The tall, dark haired salesman greeted us and proceeded to erode our trust and slam the door on us ever buying from that location.
Here is the gist of what happened.
Me: “How much for internet access for a laptop with no cell phone plan?”
Salesman: “We are cheaper than XYZ and ABC…”
My thoughts: Thanks for mentioning which companies have this service. I’ll check them out.
Me: “I am concerned whether there is coverage in our area. I have had your company before and we would celebrate if we even got one bar in our house.”
Salesman: “Look at this map. If it shows coverage for your area, then you’ll have coverage.”
Me: “I have had your company and it clearly showed coverage but half the time my cell phone was only good for a paper weight.” (No, I did not say that last part, but wished I had thought of it. 🙂 )
Salesman: “If the map shows coverage, then you have coverage.”
Me: “That has not been my experience.”
Salesman: “You can try it for 14 days and bring the laptop card back and receive a full refund. It won’t cost you anything.”
The Second Salesman: (Standing close by) “Actually, there will be a $14.95 restocking fee.”
Salesman: (Says nothing as he grabs the laptop card from the case.)
Salesman: If you buy today, I’ll wave the normal $50 signup fee. This deal is good only for today.
My mind: I see no signs talking about this special. This must be a classic sales ploy.
Me: Sorry. Not interested. (We walk away.)
I chuckled to my wife and said, “I know for a fact he was not honest several times. I wonder how truthful he was with everything else he said.”
There is a good lesson here for public speakers and communicators. This guy made three mistakes.
3 Public Speaking Mistakes to Avoid
Mistake #1: He distracted us from the message.
By starting off talking about his competitors, he took attention away from his product. When speaking there are many great jokes and stories we can use. However, some may be distraction and not help us reach our communication goal.
Mistake #2: He sought to convice me without proof.
He wanted me to believe we had service with his map. That map had as much credibility to me as a forwarded email.
Do you have good sources of proof to back up your points?
Mistake #3: He was dishonest.
He lied to us about there not being a fee for returning the laptop card. To create urgency he insisted that this deal was only good today. Due to their being a lack of an official sale, this was likely not true.
Because of these known untruths, I was not sure what else to believe from him
Same thing happens to us as speakers.
One afternoon I heard an excellent speaker with compelling content share a humorous story that he said happened to him. It was great and really drove the point home.
Problem? I have seen that story several times on email and joke boards. He took a story and said it happened to him when it was just a generic joke.
After that I kept wondering which of his stories were really true. Be honest and it will boost your credibility.
The salesman forever lost our business and completely shot his credibility. We can learn from his mistakes.