The Vacation Bathing Suit Revisited!

Last year I wrote a piece call Reverse Psychology and the Vacation Bathing Suit and people found it to be pretty funny. In fact, when I tell the story during training classes I always get quite a few laughs. I’ll leave it to you to read the post if you want but here’s the bottom line: I tricked my wife into buying the bathing suit I liked. I look at it this way; I’m the one who will be looking at it more than anyone else so I should have a strong vote. I got my way because I told her I didn’t like a particular swim suit knowing that would probably make her want the suit. It’s a husband-wife thing that guys will get for sure.

Well, not too long ago we (Jane and I along with Abigail and her friend) found ourselves in familiar territory once again. With just over a week to go before vacation we were at the mall when Jane announced, “I need a new swim suit for vacation.” My eyes lit up and the wheels started turning in my mind!
Immediately I said I was going to have to use double reverse psychology to get what I wanted. That was mostly to make Abigail laugh and throw Jane off the scent of the trail. But I did have a plan.
We got to the section of the store where the women’s bathing suits were and there wasn’t much of a selection, at least from a guy’s point of view. Mostly floral patterns and designs that looked like stuff your grandma wore when you were ten years old.
In psychology there’s something we call compare and contrast. Whatever you present first dramatically impacts what comes next. For example, a woman might think a certain guy is reasonably good looking…until Brad Pitt walks in the room. All of a sudden Mr. Reasonable becomes Mr. Undesirable when standing near Mr. Pitt.
Another example; you love your quaint little house with all its idiosyncrasies…until you go to the Parade of Homes and see what the Jones’ have. Now it’s a race to keep up with the Jones because your quaint home ain’t so quaint no more…by comparison.
You get the basic gist of compare and contrast and that became my angle with the help of my young accomplice. I told Abigail to go hold up some really bad suits so the ones I liked would look extra good by comparison. After seeing a few suits that might look good on her mother’s mother my choices looked pretty appealing to Jane. But the real test still remained – the dressing room mirror!
Jane took three suits in which was a good move on her part because it’s easy to compare three but get beyond that and it’s tough. Have only one and you won’t know if something might look better. Same goes for looking at just two swim suits. Think about it for a moment, most things are sold in threes: small, medium, large. If you’re at Starbucks it’s Tall, Grande or Venti. I’m a runner and running shoes always have a low end pair, medium and high priced shoes. Pay attention and you’ll be amazed.
So Jane tried on all three and I liked all of them. When she’d come out and ask my opinion of a particular suit I’d tell her I liked it. She accused me of playing mind games with her and said she didn’t know what to think. I did have one I liked most but I wouldn’t have been disappointed with any of them. It was like someone offering me a date with Miss Ohio, Miss California or Miss Texas – I might have a favorite but I’m going home happy no matter what. And so it was when we left the store.
So you might be wondering, where’s the picture? I did post a photo last time and got an email from Jane that read, “YOU MIGHT WANT TO ASK MY PERMISSION BEFORE POSTING MY PICTURE WEARING A BATHING SUIT ON TH INTERNET.” (Caps were her idea) Actually, she was good natured about it but I’m not about to press my luck. As you read this the family and I are enjoying a week’s vacation at Put in Bay and I’m enjoying Jane in her new swim suit. Life is good. ; )
My goal with this blog is to help you to learn to hear “Yes!” Become effective at using compare and contrast and you’ll be able to frame your persuasion appeal in a way that gives you the best chance of hearing that simple three letter word.
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.
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