Zen and the Art of Being Intensely Annoying

Today, he called again.

"Hello there! It's [nice sales guy from car dealership we visited a month and a half ago]!  I just wanted to check up on you and see if you are still considering your choices.  No pressure, just seeing where you are.  What your plans are."

He's so nice.  I mean, really nice– he's a nice salesman, the kind you seldom meet anymore.  I don't have the heart to tell him we've already made our choice; a choice that didn't involve the kind of cars he sells.

A month ago, to be specific, we made our choice.  And still, he calls.  But I don't have the heart, guts, bravery to let him down.  So instead I muse something about having changed our minds and not wanting to buy for the time being.

He quickly mouths something about understanding and of course and definitely and no pressure and we say some courteous goodbyes.  I hang up, feeling very chickenish. 

Rev. Meow just raises her eyebrows and says, "You know he's going to call again, right?"

__________

I don't understand persistence very well.  In the same way I imagine others might have a hard time understanding my compulsive and sick need to look up every piece of doubt-raising information that crosses my path, I have a hard time understanding the unflagging and persevering personality.

I can't understand how people would want to endure a whole day having rejection slapping them in the face over and over — call after call filled with evasions and negatives and "no thanks."  I don't understand the people who run the lotion and nailcare and haircare pagodas at the shopping mall and their desperate eye contact as they attempt to spritz anyone within a ten mile radius with a product that if it truly were so great it wouldn't need such aggressive promoting.

But somehow, I wish I could understand that raw drive and harness it and use it for my own gain.  I wish I didn't really care about all the gentle and not-so-gentle letdowns in my way and sally forth through life believing in my product and believing that the fifty-five nos do not matter as long as I can have one smile and one glorious and meaningful yes.

___________

Maybe we can all tap into our inner telemarketer, but only if we believe in ourselves.

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This entry was published on August 26, 2008 at 8:58 pm and is filed under Zen Sarcasm. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

7 thoughts on “Zen and the Art of Being Intensely Annoying

  1. I don’t think it has to do with beleiving in yourself but separating the two. The product is what they sell and they may (or may not) believe in the product but that is their job.
    At my last job there was a new guy in sales and he took beating after beating and I could hear him on the phone being rejected time and time again. He did a lot of cold calls but for every 20 rejections he might get one interested party. The interested party was still only a possibility to a big sale. None of it every bothered him and one day I asked and he told me he didn’t take it personally. I think that is a sign of a truly good salesman. But I guess they need to know when to stop too.

  2. I have NEVER been able to NOT take ANYTHING personally! I just don’t know how to do it, I guess…

  3. Take a great big hint from a tele-guy himself: if you do not have the cajones to tell the very nice man who really only wants to sell you something not to call anymore, ask him if he will hold on for a moment while you get something off the stove, wait about 30 seconds, and give the horn to the littlest Meow. Then, walk away and go about your business. Rinse and repeat for each call.

  4. Get the address and send him a short note.
    I’ve been in sales most of my life – you’re going to get Christmas and birthday cards out of this guy and feel worse.
    He will not take it personally, and you will save him and yourself time and energy.
    Take care

  5. Laurie on said:

    Does Caller ID exist there? If not, I highly suggest a petition be raised immedately for it’s use! Wonderful device; I never answer the phone unless I recognize the number and even then, you may not get through if I’m feeling particularly unsocial at that moment. If you’re too nice to let him down, eventually he’s got to get tired of calling…one would think?

  6. I had a car salesman call me for a month after I’d told him I had purchased the Crapmobile Mark II. At the same time, his dealership kept sending me e-mail about models of the car I’d been looking for, despite me asking five times to be removed from their mailing list.
    It’s a fine line between persistence and shopper stalking, sometimes.

  7. It’s not his personal persistence. Until you told him you’ve already bought he will call because you are in his system. He has to call people who haven’t purchased from him as long as they haven’t purchased from anyone else.
    It’s the car biz, baby.

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