A Salesman Beyond His Years

This Friday, after work, I decided to go to the Great Northern Sale over at SM North EDSA. I was feeling low and empty and decided to drown my sorrows in shopping for around two hours (any longer and I would have to break the bank).

I started off by looking at the small outlets standing outside the actual mall establishments. The one that sells air mattresses especially caught my attention particularly because I had been thinking of purchasing one. I was met by a not so eager salesman from Ace Hardware. I started with asking the most basic question these sales people are purposefully designed to answer, 'how much is it?'

At 1,800 pesos (down from 2000 pesos), I definitely thought it was something worth buying. While standing there thinking about it, I was caught off guard by the sudden effort of the salesman to inject a sense of urgency in me probably now aware that he just might make a sale from me. He kept on saying, "Isa na lang po 'to. Sayang naman po. Nakadiscount na po yan ng ten percent May lifetime warranty pa po 'yan."

I was literally getting a dose of my own medicine. I couldn't help but realize that that was exactly what I do in my job in an online travel agency. In my job I usually start off by doing a presentation about what they would be getting and then proceed to creating a sense of urgency and asking for the sale.

The salesman, seeing that he was having some success in pressuring me to make a purchase, started to do a demonstration on how convenient and useful his product was. After having him go through all the trouble, I just couldn't say no. In desperation, I resulted to the oldest trick in the book my American customers would use just so that I would let go of them. I told him that I still had to withdraw cash because I had none on me.

Finally free from the salesman's endless cajoling, I decided to start my therapeutic shopping spree, buying myself self-indulgent things that I knew would make me feel guilty of buying later on all the while debating whether I should go back to the Ace Hardware outlet and make the purchase.

In the end, the salesman having successfully created a sense of urgency and made a good presentation of the features and benefits of his product, I decided to make the purchase.

I knew what I just encountered. That salesman is part of a new breed of sales people trained in this motto: a deferred sale is not a sale at all. In the future, I think more and more establishments would lean on training sales people to be as aggressive and initiatory. Gone would be the era of order taking and inquiry answering sales people. So if you're shopping, it would be best to watch out,'coz here come the sharks.