Arthur Miller wrote a play about Willy Loman an American salesman, yet I doubt if he’d ever ran into a salesman in the Philippines.
It’s a whole different game here. The guy or girl will show up at your gate, with a clipboard taking a survey about one thing or the other. Attempting to tell you it’s for your family’s personal safety. Here is the truth of it; they are there to sell you something. The other day I was sitting in the carport with my neighbor having a pleasant cocktail and discussing things of great importance.
Then there he was, a young man with a clip board wanting to check the dates on our LPG tanks. Explaining that his job was to mark them and cause the defective tanks to be removed from service. So not believing a word of his spiel, I pointed out that his task could be far easier accomplished by checking the tanks at the source, meaning the gas distributors. Mayang, seeing the young man sitting at our table, came out to investigate, and wanted to know what was up, I explained that he was trying to sell something, but wouldn’t say what. “Oh! No sir, I’m selling nothing, I’m just here to check tanks”. He protested.
My neighbor asked how I knew he was a salesman, I explained that if he was a government worker he be wearing a t-shirt and not a Barong Tagalog. Plus over the years I’ve sold encyclopedias and cars and a few other things including four years as a Navy Recruiter.
We wasted a little time with another cocktail, when Mayang came back out escorting the young man to the gate, and I asked again, what he was selling; it was a new type of high pressure gas hose. He looked at me, and wanted to know why we were not interested. I explained that he started off with a lie, and after that there was no way I could ever trust him or his product.
Years ago I had a similar situation, where they just wanted to test my water for impurities. Again I asked what the product that they were selling was, and again I was told the “just testing” lie. So I let them, I retrieved a beaker of water from my bottled water supply vice my well, and let them perform the voodoo science on it. They added some chemical, incanted some magic words, shook up the water and this brown gunk separated from the water, then they held it to me to point out what I’d been consuming. Who would have known that there would have been minerals in mineral water? When I took the beaker and drank it down and proclaimed that it was good, they started packing up their equipment and moving towards the gate.
Another time, I’m under the mango tree in my hammock reading a nice book, a slight knocking at the gate. There is a well dressed young man, with his young lady assistant. They are taking a survey on how many TV channels I receive up on the mountain here in Bataan. I told them that at the time I received about 58 channels. Now both spoke English very well, so why they launched into the sales pitch, I just could never figure out. They were selling an antenna booster, which would provide me better reception, a clearer picture and more channels. I then informed them that I had two satellite dishes clearly visible from where we were sitting, upon my roof. And they went on, about their product.
I provided them cold drinks, and let them go on. But two more times I informed them that I used Dream Satellite TV, and had no use for the product they were offering. Forty five minutes more of hard selling I told the guy to come with me, we went to my roof patio, and I asked if his product would work on that, as I pointed to my two satellite Dish’s. You guessed it; the hand popped straight to his head for a grand power scratch, and then he informed me it only worked on regular TV antennas’. I acted disappointed that I was one of the unfortunate people that could not benefit from their wonderful product. They departed with smiles and thanking me for my time. My wife came home from her mother’s house, and found me with a cold SMB, and my hand vigorously scratching my own head.
Selling something and getting someone to part with money is easy, selling a four year hitch in the Navy, totally a different thing. Son I want to take you away from Mom and Dad’s loving arms and send you to boot camp where will treat you like crap, pay you low wages, and send you to sea for 6 to 9 months at a time. Now if I could sell that, and I was a top producing recruiter. I’ll sell you a Lear Jet, if I can get the monthly payments within your price range.
After I took a year off work and laid on the beach in Puerto Rico, I decided I should return to that work a day world. So, next I sold encyclopedias in Europe, England, Scotland, Italy, and Germany. The reason I took that gig was because I could still live in Puerto Rico, and fly to work for a month, and when I’d made enough money, fly home, until I needed some more money. No time clock was involved. I did very well doing that, but I saw where computers would be the death of that product very soon.
When selling cars between Puerto Rico and going back to sea as a merchant seaman I sold Dodge cars, trucks and mini-vans.in St. Petersburg Florida I could not have made more money, if I’d used a gun. And I was the only salesman on the lot that was not a former convicted felon. Pop one sale a day, pick up between 4 to 8 hundred dollars and go to the beach.
But as much selling as I’ve done, I like being on the receiving end of the spiel or pitch, it’s fun to listen, and see if you know which way they’re going. But the odds on someone talking me into buying something, that I’d not planned on owning is very rare.
As the old adage states: “Let the buyer beware!” BTW: There is a nice toll road close to my house that I can let go for a very good price. We’ll just take a survey first, before I can let it go. Most items sold door to door are on a credit plan or as I like to call it: “A few peso’s down, and the chase is on.”