What is this regarding?
I had answered these three questions approx 200+ times as a card seller in Amex. These are from secretaries of hni's who are used to getting these unsolicited similar 100 calls a day.
This story has emotions, drama,passion , dissapointments and success.
It all started in april 2004 in Bangalore. Myself, my LML nv scooter( my faithful partner) , my wrangler wind sheeter ( which has seen enough and more of madrasi rain, dust, rasam and emotional atyachar)..
Day 1- introduction with team
Day 2 - product training
Day 3 - buddy call with experienced amex sales guy.
Day 4 - my conversation with Boss
Me- Boss , what do I have to sell?
Boss (busy in his work and talking as if I don't exsist) - Amex Gold and cobrand cards
Me - How?
Boss - I don't know, you need to figure out. Why you have done mba?
Me - Errr ok. ( Not ready how to answer this). But whom should I sell?
Boss- anybody who is rich.
Me- (Asked another stupid question) Where should I find these rich people contact number. I don't even know kannada?
Boss - (first time during this conversation looked at me from top to bottom. I was concious and scared and checked whether my zipper is closed) Repeated the same answer as above. (This time with irritation and in tamilian accent) I dan't know. You need to figggure out. Why you have done mba macha?
Me - kept quiet and was wondering macha would be similar to mcbc in Delhi.
Rufus, one of the Amex senior and the person whom I went for dummy call gave me a sheet of paper with some name and numbers. I was raring to go and after my conversation with boss , this database was all I need to become top sales guy. I was pround of myself being extrovert , confident rather overconfident, mba from top b school and also read a book - "How to make friends and influence people". Only thing what I desparately desired was a database. It was like , one has a hot girl to make love but only thing required is condom for complete pleaure. And rufus , my first friend in amex provided me that condom .
Dialled the first number from that database.
Call 1 To ramesh Sharma
: sir , this is Gaurav S.......
Ramesh Sharma : am not interested.
( Phone disconnected even before I complete my full name).
Call 2 to Venkat Ramamoorthy Iyenger
: sir , Good morning, I am calling from american express and my name is...........
Mr venkat Ramamoorthy Iyenger : good morning but yem not interested.
( Again phone disconnected before I complete my name)
Call 3 : this time skipped few madrasi names and dialled to Manpreet Arora. (Must be punjabi and manpreet ..hmm. May be cut surd.his forefathers must be from multan pakistand and would have shifted to India after partition He would listen to my sales pitch atleast and I would fix one appointment)
: Mr Arora , My name is Gaurav Sachdeva ( with emphasis to my punjabi surname and with as much as possible punjabi accent) and I am calling from american express.
Arora : good morning , Mr Sachdeva. How can I help you.
Me - ( sigh of relief and thought only ek punjabi hi punjabi ki madad kar sakta hai .felt like I propose to the best looking girl in my college and she says yes. Wanted to tell him that after my LML NV scooter and Rufus, you are my best bfriend in this unknown land. I seriously wanted to talk to him in punjabi , but restricted my emotions as a professional code of conduct) so I started. Mr Arora , I am calling from Amex credit card devision and we have green card, gold cald charge card and Indian airlines american express charge card.
There was a silence for 4-5 seconds.
Mr Arora : You bloody telemarketing people.. What do you think of yourself.
U shameless creature on Earth .. Who has given you my number?(I wanted to say , Rufus) but he didn't bother to wait for my answer. And continued ...ek to saala mahesh office nahin aaya hai(how do I know who is mahesh??). Uper se pareshhan kar rakha hai. I will call the police and take you to the court. These card companies , they just hire dsa executives( I wanted to inform him that I am not any dsa executive but Territory Sales leader and have done mba in marketing and operations but considering the situation seriousness preferred not to interrupt) and their job is to call people on wrong time( how do I know it's your wrong time also) And then I listen to innovative gaaliyan with behan as prefix...
There were tears on my cheek and thought what did I do wrong??
Day 2, day 3, 4, and 5 were also not different. I was feeling down and demotivated. I came out to the parking area, tilted my scooter to 45 degree, wore my wrangler wind sheeter( which I bought from a factory outlet in marathalli) and came back home.
Over the weekend, I did what we Mba's are good at. ( No its not giving gyan. Also not created ppt.) . I did research on Internet. Searched in google for topics like " how to be an effective telecaller" , " how to fix appointments" , " how to sell cards" , "aroras from punjab" , "macha in bangalore" , "bangalores babes".....
