When I first presented STAND for the prevention of grooming behaviours in 2015, it was with the sole purpose of contributing to the prevention of Child Sexual Abuse. The intention was to raise awareness of how adults/parents are groomed in order to gain access to their child/children. I’d spotted a process I recognised whilst supporting an adult survivor of childhood abuse.

At the time, the NSPCC website had suggested  ‘Vulnerable’ children where at a much higher risk of Sexual Abuse; for example: disadvantaged, disabled, living in poverty etc. , although there was nothing on their website relating to grooming behaviours available at the time.

My logic was simple –  All children are vulnerable due to having limited choices!  and what I mean by that –  as adults; parents, step-parents, grandparents, teachers  – we often over rule children’s choices automatically, without even thinking about it… For example:

CHILD: “I don’t like sprouts”  ADULT; “Eat your Greens, they are good for you”

CHILD: “I don’t want to go to bed”, ADULT: “Its bedtime, you have an early start in the morning”

CHILD: “I don’t want to go swimming with uncle Bobby!!ADULT: “Don’t be silly, go fetch your swim kit”

Despite a the positive response from the Directors and various heads of departments, including the Home Office, the NSPCC decided not to run with STAND Grooming Behaviours in the end,  instead they focused on their PANTS campaign – teaching children to speak out if someone asks to look at their pants.  While I understood they had interested time and money into PANTS, and while I believe the campaign has its place, I have a number of concerns that I will share here; 

Firstly, I firmly believe it is not the responsibility of the child to protect themselves. Children MUST be allowed to be children and enjoy the innocence of childhood.

While I agree that we teaching children to be careful and responsible is  the right thing,  protecting children from sexual abuse is the role of the adults and therefore far more effort, time and money should be invested in training parents and caregivers. Agreeing that training such as STAND ‘contributes to the prevention of child sexual abuse’ and then not supporting it, is in my view, counter intuitive. All contributions to prevention of CSA should be encouraged! 

Secondly, A child’s brain is not fully developed until they reach their late teens. Therefore, Children have no comprehension of sexual abuse, and if someone asks to see their pants, they have no way of linking that behaviour to the horrific experience of sexual abuse that could potentially follow. What happens if the child gets it wrong? What if they miss the signs because they don’t know they are there? Let’s face it, adults rarely see it coming, how are innocent children expected to know? . What is the long term repercussions and a child’s mental health having learned about PANTS in infant school, but not recognising the importance of it should they then find themselves in that situation – guilt, self loathing, shame and blame, a life time of misery.  Unable to say anything because with hind sight, they believe they should have known better. This has the potential to create more vulnerable adults in my view. Finally, if a perpetrator is asking to look at a Childs pants, I worry they, and even their parents may have already been groomed, and therefore this isn’t exactly prevention in my view. Early intervention should be delivered by adults/parents/caregivers,  whose job it is to protect children, and who have been trained to spot the signs of grooming, and anything that can contribute to prevention should be encouraged, especially when its being offered for free – but that’s just my lived experience and professional opinion.]

Parents/Caregivers – are the first and often ONLY line of defense in protecting a child!

Yet it is often the case that the parent/s are targeted by the perpetrator first, as a means of gaining access to the child! Winning favour and gaining the trust of the adult protectors first – makes it much easier to get to a child.

While the over riding of our Children’s choices may be well intended, what happens when the choices we make for lead to adverse consequences for the child, or any individual concerned whose choices have been overruled? Often, there are clues in what isn’t being said if we choose to listen; (I don’t want to go swimming with uncle Bobby) for example!

When we press ahead without listening, over riding choices on auto pilot with the assumption that we know best or have all the answers – we are heading straight for trouble!

Exercising our ‘Right to Choose’ the things we believe to be right for ourselves, is incredibly important and must ALWAYS be protected.

