Institute in Basic Life Principles

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How can I develop sales resistance?

How to Build Sales Resistance
avoid purchasing overpriced, overrated items

One key to living in financial freedom is the ability to make wise purchases. Consider the following points and ask good questions before you buy something; then you can avoid unwise spending and the regrets that usually follow foolish choices.

Expect salespeople to overrate their products.

A salesperson is trained to make sales. To be successful, he or she will point out the positive features of a product and minimize or ignore its negative features. Most customers can be swept into a purchase easily if they do not objectively compare the product to other items on the market.

The salesperson might make broad claims, and you need to determine if those claims are true or not. Many sales associates will pressure you to buy immediately, but it is wise to postpone your purchase until you know all the details about the product. “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going” (Proverbs 14:15).

Ask wise questions before you buy.

  • Do I really need it?

    Wants and needs are often two separate things. Desires can lead you to make extravagant purchases when you actually can live with much less.

  • Am I buying more quality than I need?

    At times you definitely will need a top-quality item, but often a similar, less expensive product is adequate.

  • Does it do what it claims to do?

    Do not be deceived by false advertising. Check out the facts and inspect the product before you buy it.

  • Does the manufacturer stand behind its product?

    Find out about any warranties offered on the product.

  • Will it soon be outdated and therefore not useful?

    Fads are short-lived. Whenever possible, invest in high-quality, long-lasting, classic items that will not go out of style.

  • Does my potential use of the product justify this purchase?

    If you do not regularly use an item, think about renting what you need when you need it. Expensive tools and equipment can be rented for a fraction of the cost of purchasing the same item, and by renting you don’t have to worry about long-term storage. On the other hand, if you will frequently need this product, it may be more economical to purchase it.

  • Can I afford the upkeep of this product?

    Think about the time, money, and space required to maintain and store the product. Will the purchase of additional items (accessories, batteries, tools) be required?

  • Can I avoid unnecessary dealings with middlemen?

    Find out if you can save money by purchasing items directly from the manufacturer instead of going through a sales representative or retail establishment.

  • Will this purchase unite or divide my family?

    Can your family enjoy the item together, or will it lead you in different directions? If your spouse or children object to a purchase, listen to their perspective and work toward a solution. Carefully consider their counsel and cautions.

Learn to enjoy the possessions you have.

The goal of most advertising is to make consumers discontent with what they already have. Ads imply that an individual’s possessions are either inadequate or outdated—or both. Advertisers try to convince us that their products will bring us the happiness and success we are looking for. However, Jesus warned, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15).

Work hard and make purchases carefully. Appreciate the good things you possess. Recognize their value and take good care of them. Scripture warns, “The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious” (Proverbs 12:27).

Recognize the value of things that money can’t buy.

Life is more—far more—than the things we possess. Don’t underestimate the value of treasures that cannot be purchased, such as the ability to enjoy the splendor of God’s creation, fellowship with other people, and the ability to savor the depths of God’s Word. We can’t put a price on the value of a supportive family, a true friend, a cheerful giver, or a diligent worker. As you invest in these kinds of treasures, you’ll gain a greater sense of overall contentment.

Develop personal disciplines.

Scripture gives us this instruction: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31). Every aspect of our lives should be subject to direction from God’s Word. We must practice the disciplines prescribed there, so that we will bring glory to God.

As you renew your mind with Scripture (see Romans 12:1–2), you’ll gain insights that apply to your habits of eating, drinking, sleeping, speaking, thinking, giving, and more—even purchasing. These insights will increase your wisdom and your ability to exercise sales resistance so that you can be a good steward of your resources and your possessions.

Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content” (I Timothy 6:6–8).

This material was adapted from the Men’s Manual, Volume II, pages 111 and 137.

For Further Study

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