Unlimited Data Can Be Confusing

If I were to walk up to you and ask you to explain your cell phone plan to me, that would be relatively easy, right? You have three phones, two of which are smart phones so you pay an upcharge of $XX, and you get 4GB of data each month (you usually use just over 2 GB except for those months when you have to take your car into the shop, and they don’t have free WiFi so you end up using a boatload of data playing Candy Crush and watching videos on YouTube): all of this costs you $XXX/month. Easy enough.

However, if I asked you to explain how you arrived at that particular plan, there’s a 95% chance you’ll just shrug your shoulders and say, “I honestly can’t remember. It’s all a blur now.” Why is that? There are two parts to that answer.

The first part is relatively simple to explain: it’s something you see every month and doesn’t change – you’ve become used to seeing it arrive in your mailbox or inbox, and unless there’s a drastic change in the monthly price you’re accustomed to paying, you don’t give it another look. Am I right? Now for the second part of the reason.

When you originally walked into the store (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.) to get your phones and their accompanying plan, you’re immediately “greeted” by a plethora of shiny gadgets (phones that can slice, dice, julienne, AND solve quadratic equations) and a man or woman wearing an ill-fitting polo shirt who stares directly into your eyes so intently you’d swear they can see your soul, and they won’t look away. You’re on sensory overload, and you’re not sure where to look: all this beautiful technology all around you but this sales person with the tractor-beam eyes. Help! While you start salivating over a particular phone (which Mr./Ms. Bad Polo IMMEDIATELY picks up on like a shark sensing blood in the water), the sales person is showing you algorithms and flow charts that only rocket scientists at JPL could have produced to demonstrate each monthly phone plan. Before your head explodes, you ask, “Just tell me: how much?”, and Polo has you! Like a WWII fighter pilot who paints a small version of the enemy’s flag on the fuselage of his plane for each “kill”, these sales people, while they’re retrieving your phones from the back, lift up their shirts and tattoo another stick figure on their backs to represent another “sucker sold”. I wouldn’t be surprised if they used their own blood as the ink for the tattoo – these folks are ruthless!

With that said, though, if you’ve ever had a real estate/mortgage experience similar to the cell phone plan experience, I apologize on behalf of all the good people in the industry. Yes, we’re in this to make money and feed our families, without a doubt. However, our job, first and foremost, is to educate and explain (without using complicated algorithms and flow charts) so the client can make an informed decision – the client should never feel pressured into a transaction, no matter how much they want that shiny house. If we’ve done our job correctly, the client can easily explain the reason they chose our plan over someone else’s – and it’s an added bonus if they can remember whether the shirt we were wearing fit properly.

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