Even as adults, we want to believe nothing bad could ever happen to us; bad things happen to others. We imagine we know what perpetrators of sexual abuse are likely to look like, or at least – we  imagine we will instinctively know if someone capable of such unthinkable behaviours are in our midst. Something in their appearance, the way they behave perhaps – we not be able to article it, but we are sure something would give them away and alert us, the responsible adult to the dangers – and we would take the appropriate action to protect those around us. It’s a belief that is unfounded of-course. Chances are, we wouldn’t have a clue, more often than not it is the last person we would ever imagine it to be.

So where do these ideas come from?

Well firstly, the way our brains work as demonstrated in the workshops with the exercise’ What’s in the Tin’?, (bottom up processing) – we are drawing on past experiences – filling in the blanks with what we assumes to be true given what we already know. When we see someone who in our past experience appears to be decent, honest, trustworthy, professional, reliable – our guard drops. When someone is wearing a uniform – Doctor, Nurse or Police officer –  the universal uniform of trust – we tend to trust upfront based on what we assume to be true. We imagine it’s someone else’s job to do the checking, and we trust given how important it is, that they will have done a thorough job.

Then, for some of us there will undoubtedly be the impact of Public information advertisements in the 70s and 80s that will have shaped the view of many parents, and grandparents warning us all about Stranger Danger. Screechy, jaws type music and terrifying images depicting sinister looking, white, middle aged men dressed in flasher Macs with glowing red eyes, frequenting kids playgrounds with pockets full of sweeties and the promise of viewing some puppies. These strange looking men were alleged to be found hiding in bushes or hanging around schools and parks, driving old cars with metal coat hangers used as make shift Ariel’s protruding from the bonnet. This may give the impression that perpetrators are at the poorer end of society, people who cannot afford to fix or buy cars. Images burned into our minds. No sight of celebrities, police officers, MP’s, Judges or priests – no mention of gender or race. Such is the power of the media, it had us all convinced we knew exactly who we were looking for, the suspects were obvious and stood out like a sore thumb – middle aged, white working class men.  In reality of-course, the majority of sexual crimes committed against children have always been committed by someone known to the child, Often its someone closer to home, often someone that we trust.

Lets consider vulnerable;

What is Vulnerability?

According to the Oxford Dictionary Vulnerability is someone who is

“In need of special care, support or protection because of age, disability or risk of abuse or neglect”

What makes any of us Vulnerable? (not an exhaustive list – feel free to add your own)


Temporary Health Issues –  Accident/Diagnosis/Hospitalization

Mental Health IssuesTrauma/Depression/Uncertainty

Learning Disabilities Considered incapable of making informed decisions

UnemploymentLoss of income/Purpose/Engagement

Uninformed – Incapable of making informed decisions

Naïve/Passive/Fearful/ Lacks confidence/ Easily manipulated, Coerced/Silenced

Permanent Health Issues – Deaf/Blind/Chronic Illness

Divorce/ Separation – Disconnection/Loneliness/Isolation/Alienation

Financial Difficulties/Poverty – Debt/Cause for worry & concern/Potential ruin/Homelessness

Grief/Bereavement – Loss of a loved one/Empty Nest Syndrome/Trauma

Previous Experience/Trauma – Grief/Loss/Domestic Violence/Poverty/Attempted Suicide/Depression/Criminality/Addiction/Accident/Illness

Abusive Environments – Domestic Violence/Bullying/Emotional, Physical, Sexual, Financial abuse/Oppression/

Age – Elderly, Young, Midlife Crisis, Menopause etc.

Hands up – Who considers themselves Vulnerable then?


We tend to consider ‘Vulnerable’ people as ‘them’ rather that as Us, especially true of those tasked with delivering healthcare services. It is vital we are able to recognise our own vulnerabilities if we want to be able to support others, because failing to recognise our own vulnerabilities, in itself, makes us vulnerable. All of us fit into at least one, if not several of these categories – ergo, All of us are vulnerable!

The importance of recognising our own vulnerabilities!

