There’s a farmer’s market just down the road from me every Saturday. I go there to pick up food for the week. It’s a bit pricier than Tesco’s but a lot of the stuff’s better quality, and even when it isn’t I don’t mind paying a premium to buy food that’s locally-grown.

It seems more than a bit ridiculous that food that was grown locally and driven 10 miles to market costs less than stuff flown in from Argentina, but that’s what you get with economies of scale and logisitics.

And as well as buying food, it also gives me a chance to check out the sales patter of the stall-holders.

One of the cheese stalls had a new guy manning it. He was good.

It starts simply, with the same entry point that every stall holder has grasped: the Free Sample.

Most samples are just left on a plate next to a hopeful-looking vendor, willing you to come and look with the power of a limp smile.

Not this guy. He called us out by name as we passed, chopping a lump of cheese off the block, skewering it with his knife and holding it out toward us, making it extremely hard to ignore. “You sir, you in the fantastic hat, try a free sample!”

Compliments don’t hurt, either.

While the first sample is being thoughtfully munched, he’s lining up the next, so there is absolutely no time between your swallowing the first mouthful and being offered another.

And then the same again, with the final block of cheese.

You’ve now accepted three things from him in quick succession, and it’s pretty hard to say no to the next request.

But his next request isn’t for a sale. It’s “So, what one did you like best?”

As soon as you pick one of the cheeses – and they’re all pretty good – that’s it. You just made a commitment. Your consistency responses kick in, and he knows they’ve just kicked in. So he starts rummaging through the packs of the cheese you’ve picked, hunting out the cheapest one. When he finds it: “How about that one?”

And you’re sold.

One thing he never does is ask you to buy anything.

You just do.

I did. And it is damn good cheese.