Tech Jargon Confusing People Into Buying

from the say-what? dept

Recently we wrote about a study saying that too much tech jargon was scaring off buyers and suggested that companies focuse more on benefits than jargon to attract customers. Well, as some pointed out at the time, tech jargon can be a two way street – often confusing the matter enough that clueless customers feel compelled to buy. In fact, a new study shows that more than one in four people surveyed admitted to buying the wrong product due to confusing jargon – and you have to wonder how many others in that situation wouldn’t even admit to it (or, even better, still haven’t realized they bought the wrong product). The question, then, is whether or not salespeople are purposely confusing the issue to try to trick people into buying, or if they just don’t realizing how confusing the jargon is. I’m guessing it’s a combination of both – with some cases being a situation where the sales person is covering up their own ignorance by throwing in jargon words to sound knowledgeable. What it all boils down to, however, is that (a) tech jargon isn’t going away and (b) buyers need to be skeptical of what they’re being told and should do their best to learn the basics of what they’re being sold from third parties before buying.

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Comments on “Tech Jargon Confusing People Into Buying”

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Chris O'Donnell (user link) says:

No Subject Given

As a salesperson in the tech industry, I will assure you that most salespeople selling technology are clueless. They are working off half memorized scripts the marketing department dumped on them along with a powerpoint deck. It’s a little better now because the downturn got rid of the worst cases, but way too many of salespeople get confused booting their laptop in the morning, and then 5 hours later they are pitching a $1 million dollar ERP solution to a CEO and CTO. It’s truly scary the way software (in particular) is bought and sold.

I, of course, am the exception 🙂

Psydr says:

No Joke

This really is a problem in the industry, especially at the retail level. Or, at least that is where I have the opportunity to observe it the most. I personally fear for those going in to such stores as CompUSA and BestBuy intent on purchasing a new computer (or nearly any electronic doodad for that matter). It truely amazes me to hear the “jargon” spewing from the mouths of those sales folks.
Just the other day I was in one of the forementioned stores doing a little laptop browsing (not that I’d ever purchase one there) and some poor lass was attempting to determine what laptop would best suit his needs. I heard him ask the sales guy what the difference was between an Athlon 2000+ and a P4 2Ghz. He couldn’t understand why a Athlon 2000+ only ran at 1.7Ghz (which is understandably confusing to the non-computer savy). What emerged from the sales guy’s mouth was not only wrong (way wrong) but caused further confusion for the buyer. Unfortunately, I’m not the type to chime in and correct, but I soooo wanted to… if not just for the poor buyer’s sake.
Escaping from the laptop department, I passed through the networking section only to overhear a guy ask, “will a wireless keyboard work with it (speaking of a D-Link wireless router)?” The salesperson said, “I’m not sure.” He then followed up that slice of genius by telling the buyer that his existing Linksys gear would not work with the D-Link router he was considering. He probably fooled the guy into purchasing a full set of D-Link gear. Whether it be to increase his commision or out of ignorance, I’ll never know. Again, I had to walk away.
Now this may have been a particularly bad day to walk through said store, and I hope that’s true, because I would like to believe I am being given pertinent information to my purchasing decisions when I ask a salesperson a question. However, at this point in my life I’m always sceptical.

Alex Moskalyuk (user link) says:

Yep, happens all the time

A 60-year-old lady I know signed up for digital photography classes and goes to local camera group meetings. At certain point she became obsessed with her computer not having FireWire supported internally, even though she doesn’t own a single FireWire device, and the images can be read from the CompactFlash card via a simple reader.

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