Do As I Say, Not As I Do

icon_936It has long been an accepted (widely-believed) axiom (rule; law) in the world of marketing (selling things to people) that you never ask people how much money they would pay to buy something. If you ask a group of consumers (buyers), “Would you pay $15 for this?” their answer may be “yes,” but when you actually try to sell it to them, they may not buy it.

Take (Consider; Think about) the example of concert (musical performances) tickets for famous rock stars and other singers. In many U.S. states, you can buy tickets for concerts through what is called a ticket broker, which is basically a company that buys tickets to concerts and sporting events and then resells them to people who want them but weren’t able to get tickets themselves. The price for these tickets can be very high.

For a recent concert by the singer Cher here in Los Angeles, one ticket broker was advertising (telling people they could buy) tickets for $385. Another was advertising the same kind of ticket for $409.

Which ticket would you buy?

Wait! Before you answer, here’s one other important piece of information: the ticket advertised for $385 has an additional (extra) charge you have to pay of $95.82 for a “service fee,” so the total cost of the ticket is $480.82. But you don’t learn about this until you have already started to buy the ticket online. The “real” price comes right before you enter in your credit card information on the website.

In comparison, the $409 ticket includes everything – there is no extra fee. You pay only $409. This is called “all-in pricing,” meaning the price includes everything, with no “surprises” when you go to pay.

Okay, now which one would you buy?

If you ask most people, they will tell you that “of course” they would buy the $409 ticket. But that’s not what actually happens. A lot of people will still buy the “$385” ticket, which actually costs a lot more.

You see, when you ask people if they want “all-in pricing,” almost everyone says “yes.” But when you then look to see what people actually do – in this case, which tickets people actually buy – it’s often the ticket which seems to have the lower price, even though in the end it is more expensive (costs more money).

There are a couple of possible reasons for this. First, people are used to “added fees” when buying tickets from ticket brokers, so even though one company may say that their price is “all inclusive” (includes all fees and taxes), people may not believe them.

Second, once you take the first step toward some goal (for example, clicking on the Buy button on a website), you are more likely to take the second step, and then the third, and so forth. Of course, you can stop at any time, and many of us do, but stopping means that we have to admit that we made a mistake to begin with, by taking the first step. We don’t like to admit we’re wrong, even if it costs us more money.

We have a saying in English, “Do as I say, not as I do,” meaning that you should follow my advice, do what I am telling you to do, and not what I actually do, since that may be very different.


Image credit: Ticket by Nick Levesque, The Noun Project

This entry was posted in Business. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Do As I Say, Not As I Do

  1. Dan says:

    I am not a big spender. Luckily not everyone is like me otherwise the world economy would be in a much worse state.

    To give you an example, I would NEVER spend 400 bucks for a concert. That’s crazy! 50 bucks is more than enough.

    This has nothing to do with the post, but I was reading that a Swiss bank has pleaded guilty to helping Americans evading taxes. Really!
    Now they have to pay 2.6 billion. Keep in mind that for a Swiss bank that is “pocket change”.

    My point is that Switzerland is known around the world as this “clean” country, right?………..


  2. Tania says:

    Talking about “Reaching a Milestone”…
    Yes, it is a special episode but in the same time it is and a difficult text. At least for me.
    There are a lot of “false friends” words.
    We use the word “dubious” as “dubios” for a suspect person.
    I just know the phrase “venture company”.
    And “prospects”…with the meaning of plans, hopes.
    We use the verb “to prospect” as “prospecta”: to prospect the market.
    And “auspicious”… we use the word “auspicii” as “circumstance”.
    And “grinding”…Oh!
    Grinding…I just know the verb “to grind” and “grinding machine”.
    I have had no idea about the meaning of this word as “tormenting” and many, many other meanings
    from my dictionary.
    We use the verb “admit” as “admit” with the same meaning.

    Thank you for the phrases: “to make it” and “at best”.

  3. Tania says:

    I have found the song “Just a Girl” with No Doubt band, singer Gwen Stefani.

    Maybe she is right, maybe not.

    “Don’t you think I know
    Exactly where I stand
    This world is forcing me
    To hold your hand.

