ask them to send any offer via e-mail.

  3. Brilliant article. You touched the nerve of all readers. Anyone calls up, I have learnt to say ‘no’ to the meetings but ask to send info by mail. Recently one of the LIC advisor called me several times for meeting but I refused. Says he wants to present the facts to the family members and I knew that he is going to play psychological game of ‘what if some things happens’ which brings immediate shock to family members.

    Irrespective of gender, age, education and appearance, I can not see myself disappointing others face to face. I avoid meetings and deals through mails or phone.

    I don’t think terminology of ‘right hand fast blower’ is used in cricket. It is ‘right arm fast blower’.

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