Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Not being nice, am I?

In most occasions, I consider myself a nice person, even to strangers. Cos, I think people should be nice to each other, so people can get along. However, in some situations, I could be mean. For example, when I receive cold calls from those salespersons who try to offer me low interest loans, or sell me phone plans etc. As they usually call me while I'm at work, I just don't bother entertain them, simply saying I'm not interested and hanged up. Sometimes, my wife would say that they are simply trying to make a living, don't be rude to them. Well, I just can't help it, I know that it is part of their job to make cold calls to strangers. In order to take such job, they should be get used to rejections. I wasn't nice in rejecting them, but I don't think I was really rude, perhaps, I simply expressed my feeling that I didn't want to be bothered.

Today, I was rejecting someone face to face. The story was that I got cold call saying that I would be offered a bottle of free red wine if I meet an agent from an insurance company for a chat in person. Yes, I admit that I was a bit greedy, though I'm not a drinker myself, in fact I still have a bottle of very nice red wine sitting in my living room for almost 4 months as a prize from my company's annual dinner. However, it wouldn't hurt to get one more for cooking or gift, knowing that the quality of such free stuff won't be good anyway. Since the meeting is at lunch time, I didn't have any appointment for lunch today anyway. So, I told the appointment to meet that agent in a big 'M' near my office.

That agent looks like he is in mid forties and is half bald. I was eating my fries and burger while he told me that he was planning to collect some data from me and do an analysis of financial situation at the spot. I did have similar encounters before, however, they were usually taking place in the branch of banks. With a nice, smiley CFP, chatting with me in a friendly way, while inputting my data on a PC or laptop. As those agents were from banks that I had relationship with, so they knew my name and some of my background. Though I didn't end up doing business with them, at least the experience was present. Well, this time was different....

This agent wasn't very friendly, not his tone, but his look and facial expression. He didn't smile or enthusiastic about approaching me. Yes, I wasn't very cooperative neither. Like when he asked me for some personal information, I said that I wanted to keep some privacy. For some information that I thought wouldn't matter to his analysis, like the gender of my kid, I simply said 'would that matter to your analysis?' I think he should be trained to handle different type of customers, including some difficult one, like me. He shouldn't expect everyone would be cooperative, consider that he was able to meet me through a cold call, rather than from some existing business relationship. However, when he took down my financial information, I saw him simply scratch some numbers on his form with bad handwriting. Many blanks were still left blank. Also, when he tried to give me some numbers, like how much I would need if I retire at 55. He pulled out a calculator of model 20 years ago and did some calculations. That looked so unprofessional to me. In these days, would he be at least using a smartphone, a netbook, or a laptop for God's sake! after about 20 minutes after I was done with my lunch.I felt that this meeting was definitely a mistake. I was disinterested, and so did he. It was an chicken and egg scenario...was he made me disinterested with his communication skill or preparation or presentation? or my reaction that made him perform badly? I wasn't sure, come to think of it, it must not be my fault.

At the end, he handed me his business card, showing that he is a CFP and was a team manager of some sort of an international reputable insurance company. Well, that didn't matter, the issue was him, nothing to do with his company, which I dealed with before in my previous job. Other folks there were very professional anyway. So, I asked him if there was any gift for the meeting. Then, he pulled out a coupon of some sort for the red wine that worth 159RMB. I said what? RMB? You wanted me to cash that coupon in China? Come on!? He said that he didn't know much about that coupon, but there was a phone number on it that I could call. Then, I told him that he could keep it, didn't bother. I didn't want it. Not planning to go to China to get a bottle of red wine. Never! So, I left.

On the way back to my office, I was thinking back that....was I being rude? He was trying to make a living only. Why did I give him a hard time? Did I?.....well, he wasn't prepared, he should present better if he wants to succeed in making a deal. Maybe, I just taught him a lesson. E.g. should be at least know something about the free gift that he would hand out to his potential client? Should he bring a laptop to run analysis rather than using an old calculator? Come on, people run software and did printing scenarios for customers. If he can't print such, should he propose to meet customers in his office or branch office to be more professional, rather than sitting in big 'M' with construction worker chatting loudly at next table while you are trying to make deal with potential customer? I don't know the answer. Maybe I'm just not his right target. Anyway.....just an encounter experience that I wanna share......

No comments: