Avoiding The Wrong Stories (video)

November 19, 2016

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(Video) A Story of a Prison Guard Turned Bidet Salesman

Can telling the wrong stories screw up your sale? Well sometimes. But it’s pretty rare. Check out this video to hear a classic tale about a salesman telling the wrong story at the wrong time.


Let’s talk about the dark side of storytelling and sales.

We’ve already talked about how powerful stories are as a tool of persuasion because they’re an immersive experience – they’re the original virtual reality.

A well-told story draws people into it, which is great if you’re trying to engage people, but the problem becomes – What happens when you tell a story that’s traumatizing or off-putting we’re just too much information ?

So several years ago I was shopping with some friends of mine who are building a house and they were shopping for bathroom fixtures. There was this big burly salesman and he had helped him pick out a bath and the sink.

As we were walking around my friend pointed to a bidet and he said “what’s that?” and the salesman said, “Oh that’s a bidet that would be very nice for your wife.”

My friend replied, “But I don’t understand. How do you use it? What sort of benefit is it to have one of these? And the salesman to his credit decided to tell a story.

Unfortunately, the story started like this he said, “You know ,I used to work in a prison system. It’s very hot in the prisons and I’m a big burly guy and I used a sweat a lot.”

Now at that point I decided to walk away from the conversation because I kind of knew what was coming up next and I didn’t want to hear it. But my friends weren’t so lucky .

The next time I bumped into them they were on their way out the store and they were white as ghosts. They were totally traumatized by this guy’s story. He had done a very good job in describing the potential benefits of the bidet but he lost the customer because his story was off-putting and as my friend’s wife said as we left the store ,, “I really didn’t need to know that guy had b**ls on his *ss!”