Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sell! Sell! Sell!

I think I've mentioned it earlier, but if you encounter me in business I'm generally a pretty nice and mellow fellow, especially downwards and sidewards since I usually save my aggressive behaviour for local and international management upwards, when required, to stop the worst insanity. There is also one more exception and that is if you are trying to sell me something that I don't particularly want and have difficulties understanding that I don't want the product or service in question.

As I was sitting peacefully at my desk earlier today I received a phonecall from a sales rep (non-Japanese I should add for the sake of it) who worked for the Japanese branch of a software firm who license a certain software that I use in very moderate amounts. The software is useful but I was given the software license by people in head office since I could use it to support some of my colleagues in Germany with things that I could do much easier from Japan so it's nothing that I particularly care much about one way or the other. Unfortunately, during a sales call to another colleague of mine, this rep had gotten word that I was using the software in question and that I did not have a license from the Japanese subsidiary.

The call went something like this:
Rep: (Cheery in a telemarketing sales reppy way) So, I heard that you are using this software, but unfortunately you need the license from our local office, but no worries, we can set this up quickly and easy for you!

Mr. Salaryman: (puzzled) Oh? Well, I had no idea and it's not really a software that I use much, I just have it to support some colleagues at our site in Germany...

Rep: (Still cheery in a telemarketing sales reppy way) Well, we can make it much more useful for you at a very reasonable price and open up many more possibilities.

Mr. Salaryman: (bored) Fine, send me a quote for what I use now and I'll send that to my colleagues and they can take a look at it, I'm not gonna pay for it out of my budget

Rep: (Still cheery...) Sure sure sure, I'll send it out immediately and will call you back in a little bit to see what you think

Almost immediately I get a mail with a pretty substiantial quote and some "value adding" functions as suggestions that I couldn't really care less about. I contacted my colleague in Germany and told him of this call and he laughed and said that the contract is not regional so he's not gonna do anything and that I should continue using the soft and refer the rep to the German branch of his company if he had any problems with it.

Soon after the rep calls again:
Rep: (Cheery in a telemarketing sales reppy way) Well, hello again Mr. Salaryman, did you have a chance to take a look at the offer I sent you with the very large discounts since I fully understand your situation (it should be noted that the quote he had given me was four times the size of that they paid in Europe for one license)

Mr. Salaryman: (Mildly amused) Yes, I spoke to my colleage in head office and he said that the license is not regional and that he will not remove my license, I don't really care one way or another personally

Rep: (getting kinda "concerned cheery" in a telemarketing sales reppy way) Oh, then they must've misunderstood the license agreement because it's regional you see

Mr. Salaryman: (slightly assholish) Yeah, well, you see, I don't really care, I haven't seen the contract they have in head office but they're telling me I'm covered in it

Rep: (more concern and less cheeriness) Well, they're wrong, so as a next step you will contact my company in Germany and confirm that you are not included in the license?

Mr. Salaryman: (gleefully assholish) No I won't, if you want to, you can contact your local German branch and discuss with my colleagues there, I don't care either way, I won't pay for the license in any case because I don't need it for my work

Rep: (considerably off balance) Oh... Ok (regaining composure quickly) so I might do that and I will get back to you later on so we can discuss further when this is sorted out

Mr. Salaryman: (bored) How about that you don't contact me? I'm not gonna pay for this, the license can be removed, but I'm not gonna pay for the license so you need to talk to my colleagues in German

Rep: (mildly cheery again) Ok, will do, let's keep in touch!

Mr. Salaryman: (friendly) Yeah... no need to keep in touch, I'll contact you if I need to but don't think so, have a good day

Ok, sales is a hard job and this guy was obviously young and trying to hit an impending September end budget but telemarketing reps just rub me the wrong way...


William said...

Nah, it wasn't just that he was a telemarketer, it was that he lied to your repeatedly and wouldn't listen to sense. I generally don't get nasty with marketers until they cross that line either... But in that guy's case, I'd have taken his information and reported to his management exactly what he was doing.

Nobody in that company wants their salesmen to alienate their customers like that. It's really, really bad business.

Not that it's really a worry... He probably won't work there much longer anyhow with an attitude like that.

Mr. Salaryman said...

Well, I don't think that he was deliberately lying to me, for all I know he might be telling the truth and my colleague in the head office could be wrong. The point was more that he was barking up the wrong tree and it took him a while to realize it (not sure if he did in the end either). I found it kinda amusing mostly.

Learn Japanese said...

Hi Mr. Salaryman, great blog! Kim from just sent an email, please let me know when you get a chance to read.
Thanks again.

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