    ‘Cause I’m just a girl
    Oh, don’t let me out of your sight
    I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite
    So don’t let me have any rights.”

    I think we have a lot of rights. We have to know using them in a proper way.

  4. Tania says:

    I like this topic on beard and mustache.
    Thanks to your information regarding the L.A. Facial Hair Society, I have understood
    why so many, many actors wear beards or facial hair. It is awesome.
    Yesterday, on TV, I saw a lot of cinema stars with beards at the Festival de Cannes 2014 in France.
    Even Brad Pitt, Clooney, Al Pacino with beards… and I didn’t know why.
    A symbol of sexual vitality or masculinity?
    Unfortunately they seem to be tired and not very young. Even untidy.
    Anyway, I don’t like the men with beard or facial hair.

  5. Fardowsa Dayib says:

    I liked this topic because it actually talks what most people do. I have a fold hand means that I am very hard on spending money. I can’t imagine how disappointed I would feel when I spend $500 on concert ticket when I know there are people dying for just hunger and bad whether due to sleep on the street. I really think before I spend money if something I need or want. If it is need I buy but if it’s want I like to donate instead. We really have to think the world is not just our live. There are people who might be our neighbor or live part in the world and don’t afford to buy food and missing the five of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It takes me to buy something especially online for several days because I get a lot of thoughts if this something I really need or what about I don’t like it when I received. This is different if I physically go to the mall for shopping as this gives me interest in buying a lot of things that I didn’t planned.

  6. Rina says:

    I think that these concert tickets are too expensive. Come on! 400 dollars for a ticket!!! There are no singers in the world that worth it=)))I would never pay more then 100 dollars for a concert.

  7. Tania says:

    As pupil at school, I liked the Geography course very much.
    But I have realized that I forgot quite a lot.
    It is a pleasure to listen to you talking about unknown places.
    And one of these unknown places to me is the Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve.
    I am happy that it is too hard to be reached it by the tourists. They can destroy everything.
    Can you imagine an endless lichen field so soft, so green, with small, small flowers…
    and after few years you can’t more find it?
    It was destroied by the tourists. I saw that.

  8. Tania says:

    Hi! I could understand and the distinction between park and preserve:
    sport hunting is prohibited in the park and permitted in the preserve.
    According to the Wikipedia, 3 674 009 ha of the park are designated as the largest single wilderness in the U.S.
    The park includes a large portion of the Saint Elias Mountains and the entire Wrangell range,
    one of the highest reliefs in the world.

    I think I have seen some movies with the action located in this mysterious and frightful area.
    This is its charm. Something untouched.

  9. emiliano says:

    Jeff, just the same saying we have here in Csstellano language.
    “Haz lo que yo digo y no lo que yo hago” but frequently it is
    joined to the priests when they are teaching or speeching from
    the pulpit in the church.
    Being young I have listened to priests speeching from the
    pulpit, but not now as they use to predicate staying up beside
    the altar looking at the people.
    To much money to assist a concert it is the same which artist
    could sing or play, but there are people who pay it or even more
    when they go to a football match or beisball final.
    Here in Spain no body knows how much money is being paid
    to be present at the final Europe Champions Cup between
    two football teams of MADRID, fist time in history
    two teams of the same city in the final Europe Cup, Real Madrid and
    Atletico de Madrid, next 25th of May in Lisbon.
    It is saying that in the web there are tickets sold by 2000 euros each,
    two tickets attached to a toy are published for 4000 euros, more than
    5000 dollars, but what it is sold it is the toy, or another simple thing
    as tickets are forbidden to sell.
    People from every country of the world, China, Japan, England or
    Germany are buying the toys with the tickets to go to Lisboa and
    watch the final match, just absolutely incredible.
    I agree with Fardowsa Dayib, never I would pay such amounts of money
    like 500 dollars or more to watch any kind of even.
    It doesn´t matter how much money I could have, it is against my
    own ethic.

    Thank you dear Jeff. emiliano

  10. Tania says:

    Hi! I have had no idea that the Saint Elias Mountains have their name translated in my language
    in my geographical atlas.
    Interesting. Saint Elias and his “the winged chariot” of fire and earth , bringing rain and thunders,
    is a prophet of the Bible or Old Testament.
    As Mount Wrangell is an active volcano (4 317 m) and the costal region is seismically active
    with frequent large earthquakes and permanent drizzle rain I think that it deserves its name : Saint Elias Park.

