Sales People

People have a common dislike for telemarketers. They call you on the phone when you don’t quite have the time to talk to them, and they try to sell you something you’re not interested in. Most people I know don’t have the patience to entertain these calls and try to end it at the beginning. I don’t have the time for them either.

However telemarketers aren’t the worst of the lot. What’s worse than telemarketers, whom you can simply cut off in mid-sentence with a “I’m not interested” or “I’m bankrupt” (a friend tried this and he never got telemarketers calls again), are media sales people.

Today just as I was about to leave the office, the phone rang and I instinctively picked up the call even though it was after hours. A man called to ask if I were interested in buy advertising space in his magazine.

Then he launched into his sales pitch about how great his magazine was, which I’m sure it is. However his magazine, according to him, targeted Individuals of High Net Worth. He extolled on the benefits of advertising with his publication, that his magazine was distributed at first class lounges and private airports. Wouldn’t I like to advertise for a few thousand pounds which he’s pretty sure we had the budget for.

I explained to him that the product I represented was meant for mass market. Our target audience were the little people, not high net worth individuals. I thought if I were to explain the market segment I was after, I wouldn’t be wasting his time.

He then tried a different tactic and asked wouldn’t I want someone sitting in his private jet, reading the magazine, and coming across my product?

I gaped at the phone. I understand as a sales person you keep trying but that’s like saying “even rich people need to know which brand of toilet paper to use!” not that I’m selling toilet paper but you get my drift.

the phone call dragged on for another 10 minutes while he went on and on about how rich people really want to read about things that didn’t cost at least a million. Finally after repeating myself for the umpteenth time, he realised he was getting nowhere with me so he gave up.

The funny thing is that this is not the first time someone tried to sell me something without understanding my product. There’s this other lady who’s been pestering us for some time to advertise in her High Net Worth magazine even though I told her time and again rich people aren’t interested in our product. It’s like trying to sell Casio G-Shock to a billionaire. Yes a billionaire can wear a G-shock, he certainly can afford one, but I wouldn’t be spending my marketing moolas trying to get rich people to switch from Audemars Piguet to Casio.


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