  • Failing to recognise our own vulnerabilities; makes us vulnerable!
  • We are all vulnerable, we live in a vulnerable world
  • Embracing our own vulnerabilities allows us to accept our own weaknesses and imperfections
  • Compassion and Care begins with self; one cannot truly care for others unless we care about ourselves

“Vulnerability is based in fear, shame, disconnection and worthlessness, 

Vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, creativity, love and belonging” (Brene Brown)

If we agree it is vulnerable people who are mainly targets of grooming behaviours, we must also accept that vulnerability is part of the human condition and we are all, each and every single one of us are vulnerable to have any chance of protecting ourselves and our children.

What might grooming look like? (stay with me on this, and I will take you through the invisible seduction in a way you would not expect)

The 5 Ps of Grooming

If you type the word ‘Grooming‘ into the Google search engine (which is how many people find their information these days) it will provide you with the following Oxford dictionary definition.

The ‘action’ by a paedophile of preparing a child for a meeting, especially via an internet chat room, with the intention of committing a sexual offence’
‘Online grooming has become a growing cause for concern’.
— Oxford Dictionary online

While there are a number of definitions of Grooming available online, I believe this one is particularly misleading. Not only paedophiles groom. Both adults and children
can be groomed. People groom people for a variety of reasons not only for committing a sexual offence.

For the purposes of clarity, We describe the act of grooming as follows:

“Grooming is a process of manipulating a person’s, Thoughts and Feelings, in order to secure an Action or Outcome that is advantageous to the Manipulator”.
— Deborah J Crozier


The 5 P’s of Grooming….

Who Grooms?

Q. Who Grooms, Who Manipulates?

1. People! All kinds of people, Irrespective of Gender, Age, Status, Race or Religion!

Examples of Grooming (not an exhaustive list):

Paedophiles grooming children – on or off-line

Exploitation/ Slavery

Drug Dealers/Sex Traffickers

Scams/Phishing (for financial gain)

Pursuing relationships for financial or sexual gain

Fake Workmen claims (financial gain) / Fake Holiday Lets (Financial gain)

2. Persona  (Presenting Best Self/ A Reflection of what you would like to see)

Something manipulators tend to have in common is Persona, which is what makes them difficult to spot. Let’s face it, most of us have a persona – presenting our ‘best selves to
the world whenever we need to.

“A Persona is a mask or façade, presented to satisfy the demands of a situation or environment, and not representing the inner personality of the individual – The Public image – Carl Jung

Most people have a persona, and are capable of presenting our ‘best selves to the world whenever we need to! Many of us were brought in an era that taught us not to express, but rather to suppress our emotions; children should be seen and not heard era/boys don’t cry,  don’t to wash our dirty linen in public – regardless of how we may be feeling underneath, we were taught ‘how bad it was to show emotion’. We weren’t taught how to deal with the emotions that were bubbling away underneath – stiff upper lip, was the order of the day – we have been conditioned to suppress,  smile and to just get on with it!

The birth of social media such as Facebook and Instagram, ushered in the influencers and the  new age of Persona, where incongruence is king; profiles and selfies that no way resemble the truth that is masked underneath. (Check out sliding scale of narcissistic traits in some of my other blog posts). 

We often hear Grooming referred to as a ‘Grooming Process’

What is a process?

According to the Oxford Dictionary online;

‘A process is a series of actions or steps taken to achieve a
particular outcome. A desired result.’

3. Process

Unlike the previous Oxford definition I gave about grooming, that suggests ‘ its the ‘action’ by a paedophile of preparing a child for a meeting’

A process is a Series of pre-determined Actions or Steps’! Pre-determined, as in Planned!

Why is this important to know? Because It provides the opportunity to consider what those actions or steps could look like.

We use processes all the time in our every day lives;  Making a cup of tea for example – Boil the kettle, put the teabag in the cup, add sugar, pour on the hot water, leave to mash, remove teabag, add milk. The result being a cup of tea! That’s a process.
We use processes in business every day to achieve results, make sales, earn money.

Let’s look at how a sales process might work to achieve a desired outcome.

Fig 1.

