Coincidences can be used for a variety of purposes including making a sale. In this story, the salesman sought links of similarity with Diane as a way to establish connections in the hopes of increasing the possibility of a better deal for him and his company.
“Two summers ago, I was faced with the task of buying a new car. After a long, arduous search, I finally found the car I wanted at a local dealership in my city. The salesman was surprisingly wonderful. A retired school teacher who seemed forthright and honest. When all the preliminaries were done, I was passed along to the financing department. The fellow I met there was also quite pleasant. As he entered in my information, he asked me questions about my job, kids, etc., and we did seem to have a few things in common. For example, he lived in the county where I work, we both had a child in the second grade and also had a friend in common.
After each of these links were uncovered, he would note that it was a funny coincidence. When he was finished entering in my information into the system, he gave me a big smile, pushed a long form in front of me and said, “And now let’s talk about our extended warranty”. At that point, I felt as if he was trying to use the links we had in common to gain my trust and make an even bigger sale…”
Was Diane being a bit paranoid? She truly felt she was “being had”. Coincidences do draw people together. When they are sought or manufactured and money is about to change hands, it is better to pay more attention to the deal than to the coincidences.