  11. Tania says:

    Hi! We have a very important and famous hospital by the name “Elias”.
    I now understand that in fact its name is “Saint Elias”.

  12. Tania says:

    Hi! We have adopted the same words with the same meanings:
    lichen, sub-alpin, alpin, tundra alpina.

  13. Aécio Flávio Perim says:

    You people are right. To spend money for impulse is not a good idea. Like Fardowsa says, better to be a fold hand and buy the things you really need. As to me, I am not just a fold hand, but I use to buy only the things I need and I ask for a lower price to everything before pay the money they ask to. They always ask more money than the thing is worth. So, you gotta ber careful.
    Aecio from Brazil

  14. Tania says:

    Hi! Thank you for the information about Charles Schultz and his Peanuts cartoon strip.
    I have not seen this comic strip, but I know the name of the dog, Snoopy.

  15. Tania says:

    Hi! Thank you for the explanation of the phrases: fringe benefits, benefits package, compensation package,
    I mean it, willy-nilly.

  16. Tania says:

    Hi! We can find at our bookshops the trilogy “Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins:
    – The Hunger Games;
    – Catching Fire;
    – Mockingjay.

  17. Tania says:

    Hi! We have ticket brokers reselling the tickets at a higher price for the concerts and sporting events,
    especially in my capital.
    A lot of great bands, famous singers, famous cinema stars come and in my country.
    And many sporting events in football with famous football teams from the world.
    But not more than $150 for a ticket, even for VIP.

  18. saris says:

    i need speak inglish

  19. Peter says:

    Hi chief,
    What a damage!!!
    Let me get it straight ! We r talking 4 big here , right ?
    U gotta be joking, dude !!
    4 hundred something for a concert ticket. It is roughly equal to 4 or more pay-day works. I , for one, never ever pay such an astronomical price for just a concert ticket unless the band or the solo singer sounds heavenly. I hear some groupies might go out of their way to pay such a steep price. Well , get that , I m not one of them. I ain’t nobody’s groupie . U know , everyday I work my a.s off to make ends meet. I don’t have any disposable income what so ever for such extravaganza ventures.
    No ! thank u. I rather stick to my royal friends ” utube ” to show the concert in full length a day or two after the actual concert went down.
    My beloved friend ” Utube” demands no money for its royal service. See ? I get to watch the concert at the comfort of my home while flopping on my sofa bed while stuffing my face with TV food and some assortment of munching , Plus , I m 4 hundreds and something richer. That is the kind of math Peter ( me) likes to do.
    Man , break down the price of ticket to half still I m not paying. Trust me , even wild horses could not drag me to such highfalutin concerts much less brokers unless they are willing to bring something to the negotiation rather bargain table that I could sink my teeth to it . U know , talk is cheap. It has to be something practical , a bonus of some kind, perhaps.
    Common guys , we don’t live in the cloud cuckoo land ; some of us have dependable to feed.
    To sum up , it ain’t me

    See ya

    Pete , a lad from Ontario ,Canada

  20. Betty says:

    Saris join Toastmasters International if there is one near where you.

    Lucy mention Toastmasters in one of the Learning Guides. I searched the Internet and found and join a local Toastmasters Club. Very pleased.

    Thank you again Lucy. I still owe you a drink.

    You can look up YouTube to see how some clubs run their meetings (like a classroom with some students presenting their homework to the whole class).

    Watch out some speeches that I found on YouTube are of very bad quality. Some are very good and worth watching again and again.

    Good luck!

  21. Betty says:

    Sorry mistake:

    Should be:

    Saris join Toastmasters International if there is a local Toastmasters International club near where you live.