In Figure 1 we have a Sales process as frequently used by salespeople in the Motor Trade. There is nothing extraordinary about this particular process, you can witness this process being used in sales environments everywhere – if you’re familiar with sales, you may have used this or something very similar yourself – lets call this ‘a general sales process’.

There are other sales processes out there that are considered ‘unprofessional’; cold calling, pressure sales – i.e the Pendle system – often used to sell timeshare and in perpetuity agreements.  Auto-expo;  a cold calling system that uses subliminal messages in the script to try to manipulate customers into ‘come down, buy car – buy, buy, buy now!.

Incidentally, there is some troubling terminology used in the motor trade which may give an indiction of where and from whom the sales process originates.

“Lads, get out there, There are Victims on the pitch” Target, Mark! “I lifted his leg! – “I took her pants down” “I [financially] raped the customer” “Here comes a screamer – (a dissatisfied customer) Here comes a Sui (metaphorically waving a white flag of surrender), 

You may be pleased to know, that the general sales process we are focusing on, is just a straight forward, simple and professional sales process – nothing untoward.

Shaped like a a funnel; The name of the game is to take the customer through each of the six stages of the process from start to finish, without missing any of the stages out to ensure we achieve the desired result. Theoretically, the process should become easier as we go, once we have formed a relationship of sorts, at the start with the warm welcome.

1. Warm Welcome
2. Build Rapport
3. Qualification
4. Presentation
5. Negotiation
6. Close


I’d like you to Imagine this process as a corridor, each of the stages are open doors.
Your role as a salesperson is to guide your customer down through the corridor, closing each door as you go – thus keeping your customer in the process right to the very end, to ensure the desired result! In this case the desired result is to Close the deal which basically means you have the customers commitment, a deal is agreed!

Note, I have added exit routes in red at two stages of this process, this is to mark the areas where customers are most likely to leave the process Firstly, at the start, Warm Welcome;

Imagine you are out shopping on a Sunday and happen across a dealership selling
Ferrari’s. You wonder onto the forecourt for a closer look, with no intention of buying a
Ferrari any time soon (sadly),  when you spot a smart, wide smiling salesperson heading in your
general direction to help you. Immediately you raise your hand, ‘thank you but no thank
you, I’m just looking’ you say as you scurry off as fast as your feet can carry you –
petrified that you might end up with a £100,000 debt parked on your drive and so you
quickly leave by the exit, because you don’t trust yourself to say no!

The second exit route I have placed further down at Negotiation, because people tend to become a little bit twitchy when it comes to commitment, especially when agreeing to hand over any thing of value, especially their hard-earned

What is the purpose of using a Process in business? As you can see on the slide at Fig 1. its considered to be, professional, Good Customer Service, Promotes repeat business. A Process is thought to be Structured and Organised, Habit forming – in as much as once your sales team learn the process – practice makes perfect they get better at it and quicker, making more sales for the business! Its a tried and tested method  – we know for certain it works and achieves the desired results.

From a customers point of view; If executed correctly, it will have been a pleasant experience. The majority of dealerships and car manufacturers pride themselves of delivering not just ‘Good customer service, but Outstanding customer service’
Delivered professionally, the salesperson has been professional and friendly. It’s not only accepted today; it is also expected – you expect a certain level of service whenever you are spending your money. It hasn’t been broken down to the customer like I have broken it down for you here today, instead its been seamless and flowing – a coffee and a chat – ‘normal’, this is common place in our society!

Let’s take a closer look at the 6 stages of this process!

  1. What do we mean by Warm Welcome?

To Present our Best Self/Public Image – we are straight in with Persona
Most of us can present our best selves when we need to; First Dates, Job Interviews for example or times when we aren’t feeling great inside about a situation, but we smile on
the outside and pretend all is well!

2. What do we mean by Build Rapport?

Quite simply we mean -Gain Trust.

No one knowingly hands over anything of value, to someone they don’t trust – by building rapport we aim to build a relationship in order to gain a person’s trust.

