I was in line for a sample sale on Fifth Avenue in New York. While I was waiting to get into the showroom, a woman came up to me and asked if she could talk to me about a new product. She began by holding a small purple bottle in her hand. She told me the company was launched a year ago and the founder was a modern day Carrie Bradshaw (Sex in the City). She pontificated about the founder's fashion background, her love of New York City and a desire to combine beauty products and fashion. As I listened I noticed the young woman was wearing shades and I couldn't see her eyes. This created a disconnect for me. Although it was sunny we were standing in the shade. I couldn't connect with her.
She talked about the product creams that were made from pearls and silk and were an all-in-one cosmetic. As the blathering continued, a mild ennui enveloped me. I wondered when she would get to the point. I didn't know what she wanted from me. Finally the verbal vomiting came to a halt. She asked "Would you like to be on our mailing list?" My knee jerk response? "No. Not without a sample."
She had to be kidding. What possible benefit could I derive from that offer? It wasn't even an offer. It was a taking.
So what was wrong with this presentation?
There was no connection. She should have removed her shades to make contact. We connect through the eyes. The presentation was speaker-centered- not listener-centered. Asking me a couple of questions about my skin care needs would have been a lot more effective. And she should have given out samples and then talked about results. At the very least, she could have opened the bottle she was holding and poured a few drops on my hand. This woman went on too long about the founder. Who cares? Do you buy Revlon because you like Charles Revson? If your goal is to build a database you need to entice people with an offer that they care about. There wasn't even a card with a website address.
I always say, "Life is a presentation and everyone is a public speaker." I guess the presenter forgot about that.