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Charisma and character

Recently, my parents were looking to purchase something. And the salesmanship they observed in the person trying to make the sale was fantastic. The product was talked up, a lot of hypotheticals were portrayed to make a convincing case, and the courtship was at a high in order to elicit a purchase.

However, when they actually interacted with the product, it was quite underwhelming. A lot of the talk by the salesman appeared to be just that, talk. And the reality was far from what had been originally promised. 

So, they wisely decided to not go through with the purchase.

We often encounter this in the products we come across. Flashy advertising and a highly optimized sales funnel that leads to a neglected post-sale experience. I've seen this in products ranging from banking and real estate to subscription based apps and restaurants.

This is why customer reviews became so powerful. If a product on Amazon or a restaurant on Tripadvisor / Zomato / Yelp or a hotel on / Airbnb don't have great reviews, the number of customers that purchase them drops down drastically. 

This is because customer reviews acts as a reality check on the salesmanship, advertising and pre-purchase promises made. The wider the gap, the poorer the reviews. 

This dual nature is evident in people too, and is reflected by their charisma and their character. 

The charming person that can become friends with anyone they come across is rich in charisma. But, the reality check of whether they can hold up to the first impression they make is a test of their character. 

We tend to value charisma for it's presence and character only in it's absence. Perhaps, we ought to start valuing character for it's presence too.

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