A couple of afternoons ago I got a call from some 888 number. My first guess was that it was my credit card company (well, one of my many creditors), but then I realized that I wasn’t behind on any payments,and that I never give out my cell number to credit card companies. Anyway, I picked up and it turns out that it was some fellow from eHarmony trying to sign me up on their 3-for-1 promotion: three months for the price of one, at a total of $60. I had quit the whole Internet dating scene for several months, but here they are trying to get my business again.
They called it a consultation call, to look over my profile and photos in order to help improve my experience on eHarmony. I call it a sales call.
It was a man who called me. Call me an oddball, but it feels awfully weird for a guy to be looking over my profile. It just feels funny when a man is looking over your profile. It’s designed to attract women and written as though I were speaking to a woman.
Weird vibes aside, the guy was just a terrible salesman. He was terrible at conversing. And the only tips he had for me was to write more in my descriptors. Admittedly, my eHarmony profile was written without too much pizazz. But really it wasn’t much of a consultation.I pulled a Seth (from Boiler Room) and let the guy try to work his sales pitch and all that. And let me tell you, he was terrible. There were many lulls in the conversation, and I gave him so many chances to sell me. But he never really pushed for it. Instead, he was just lazy and basically read off a script. I saw so many chances to sell me on signing back on with eHarmony. When I ask how many subscribers there are, that’s a qualifying question.Once youqualify, you move in for a bit of selling: “We’ve got over 2 million subscribers, and thousands are signing up very month. Mr. Writer, don’t you think that’s a lot of people that we’re exposing you to? Let me ask you, how many women do you meet in a month? (Wait for answer) It’s hard to meet even a hundred women in a big city, and when you go out with one of them, you’re not even sure whether or not you’re compatible. Do you remember that personality questionnaire you took when you first signed up with us? Well, we use that questionnaire to make sure that we match you up with only the most compatible matches…”I can go on and on and on. And there are plenty of different approaches. It’s all about getting the person on the other end agreeing with you. If you can lead them there logically and back it up with an emotional impulse, you’re good as gold. But this guy couldn’t sell a homeless man a comfortable pair of shoes. He just sort of muttered. He had no direction in the conversation. To top it off, the headsets they use at that call center are terrible: I heard a bunch of other guys making sales calls.
I wonder if I’m in the wrong profession. I quit the sales field because my manager at my last sales job was a meathead, a real doofus who didn’t know anything about the art of salesmanship or managing (not to mention that he was quite a pig, eyeing young girls and joking about approaching them). But I certainly didn’t quite because I stopped loving the game of selling. I still do, and I still love to learn about sales, to teach about sales. I was a great salesman, and I learned so much from being a salesman. I owe a lot of my personal development to that occupation.