Thursday, December 24, 2009

Faking Confidence

At the Christmas party for Gary's job, one of the guys we were chatting with mentioned how it's important to sound like you know what you're talking about. Even if you don't.

I've heard the same thing from other salesmen: sound confident. It will instill confidence in your prospective buyer. If you sound confident, the sucker will do what you want him to do.


Gary and I did a little Christmas shopping on Tuesday night. We were trying to figure out exactly how the sizing on a particular item worked. When the label says it's thus-and-so big, exactly where on the item is it measured? Because it made a difference. I was digging in my purse for my trusty tape measure (a necessary item for those who shop at Goodwill and Salvation Army) when a saleslady came by. We asked; she told us the answer; we bought the gift. Came home and found out she was just talkin'. She didn't know. She was wrong. So I had to go back to the store and return the gift. The exchange was easy and there were no complaints from the store. But I had to go back.

Really, now, would our whole economy collapse if salesmen told the truth? Would it destroy their careers if they said, "I don't know; I'll have to find out for you"? (Who knows? Maybe it would!)

These incidents make me think I should trust no one's word, no matter how inconsequential the situation is. [sigh]


  1. Remember the Evil Job? When I was there they told me that if they heard me tell someone "I don't know," even if it was followed up with, "but let me find out for you," that I would be in serious trouble.

    The economy wouldn't collapse, but a lot of pointy-haired bosses think that it would...

  2. When I'm at Best Buy, I talk to the guys in the computer section. They always sound so very confident. Always. They always confidently tell me why I shouldn't buy what I want, but, oh look, here's a product that's just a wee bit more and so much better.

    And they're always dead wrong. But they just sound so much like they know what they're talking about!

    In Ft. Wayne, I even heard them lying to a lady and I couldn't help myself - I interrupted and explained that if she bought this other product, she'd have exactly what she wanted for much, much less. In fact, it would be better than what the salesman was trying to peddle to her.

    I got "politely" asked not to interfere in store sales or I would have to leave...

  3. Remember when David worked at Adolph's in high school? I wonder how many people he snowed with his knowledge of home improvements. At True Value he attended schools on various items - but Adolph's was another whole story!!!