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Misleading Sales Pitch

You are observing a meeting between Milhouse (one of your co-workers) and a salesman who is trying to sell an additional part to a machine that your company recently purchased. The salesman is well into his routine, and has already gotten your co-worker to admit that a quality product is of utmost importance to the future of the company. The salesman approaches the topic of price with great skill. "Although this investment may seem substantial at first glance," he admits, "with our extended payment plan, this part will cost you less than 40 cents a day. Why, that's less than a can of soda! Wouldn't you say the future success of your organization is worth more than a daily can of soda?" Having never thought of it in just that way, Milhouse decides to purchase the part. (Working Psychology, 2003).

In order to prepare for future situations in which you have to make decisions such as these you go back to your office to evaluate the decision and in particular to do the following:

- Identify how Milhouse "framed" his decision.
- Explain how an alternative "frame" could have resulted in a different decision outcome. What factors would led to an alternative framework?
- What are the implications of "framing" on our judgments and on our attempts to influence others? Are there moral considerations? Why or why not?

Solution Preview

Identify how Milhouse "framed" his decision.

The frame is a conceptual structure involved in thinking. Milhouse has been able to frame his decision as one that will ensure the future success of his company. Milhouse has admitted that his company needs excellent products to ensure that his company's future is successful. The company sales man has also framed the price of the additional part as costing less than 40 cents a day under the extended payment plan. In the mind of Milhouse this price has been framed as negligible and so acceptable as a cost of ensuring excellent quality products and the future of the company. Milhouse has been led to develop this frame by the salesman. The final frame in the mind of Milhouse is that the purchase of the additional part for the ...

Solution Summary

In about 525 words, this solution describes an external sales person's influence on Milhouse and his decision to purchase the offered product. It also explores how an incorrect purchase of a machine could adversely affect the company's future.

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