Stop making me feel bad!
Do you feel that way sometimes? After someone asks you for something and you have to turn them down. It’s not a good feeling. In fact, in my case it happens on a daily basis. Let me show you what I mean.
After a long, unpleasant day at work, I walked to the subway station. To get to the station, one has to pass through in front of a few stores in a shopping mall. As is the norm in Malaysia, sales agents are allowed to set-up promotion booths in the mall. And they would stand there, left and right, at the passage with the highest volume of human traffic.
“Hi. Do you have a moment, I would like to tell you about…”, the young man tried his best to say all that in a tenth of a millisecond. He was from Bank X, trying to sell credit cards with luggage bags as gifts.
I stopped him short by waving my hand and a sorry smile. He backed away.
Arriving at my station, more sales agents await me at the bottom of the stairs. This time it was Bank Y. I did not say anything, nor did I signaled that I’m not interested. And he followed me for a few feet, trying to convince me that I would want some free electrical appliances if I signed up. But I apologized and said that I’m not interested.
Funny thing is, I always walk with a cluster of people but they always seem to single me out! Is it because I look approachable or because I look like I need unsecured lending?
And I felt bad because it has happened many times, just with a different sales person from a different bank.
Situations like these are very common. It seems that all financial institutions in the country are trying to sell the easiest form of credit facility – the credit card. Leveraging on what is considered Malaysia’s favourite pastime which is going to the shopping mall, these sales agents get to work.
I don’t blame them, I can understand the pressure of trying to achieve monthly sales target. A guy I know from the Cards department in my company said that his sales agents do feel discouraged from being turned down so often.
Here’s a few ways to avoid them:
- To tell them that you already own the object that they’re selling. This would work with internet service providers, mobile service providers and even credit card companies. Probably wouldn’t work with cosmetics especially if they’re the persistent types who would pull you to the side and start spreading random cream on your skin. Ugh.
- One of my friends liked to say this to credit card agents – “I already have too many debts”. And before he could start telling his debt-ridden life story, those agents would turn on their heels so fast.
- Tell them your annual income is less than RM24k, and that you already own 2 credit cards. They’d usually be like kthxbai.
- If you can’t get rid of them, join them. Some of my friends would sign up just for the freebies, and cancel the credit card once they received them. Heck, sometimes your application will get rejected but who cares? You got freebies!