A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 25, 2015
“Confused people don’t buy” (marketing adage)

A marketing pitch should include important and accurate information, but it shouldn’t confuse potential buyers. “Confused people don’t buy” is a popular marketing adage of unknown authorship.

“He firmly believes that study models, X-rays and technical terms confuse the patient, and confused people don’t buy” was cited in Dental Economics in 1987 (if the Google Books date is accurate). The saying has become popular in the Internet age of the 2000s. “There is an old saying in sales: ‘Confused people don’t buy’” was cited again in Dental Economics in 2015.


Google Books
Dental Economics
Volume 77
1987
Pg. 208:
He firmly believes that study models, X-rays and technical terms confuse the patient, and confused people don’t buy.

My Marketing Message
Sunday, 22 May 2005
What to include? What to leave out?
Cutting through the clutter and actually getting your prospects to sit up and pay attention is no easy feat given the amount of information that’s thrown at us every day. When you swamp your prospects with unnecessary information it works against you: it clouds their minds and confuses them and confused people don’t buy.

Ezine @rticles
Are Your Customers Confused?
By Rick Parrott | Submitted On January 12, 2006
Does your website increase confusion or does it reduce confusion.

Remember confused people do not buy; they go looking for more information.

Google Books
What’s Your BQ?:
Learn How 35 Companies Add Customers, Subtract Competitors and Multiply Profits with Brand Quotient

By Sandra Sellani
El Monte, CA: W Business
2007
Pg. 51:
Sherwin Schwarz, producer of television shows like Gilligan’s Island and the Bradv Bunch, when asked why all of his television programs had theme songs that clearly outlined the premise of the show, said, “That’s easy...confused people don’t buy.”

Twitter
Peggie Arvidson
‏@pegkd
confused people don’t buy.  reminded of that as i peruse 308 choices from a brand new sushi, friedfood, “fushion” chinese place
11:32 AM - 19 Dec 2008

Google Books
Frank Bettger’s How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling:
A Modern-Day Interpretation of a Self-Help Classic

By Karen McCreadie
Oxford: Infinite Ideas Limited
2010
Pg. 39:
Advertising and selling that works both stick to one central idea or key issue and develop a case around that idea. Otherwise you risk confusing the prospect and confused people don’t buy any more readily than annoyed people do.

John Michael Morgan
Are You Confusing Your Customers?
April 22, 2010 by John Michael Morgan
(...)
Confused People Do NOT Buy!!!

If you confuse them any step of the way then you’ve lost them…probably for good.

Twitter
Katja Presnal
‏@skimbaco
“Confusion is among the worst marketing sins… confused people don’t buy. They move on.” comment by @juhotunkelo at http://goo.gl/fb/P3K0u
5:40 AM - 13 Nov 2010

Twitter
Deborah G. Riegel
‏@DeborahGRiegel
Want to lose your audience? Rattle off a bunch of incomprehensible formulas, esoteric data or jargon. Confused people don’t buy! #sales
7:31 AM - 6 Jun 2011

Google Books
Passion Into Profit:
How to Make Big Money From Who You Are and What You Know

By Andy Harrington
Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
2015
Pg. 176:
When it comes to a short presentation with a pitch, the biggest mistake that experts make s to drill down too deep into their content. If you do this in a short presentation, you will usually overwhelm or confuse people – and confused people do not buy.

Dental Ecpnomics
‘Wiggle words’ that kill case acceptance
June 25, 2015
Michael Kesner, DDS
(...)
Don’t you think this would make more sense? “You have some cavities between your teeth that need fillings.” If you confuse your patients by trying to teach them dentistry, they will often make no decision. There is an old saying in sales: “Confused people don’t buy.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Thursday, June 25, 2015 • Permalink