Then my dad suggested me to read a book from Joe Girard " How to sell anything to anybody". He was a car salesman and I was quite impressed , recharged to start another maniac Monday.
After 1 month :
I have learnt few trics so far to bypass secerataries, collect bangalore golf club directory, sme companies in bangalore database.
But ony problem was I didn't have cell numbers to talk directly. And these seceratries are like pop up blocker or firewall and it was easy to get a date then bypassing these secy's and get appointment. And those days there was no concept of Do Not Disturb Registry.So how to differentiate yourself from another dsa telecaller(their modus operandi is to pick any number and call. I.e
Call 1. : 9854638692
Call 2: 9854638693
Call 3 : ----------4
And goes on. )
Call 1 to Mr SK Gupta. Manufacturer and exporter of polymers . Md of sk and co.
Me : hi my name is Gaurav and it's a personal call for Mr Gupta.
Mr Gupta's secy Neha :( probably receiving her 23rd telemarketing call of a day and asked with a monotous voice .Who's calling?
Me : I replied politely. Madam , I have already told you my name.
Neha : Errrr. Yeah..what is this regarding??
Me : That also I have already told you. It's a personal; call and I can't share with you.
Neha: Ok just a sec.. Mr. Gupta there's a personal call for you..transferring the line.
Mr Gupta (In his harsh voice): Yes
Me: Mr. Gupta. My name is Gaurav Sachdeva and I am calling from American Express.
Mr. Gupta : Then why is it a personal call?
Me: Sir this is a PERSONAL inviation to you. I manage financial needs of High Networth Individuals would like to come down and discuss this further.(Though this trick works rarely but I got my appointment.)
Another call I made to Mr S K Sharma and talked with a rude hindi accent
Me to Secy: Sharma sahab sai baat karana..
Secy: Kaun..who is speaking???
Me: Ek baar bola na sharma sahab se baat karao!!
Got my appointmet finally and closed the sale.
Funny Sales Story :
Once I met senior IPS officer Veer Bhadr Pratap singh. His seceratory already warned me about his aggressive,no non sense and strict nature. He would be atleast 6 Feet tall, well built, big moustache, and "Do not Disturb" tag on his face. I introduced myself and tried to start a conversation.
Me: Sir, It's really pleasure meeting you. It is very rare that you meet senior officers. (Tried to test his ego)
Veer Bhadr Pratap Singh(VBPS) - It's ok. Come to the point(I understood that it's gonna be a tough cookie) . You just have 5 minutes to explain your product and sell.
Me: Introduced my self and explained about Indian Airlines American Express charge card.( i already knew that he freuquently travels by Indian airlines) .Asked him some basic questions to understand i.e wht is his travel and spending paattern, what is his current requirement, and what all the current competition cards he has)
VBPS - Agreed and told me while filling up his application form. Do you know that I was part of the Tamil nadu state special Task force who had killed Veerappan -The notorious dacoit.
By the time he has pulled out his pistol and kept on the table pointing towards me. Ok Mr Sachdeva (I was damm scared and was thinking why he is sharing his story with me). Hope i get My Amex card within 14 days as promised.
Me: Yes Sir.
After 2 weeks VBPS secy called me on my mobile:
Secy : Mr gaurav, VBPS has received one decline letter from Amex and he wants to talk to you. (He was shivering and by that time me too)
This is letter you receive whn your application is rejected for some reason like poor score, credit history etc. And the letter is like
We regret to state that currently your spend pattern and profile doesn't match our premium and affluent profile of customer. We can't process your application at this point of time.
Me : This time I knew that somebody will write a book "Death of an honest salesman". And since he called him I had to meet him again. Identified his reason of decline. I dreamt of me being veerappan and he is shooting.
Meeting with VBPS again
Me: ( facing him felt like I had intercourse with his daughter in his bedroom and he caught me. Now completely ready to get screwed)
VBPS: Mr Sachdeva .come in come in.(with sarcasm and hatred on his face). What do you guys think of yourself(patience was the key, so I was ready)..What do you think, I don't suit your profile..
Me: I apologized and calmy told him the reason of decline. convinced him to get his application resingned .Promised him that we have top management approval.
Finally got his card approved and he has sent me a thank you sms.
Watch this space for more stories