Influencing Techniques are essential in life when dealing with friends and family but are also very useful in sales . Here is a short story about cheese from Dave Pope from Status4.

As with other market towns in the U.K. , Warwick has an ancient Saturday market where people buy and sell an array of goods. But there is only one stall that I am interested in on a Saturday morning. A stall that boasts one of the best sales people in the market. Yes , I am talking about the man that sells the cheese.

You see, there is something very special about the man that sells the cheese , something that draws you in and sends you away a little out of pocket but not disappointed with the experience.

We are of course talking about ” FREE CHEESE” , To mere mortals like you and I this is a weekly opportunity to get something for nothing – Or is it ? Because the man that sells the cheese , gives free cheese for a reason . Let me explain…..

When you decide to select a free piece of cheese using the cocktail stick provided , you are entering into an underworld of calculation , influence and persuasion. The person that sells cheese is a very skilled salesman as well as being a rather decent purveyor of cheese.
When you put that piece of delicious cheese in your mouth , keep your guard up!. Because it is common for the cheese seller to ask the question – ” How do you like my cheese? ” ( A classic test close )

With a great open question like that you have to give an answer and if you really like the cheese then you are on a slippery slope my friend. Because by saying something like ” Yes it’s lovely ” you are giving a massive buying signal that cannot be ignored. The man that sells the cheese will naturally follow up with ” Excellent , well today we have a special offer of £5.00 for two pieces , how many would you like ? ” (This is a classic scarcity tactic followed by an assumptive close )

And because you have had some free cheese , you naturally feel obliged to buy some cheese. Now not everyone will make a purchase, but the sales techniques used by the man that sells the cheese will dramatically increase their chances of securing a sale. If on the other hand you don’t like the cheese he will simply ask the question – “So what cheese do you like ? ”  and you know where that is going!

It really has nothing to do with cheese , it’s about thinking about the customer, being a little calculated and about how  you can improve your chances of gaining commitment.

So , next time you go for the free cheese , beware but please buy if you like it as a reward for someone thinking about how they can improve what they do and maximising their turnover.

Influencing Techniques are an essential part of the Status4 sales training programmes for the leisure and tourism industry so please get in touch to find out more. Call Dave Pope on 0778 6623304 or email


Influencing Techniques – The Power of Cheese

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