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Customers puzzled by sales spin

Seven out of 10 customers are making bad purchases due to being overloaded with too much information from sales staff.

A report from Network Q reveals 72% of the public are being overwhelmed by sales jargon from retailers, both on and off the high street.

Out of the 1,000 consumers who took part in Network Q’s research, 36% openly admitted to not listening to professional sales advice because of all the information they have to remember.

Nearly a quarter of the working population often struggle to keep up with the terminology used by sales staff.

Only 2% of Brits recall all the information they are given 24 hours after a typical sales pitch, with 48% claiming to forget nearly all of the information they have heard.

Network Q said: “British businesses are in danger of driving Christmas shoppers away from the high street and onto the web as over 40% of British consumers admitted to being so overwhelmed with sales jargon that they now only purchase their goods online.”

The results of the report have also dispelled the myth that used-car salesmen are the kings of jargon. The mobile phone salesperson is seen as the worst offender of ‘information overload’, with 26% of consumers left feeling confused when leaving the premises followed by insurance reps (25%), mortgage advisors (18%), double glazing salesman (17%) and used-car salesmen (8%).

The report also discovered that consumers in Scotland take extra care when shopping:over a quarter of the Scots take a companion with them to help them understand sales talk.

Consumers in the North West are better at deciphering sales talk, with 44% stating they understood sales advice given to them straight away.

Consumers in the South West are the most cautious shoppers – over 60% of customers in the region have changed their minds about their purchases because they distrusted the sales person. Welsh consumers believe 56% of sales staff purposely confuse them into purchasing unfavourable deals.

The secret behind the perfect sales pitch, agreed by half of the public, was to allow customers to browse first, and then wait for the customer to approach a sales representative. However, a huge 26% preferred to be referred to a website.

Mike Brown, used vehicle sales, marketing and operations director at Network Q, said: “The report reveals that overwhelming customers with too much information is detrimental to the high street.

In response to the research, Network Q is launching an online guide with tips on ways consumers can improve their memory and make an informed purchasing decision. We want to offer peace of mind to all our customers.”

The Network Q guide is available to download from

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