3. What do we mean by Qualification?

To qualify means to Identify a customer’s ‘Wants & Needs’, ‘Hopes & Dreams’, It also means to identify any potential problems that could prevent us from moving
forward in the process – we refer to these potential problems – Pains & Weaknesses/Vulnerabilities!

    4. What do we mean by Presentation?

Based on the information provided by the customer we aim to present our best offer. An offer that is too good to refuse! Why? Because if the customer refuses it, we are not
going to get through the rest of the process to our desired result

    5. What do we mean by Negotiation?

We intend to overcome any obstacles and remove any doubts that our customer might have that could prevent us from moving forward in the process.

   6. What do we mean by Close?

By close we simply mean – gain commitment! We shake hands and the deal is done. Happy Days!

This completes the 6-stage process.

There is one thing above all else that makes this a pleasant experience for our customer! Choice.  Choice is what makes this a ‘pleasant experience’ for the customer.

Consider; If you are buying anything of value, A new or new to you car, a house, a holiday home, even a phone or a computer – it can be a huge financial commitment
that needs some serious consideration and plenty of information in order to make an informed decision. Before you commit, you are likely to want to do some
homework, read some reviews, compare the competition, weigh up the pro’s & cons of each choice, check your finances, be in agreement with your other half about size,
colour, make, cost, location, appearance etc and having completed all of that – only then are you like to arrive at a decision you will be comfortable with.

Exercising our Right to Choose what we believe is right for ourselves, is incredibly important and must always be protected.

What if it wasn’t your choice? I want you to consider the following scenario…


Consider the following scenario…

Our fictitious Customer, Sam walks into our fictitious dealership. Heading directly for the service reception desk, he books his car in – potentially for a service or an MOT. Having handed over his keys, he walks straight through the showroom and is standing outside, tapping away on his phone, potentially he is waiting for a lift.

Imagine this is a quiet day, with very few potential customers around and I am a sales-
person – what am I likely to do?

“Sam you say – okay and what is he here for? – an MOT – cool!
As a salesperson, I go outside with the intention of engaging Sam in conversation.
“Sam – how are you?
As you may know, most sales environments are target driven.

I am watching Sam’s reactions, does he smile, is he responding positively, does he
appear approachable, does he appear confused as though he isn’t sure who I am?
“What are you doing standing out here in the cold? Hey, we don’t like to see our good
customers left in the cold, come inside, let me get you a cuppa? ”

I am going to watch for Sam’s reactions – I will gently touch his arm to see and point
towards going inside – I know that if he’s follows, he’s comfortable wit me, I will take
him back inside, sit him down at my desk, get him a coffee and take him through the
process! However, should he pull away or not respond positively – I know that Sam’s
feeling uncomfortable, therefore it’s unlikely he trusts me” at which point I’ll say
something like ‘Suit yourself – just being social’ and I’ll walk away!

As a sales person, I am taught to live by the rule, ‘some will, some won’t, so what, move on!

What do you think? Is this me just being friendly? Am I being Manipulative? Or is it simply

Who knows best if Sam feels obligated to come inside for a coffee or not?

Who knows best if Sam is the sort of person to feel intimidated by someone as confident and as pushy as someone like me – the ficticous salesperson?

Of-course its Sam! Only Sam can truly know how he feels about it! How many people would feel obligated in a situation like this and just go along with it rather than saying what they truly feel? A lot will depend on Sam’s previous experiences in life;

If Sam is lacking in confidence, lacks boundaries, he may not feel able to say no even if he really wants to!
or if he has previously been bullied, he might feel intimidated by someone else’s apparent confidence.
Maybe if he has felt excluded in the past, the attention he’s receiving from the salesperson may stroke his ego, he may feel the salesperson really likes him and
really considers him a ‘good customer’ and therefore goes along with it because it makes him feel good about himself. The salesperson is only interested in obtaining the information they need to sell another car and reach their target.


Consider the following Scenario where ficticous customer Dawn becomes the Target


‘Dawn’s car has broken down for the third time in as many weeks, Dawn is something of a key-board warrior so she’s at home, ranting about it on her social media page.
Dawn’s previously liked & shared our page after entering our monthly ‘win a car’ competition online.

