I remember saying that I have a great respect – or something like it – for salespeople, because I know that it’s not an easy job. And while I am in ‘sales’, it’s not the kind that earns a direct commission. It’s the kind where you hand me the money and I take it because I happen to have something that you happen to want.
The salesperson’s job that I don’t want is the one where you have to seek out an individual and convince him or her to buy what you’re selling because if you don’t make your quota this week there might be some kind of hell to pay.
And in this group, are the kinds of salespeople who make it difficult for the others who come behind them.
Take for instance the gentleman who keeps calling my office, introducing himself afresh every time and hurrying into his sales pitch before I can get a word in.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that this individual has called no less than ten times. From overseas. The very first time I listened politely as he told me his name, the company he was calling from and then asked to speak to the person who he figured could help him.
I entertained him as he told me exactly what he was selling. At the end of his half-minute spiel I informed him politely that I could not use any of his items. He seemed to take it well when he thanked me and we both rang off.
Little did I know that was just the first step in his game of “wear the person down”.
Because in his relentless pursuit of a sale, he called back the very next day trying to plug the very same thing. So I informed him (again politely), that he’s already called me, and no, I do not want what he has for sale. On the third call I asked him to hand me his list so that I could erase my name, myself.
That request fell on deaf ears because he called back yet again. This time, I summoned my inner troll and asked him to please stop calling my place because I didn’t like the way his job description seemed to have morphed from salesman to stalker.
A friend of mine has the same problem. Even though she’s informed the thorn in her side that the company is not interested, he keeps moving his own goal post. Don’t want this? How about that? Price too high? How about this one? These terms not agreeable? Tell me what you want. I’ll work with you.
Which makes my friend wonder whether the many-times-adjusted price is not the true value of the item and what should have been offered in the first place. It’s obvious that her salesperson wanted to close that deal by any means necessary, and wasn’t leaving until he got an embarrassing number of no’s for an answer.
My salesman and I continue to play phone tag. He calls and I hang up before he gets a chance to start in. Sometimes I allow him to begin and then I hang up mid-speech. Other times, I answer, put the phone down and let him talk, since it’s clear that it doesn’t seem to matter who is listening.
‘Cause he sure isn’t.