Whilst I was waiting for a friend at Orchard mrt today, this teenager approached me and asked for 30 seconds of my time. Honestly, it is a complete waste of my time. He was actually selling me photo albums, and he took quite long to get it that I do not see the point in buying photo albums from him.
At first he seemed like any normal direct sales person. He informed me that it’s a Disneyland design photo album and it’s being sold at $9.90 for two photo albums. Personally I do not need a photo album, and if I want to get a photo album, I won’t be getting those kind of photo album. I prefer the big book kind where I can put my photos any way I like it.
So he tried to persuade me. He said photo albums are good for preserving memories. Granted, that’s correct, but I told him I don’t need a photo album. He then proceeded to say that photo albums can be used to store old movie tickets. Yes, that sounds logical, except for the fact that it seems like a huge waste of space to me, and that for the past few movies I have watched, I have not collected my share of the ticket stub. Furthermore, the ink on the ticket faints after a year, so what kind of memory preservation is that. Hence I just told him I do not need a photo album.
But he didn’t get my message. He tried to continue, and I told him, I don’t need a photo album because for people nowadays, we store the photos in our hard disk, and we rarely print photos out. Hence I won’t need a photo album at all.
He continued, asking, what happens when those storage methods fail. In my mind, I got slightly pissed. That’s a stupid method of asking me to buy. What happens if a fire comes and burn all my albums? Besides, there are many ways of preserving photos. Hard disk, CD-R, and even online methods. I listed down the means I can preserve my photos, but he still didn’t leave.
I told him I’m a student and I don’t get any allowance, so it makes no sense for me to buy any photo albums. 10 dollars is a huge amount and I can eat like 3 meals in NUS? It makes no sense to waste the 10 bucks on something I’ll never use in the near future? And it’s not some special edition album anyway. I didn’t tell him about the last part about the special edition though. No point criticizing a product.
He then asked, “so your parents give you an allowance?”
I said yes.
He then said, “Well, my parents do not give me any allowance, and I’m working to earn my own money. And some people have supported me already”. He took out some money from his pocket. And then he told me to support him.
Honestly, what for? It’s not some charitable work, and neither am I interested in the product he was selling. Who the hell buys photo albums from someone in the MRT station? It’s a very ordinary product that has NO benefits to me AT ALL. I was really pissed off by then, because as a direct sales personnel, he should be telling me the benefits of his product and why should I buy it. Supporting him is not why I should buy that product. Hell, do I have to buy a product from each store I walk past just to give them my support? Seriously, selling photo albums is a really lame job.
I told him, “What do you want me to do? Take pity on you to buy the photo album?”
He said no, it’s not about pity. And he continued saying he has no allowance and that I should support him. NONSENSE! Which part of “I don’t see a point of buying it” does he not understand at all?
He then said something really stupid after I told him if its a charity, I would consider buying based on pity, but he’s not a charity and I have no obligations. He said that if I buy his product, his company will earn money and hire more people to sell the product.
WTF? Now I’m supposed to spend money so that his company will hire more idiots to sell idiotic things like photo album? Am I converting Singapore to a place where lazy people just go around getting people to buy things because we have to support them? EG1413 tells you that this is APPEAL TO PITY. Seriously it’s stupid. His boss probably came. Stood very near the poor guy who’s job seems to be to piss me off. I didn’t like the way his boss stood. The body language seems to be trying to intimidate me into buying, and I was really angry with his stupid company.
So I told him in an absolutely “I’m pissed off and if you say anymore I will punch your face” tone, that I do not see the point in pitying him and I do not see the point in buying the photo album especially when I don’t have a use for it. I handed his photo album back, made him take it so he got the idea.
Finally I had some peace.
A few lessons here. If you’re selling something, make sure I feel that I need that item. Make me feel that it’s beneficial to me. I use money to exchange something of an equal perceived value. I don’t give money to someone who tells me he has to work for money. That’s stupid because I work for money too. But I work in a company using my skills and not by making people feel obligated to help you out. It’s like those ex convicts selling pens. Why should I be pitying you? I support the yellow ribbon project. I agree that jobs should be given to ex convicts, if they qualify. But I don’t see the point in being sympathetic to someone just because he can’t find a job other than selling pens. Seriously, is it my fault he went to jail before? People who have two hands and legs, go and find a decent job.
Appealing to pity is not the way you get people to buy from you.