I’ve noticed Dawns post this morning– she’s furious about being stranded again and without her realizing it,

Dawn is waving a white flag in my general direction!

I’ve spotted it and therefore today Dawn has become my target!
There are no buying signals from Dawn, she isn’t even in the dealership. A quick look over her page tells US everything WE need to know about Dawn. We have
her details and so you ring her with every intention of inviting her down for a ‘coffee and chat’ – the call will go something like this.

Hello, is that Dawn?
Dawn, I’m really sorry to bother you – it’s not something I would normally do – my
names [insert your name]. I am the ‘CUSTOMER CARE’ manager at ‘[Dodgy Deals on Wheels for example]
I was just updating some details on our Social media page when I chanced upon your post – and Dawn, honestly – my heart goes out to you! The very same thing happened
to me last month – exactly the same thing – three times I was left stranded so, when I saw your post I was like, oh my God, you poor thing, I know exactly how rubbish that
feels, and so I just thought – you know, I’m in a position here to help, I thought I’d give you a quick call and see if I could invite you in for a coffee and a chat and see what I can
do to help you? Is that okay? You don’t mind? – that’s brilliant – okay – shall we say 2 o’clock – fab, Shall I send a car for you? Are you sure, it’s no bother? – okay – I look
forward to seeing you then Dawn!

‘In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity’ Look for the person with problem (not forgetting – we are all vulnerable!)

Why is our sales person taught to look for the person with a problem? In order to provide a solution of course!

Realistically there are only two ways we can get anyone to do something against their will.

  1. Force: We could hold a gun to Dawns head and demand her to sign the paperwork! This isn’t good for repeat business, and I probably should mention – its illegal which means there is a high risk of getting caught
  2. Communication: We can talk her into it! Let’s face it! As a salesperson, I’ve a proven track record in communication
    Communication is far more effective!
    Communication isn’t legal It’s incredibly difficult for someone to prove they were ‘talked’ into something – and whose going to admit to that?So, Option B. is the option we will choose! Remember, there have been no buying signals from Dawn, she hasn’t even stepped foot in the dealership yet, and from her social media post, she isn’t intent on buying
    another car as long as she lives – so how exactly to we hope to achieve this?

The Invisible Seduction

Hidden in plain sight, scattered in-between the 6 stages of the process are something we call The Invisible Seduction, which includes;

Sympathy and Empathy

“ My heart went out to you Dawn when I read your post, and honestly – the exact same thing happened to me, I know exactly how you feel”

Flattery and Praise

“You’ve got great taste Dawn; you obviously know what works – I mean, your car it might not actually start, but it’s a great colour isn’t it”


“You’re just like me Dawn, we are the same – not like those other women who come here are refuse to test drive – its great to see another woman who knows what she wants – we are in this together”


“Aye, don’t look now Dawn, but you see that guy there – he’s our business manager and he is an absolute sucker for Blondes – you’re in for the deal of the day, no joke”


” Between you and I” –  “Don’t tell him I told you, but his wife left him, he’s such a massive flirt”


Yes, Dawn I get that price is important to you but put let’s that aside for now, cost isn’t the most important thing here – choosing the right car should be your main

Hints of Intimidation/ Fear – (nothing to heavy or sinister at first– just suggestions)

“People around here know better than to mess with me Dawn! If I say we need this today – it will happen today – don’t you worry about that – I don’t tolerate any messing! no fear!


Gosh, is that the time?  – time flies when your having fun- although I wasn’t having fun this morning – I had a guy who took up like 2 hours of my time, gulped down 3 cups of our freshly made Free coffee – ended up being a total time-waster! Can I get you anything Dawn, another coffee perhaps?”

Pains & Weakness/ Vulnerabilities – using Dawns vulnerabilities against her to plant seeds of fear/doubt

“I bet your boss was livid that you couldn’t get into work again wasn’t he? – My boss probably didn’t say it directly but you just know they are thinking P45 don’t you! Don’t worry Dawn, it won’t come to that –  I’ll get it sorted out for you if its the last thing I do!”