  22. Peter says:

    Hi Betty,
    I did toastmaster stuff was back.
    U know it is not my thing
    To me , It is not that helpful
    U know , it is more of a listening than speaking
    U get to listen a whole lot more than u get to talk
    I personally weigh on speaking more than listening
    U wanna get a hang of a language , u should go out there and engage yourself with a slew of situations in which u can express yourself.
    I m not carzy about it
    I didn’t learn much participating
    I mean I didn’t take away much

  23. Peter says:

    Sorry a typo
    I meant
    A slew of situation


  24. Peter says:

    Sth totally off the subject
    I m just venting here
    I m soothing here
    I will explode if I don’t. I hold my tongue long enough.
    Enough is enough
    U know , I have a bone to pick with Toronto subway system. Basically , it sucks
    There is no frigging way one can rely in the system
    If you wanna keep an schedule or an appointment or sth
    U better think twice before hop on the subway :))
    U must leave your place at least one hour earlier as an anticipation for a wide range of subway failures ranging from emergency alarm activation to technical problem of some sorts.
    The subway gets stuck three or 4 times at least on the route u r taking.
    And God help you if your taking surface streets using the bus
    Man , they keep stalling like million times
    I m going to work today
    And I m on a shuttle bus to work, as I text
    Some part of The subway is shutdown due to track upgrade ( Air coding ) and the regular services presumes on Monday
    what else is new ?
    I presumably gonna be tardy today that it is gonna go
    Right out of my pay check
    You know the bus is inching forward and the bus stops are in every step of the way.

  25. emiliano says:

    Watching the TV to thousands and thousands of “Madrileños” that have gone to Lisbon (Portugal)
    to see the Final Europe´s Champions Cup.
    It is the first time that two teams of the “same city” in Europe are playing this Final Champions
    Cup, so yes, despite I don´t like football I am going to watch it all the evening and afterward
    the feast in Cibeles Circus (Real Madrid) or Neptuno Circus (Atletico de Madrid).

    All the news sport papers or tv. chanels are saying the same:

    Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will contest the first-ever meeting between two city rivals for
    the biggest prize in European club football on Saturday.
    The two teams from the Spanish capital have decamped to Lisbon for the UEFA Champions
    League final.

    My wish being born in Madrid?

    Well my heart is broken in two pieces but to say one: “Atletico de Madrid” that is closer to
    my heart but even the Atletico Stadium is close to my house at one side of Manzanares
    river, this club has been always near my feelings.


  26. Betty says:

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for sharing your experience of your Toastmastering journey.

    It is true that Toastmastering is not for everyone. It suits some people at some special moment of one’s life.

    When I first come back to Hong Kong, I was very afraid of getting out of the house. My speaking skill of both English and Chinese had gone downhill. I was desperate to halt the decline of my communication skill. So finding Toastmasters International was one of the best things I have done in my life. Thanks to Jeff and Lucy.

    The club I joined is very small and all club members are very busy. So, unlike some other clubs in which no one get a lot of chance to speak, my club offers me endless opportunity to speak. Also, since I love listening to other people speak, the club experience is perfect for me.

    Hey, Peter, you are good, you’re writing more now.

    You know we all love reading your stories. Please do tell us more about your life in Toronto, Canada.

    I hope to live long enough to visit Toronto one day.

    Best Regards

    Betty 🙂

  27. emiliano says:

    Betty, nice to see you here again.

    Would be you so kind as to tell us your experience in Toastmaster journey.

    Was it difficult for you to talk and dissert in public with the members?
    Do you need to have a high level of English?
    I´m thinking in going to one here in Madrid, but it is difficult for me to
    imagine what am I going to say or to dissert to these people that could
    be interesting for them to listen to.
    My level is not good enough, I think, and it seems like difficult that´s
    the idea of asking you for your living experience.
    As much as you could tell me the better to decide me on going or not.
    Today I have sent a mail to them after reading your post but be kind
    enough to let us know your remembering and what did you do or
    dissert about.

    Thank you dear Betty, as always you are really kind and nice.


  28. Betty says:

    Hi Emiliano

    You won’t believe how happy I was to read your post saying you are going to visit one of the Toastmasters club in Madrid.

    I firstly find out about it in one of the Learning Guides here by Jeff and Lucy.

    Lucy mentioned the name. Because I know Lucy won’t tell us bad thing, I searched the internet and found that we have Toastmasters International in Hong Kong.