Throughout the Invisible Seduction I am using everything about me;

Body Language
Mirroring Dawns Movements
Eye contact
Knowledge –lots of information/ not enough information – ‘If you can’t blind
them with brilliance, baffle them with bull*#$+
Perceived Trust – “Assuming you trust me Dawn”,
Perceived Sincerity – ‘Honestly Dawn, we’re pulling all the stops out for you today!
Confidence – I am confident, I am direct. I look and sound the part. I am surrounded by important looking people in suits, in a garage with millions of £ of
stock – everything about me is convincing
Humour – as and when required, I am funny, charming & likeable
Leverage – Free coffee, I’m going to do you a favour Dawn, don’t tell anyone, they’ll all want this kind of service! I’ll throw in some fuel

Good Cop/Bad Cop scenarios (Helpful, kind sales person/unhelpful, stressy sales manager etc.)

Significant Silences
Gaslighting – Twisted trusts – “Listen if you don’t feel you can trust me Dawn?”

Love Bombing – Warm Welcome!
Yes Tagging – “It’s a great colour isn’t Yeah? – It’s a great deal isn’t Yeah? Because
once we start saying yes, yes, yes – it’s difficult to say no!

Dawns Ego

Nodding dog – (nod your head as you are talking  and notice how many people in the room are also nodding along

Throughout this process I, (fictitious salesperson), am using everything about me – and more importantly, I am using everything about YOU Dawn to achieve my desired result.
My intention is to do everything in my power to keep Dawns attention focused.

I do not intend to let Dawn Stop and Think about this decision because stopping and thinking becomes dangerous territory for me. I will keep her talking, keep her in the
moment. Assuming I have done my job well, and trust me – I will have done, Dawn will leave our meeting feeling every bit as happy with the outcome as our
customers did. To the untrained eye, this has simply been a coffee and a conversation.

’I am however very aware, given the circumstances that when Dawn has had some time to think and reflect on the situation, there is the potential for ‘buyers remorse’.

Given time Dawn, may well realise that she did not intend to buy this vehicle. Potentially Dawn could become what is known as a ‘Screamer’. She may return in the days that follow to apprehensively inform the salesperson that, she didn’t intend signing up for a new car and maybe, she cannot afford it.

4. Perception  –  what can you be made to believe!


Most of us think with our eyes, we believe what we see. Our brains process information
by drawing on experience and filling in the blanks!  We make assumptions based on the information we have been given.

We tend to judge others based on what we consider to be right & wrong!

As a manipulator I do not only use everything about me, I use everything about you! (Your vulnerabilities)

If Dawn questions or complains, I simply remind her of Three little Facts!

  1. You are an Adult
  2. You walked in here of your own free will – no one held a gun to your head did they? Our T&Cs are clearly visible in our paperwork
  3. The responsibility is yours not mine!

These are three facts that Dawn cannot deny are true, which has the impact of making Dawn feel complicit!

She may sense that she has been mislead or duped in some way but Dawn has no evidence to support her theory. Instead, she must accept the facts being presented by
the manipulator; Dawn walked in of her own free will, she went along with the salesperson’s suggestions, over-riding any sense of doubt that she may have
experienced at the time . This leaves Dawn feeling completely responsible for what has happened – an excellent result for the manipulator who will reinforce this idea.

The salesperson using the 3 C’s of Manipulation has deliberately

Taken Control, with the aim to Confuse, with the sole intention to Compromising

Dawn has no solid proof of that any of this occurred and so the experience leaves Dawn feeling stupid, defenseless and vulnerable.

Our salesperson knows something Dawn doesn’t know …  to be continued in the Next blog post along with the last of the 5 Ps….

If you’d like to learn more about Grooming Behaviours, how to spot them and protect yourself against them, get in touch –info@apositivestart.org.uk 

In the meantime, pay close attention to how you feel.

Say No when you mean No and

STAND – Stop, Think, Act Never Doubt