    I emailed to about 6 to 8 clubs to say that I would attend as a guest.

    Some of them replied very quickly, some very slowly, but all said welcome. Some charge guest a small fee, some don’t charge at all.

    The first one I went to, the president and other members greeted me and chatted to me. One member was very kind and calm. He asked me who introduced me to them. I said no one introduced me, I learned English online and from the English Learning’s website’s learning guide I found out about Toastmasters and so I came to see what’s it like.

    He said, “You found us yourself? You are so clever!”.

    I stayed behind to have something to eat with one club after the meeting, I gripped the chance to ask one of the Assistant area governors about which club was more suitable for me.

    At first she told me to join one club in which one lady had joined for more than 40 years. I said I wanted to go to a club where I would have more time slots to do speeches. So she told me one club that almost all members were too busy with their work that no one fight for the time slots. I would have more opportunities there, she said.

    She was right. I am very pleased with her pick. I have done 11 speeches seriously plus some table topic speeches during these two years.

    Most Toastmasters clubs are made up of good people with enthusiasm to improve their English or even their mother tongue presentation skill, plus a good social circle.

    However, when I told my mentor when I first joined my club that all toastmasters were good people, she said, like any place, there were also bad people with bad intentions among toastmasters, although not prevalent, we need to be careful ourselves.

    People like you Emiliano and me will enjoy the education part of it more. We have to follow the guidance in the manual to learn about how to write and deliver good speeches. Step by step, we progress from Ice Break Speech to Inspirational speech.

    After the Inspirational Speech, you become a competent communicator, then you can start to do the speeches in the advance communicator manuals.

    In order to do my inspirational speech, I read and listened to Steve Jobs’s commencement address at Stanford University in 2005 many times and I quote part of his speech for my speech.

    If I didn’t have to do the speech, I would not pay much attention to the content and remember the words of Steve Jobs’ speech.

    I enjoy writing up speeches and I force myself to work harder. I have learned a lot in the process

    Some members in some clubs just use it as a way to improve their social life, never deliver any speech at all. Some members prefer to grip the chances to improve their management/leadership skills, which I am not at all interested in.

    By and large, Emiliano you need to visit at least 6 clubs to decide which club you like to start with. You can be a guest for many times and don’t join one. But if you want to enjoy it better, you should join one and then the club will welcome you and give you the rights that their members enjoy.

    You pay the membership fee for a year or some months, which is not expensive, depends on the club’s rule. If you don’t like it, simply stop going and don’t renew your membership. No one will come and bother you.

    In my experience, we are like students who respect what other classmates like to do and not do. We don’t disturb each other unnecessarily. However, we enjoy each other’s friendship and we help each other to progress.

    If you can afford it, you can join 10 clubs which will keep you occupied every night!

    One of the famous toastmasters in Hong Kong loved it so much that he joined ten clubs at one time.

    I have only joined one and I am busy enough. Everyone is different. Some joined the English Toastmasters in Hong Kong and decided it was too difficult for them. They then dropped the English club and joined the Cantonese Chinese Toastmasters club in Hong Kong and be very happy there. I want to improve my English so I will stay with this English one.

    Emiliano I am very happy to hear that you will try something you have never tried before.

    Steve Jobs wished “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish” to the Stanford University graduate in 2005. I wish that for you and myself.

    Good Luck.

    Best Regards

    Betty 🙂

  29. Betty says:

    Hi Emiliano,

    Sorry I made a mistake.

    It should be “Ice Breaker Speech”. Not “Ice Break Speech”.

    Also, we are not allowed to talk about politics, religion and sex.

    Sometimes I hear some people’s speech nearly break the rules and I was sure those people would not have a future in their Toastmastering journey.

    Best Regards

    Betty 🙂

  30. emiliano says:

    Betty, thank you so much for your note, it is clear now to me your good experience
    and I have been in touch with one of the two or three groups that are here in
    I would like to go, it is easy, but still thinking about it.

    Usually I don´t go out home at evenings, you know I don´t like to let Cuca alone
    so I would have to change my customes about the subject, even one day or
    two by week it is too much to leave her all the evening.

    My best dear Betty, and again THANK YOU.


Comments are closed.