THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The art of marketing...

… or the lack of it.

Well, I’m definitely not the right person to talk about the art of marketing. Marketing is definitely NOT my strong point. I only know what ticks me off.

I was relaxing at home after work today, after taking some pain killers and antibiotics for some infection INSIDE my nostril! Ouch! It is OH SO PAINFUL!! One side of my nose is now red, hard and shiny. So for the past few days I took time off from my voluntary work, although I still go to my office, looking like a red-nose reindeer…

What has that got to do with marketing? Hmmm… seems that these telemarketers do have the knack of bothering me whenever I don’t feel well.

Today’s call came from a KL mobile number. I’m usually reluctant to answer calls from unfamiliar numbers especially from outside Perak, but I thought maybe, just maybe, it could be one of my friends in KL whose number may not be registered in my hand phone.

A young chap introduced himself from so and so club which I have never heard of. He asked if my visa and master card expires in 2008 or 2010. HUH? That was my exact response to him. He then told me to check my visa and master cards to see the expiry dates.

“Untuk tujuan apa ni?” I asked.
“Kami nak semak tarikh luput kad puan saja.”

Hmmm… not a satisfactory answer at all. Say lah something more convincing! What right has he got to know about when my card expires? And he expected me to get up, go to my room, take out my purse and check my credit cards for him? With the pain from my red, hard, shiny nose bothering me at the same time?! I simply ended the call. He did call again immediately after, but I didn’t bother answer. My credit card providers should know pretty well when my cards expire and I don’t see why I should tell anyone else when my card expires unless I’m ordering something by phone or internet and I’m paying using my card. Besides none of my cards expire in 2008 or 2010.

But I guess the above calls are quite normal.

What made it a little different was the SMS which later came from the same number…

“Takda adap… ape nak jadi skang…jgn kate kami yg muda tak da sopan.”

Hehehe… and I didn’t even have to say anything nasty!

Well, if he had expected to make me mad with that SMS of his, too bad, he failed. His SMS only convinced me further that I did the right thing by not entertaining his call. And if he had expected me to reply his SMS so he could say something further, he failed again. I don’t see why I should waste a single sen on the SMS charges to reply his.

My guess is it was not the first time he got responses like mine. So he got frustrated. And by his response, I don’t think he will last long in this line of work.

Actually this incident somehow reminded me of something which happened many many years ago when I was young and still working in KL. I was then renting a house with a group of anak-anak dara… a door to door salesman came to our house trying to sell something… I can’t remember what it was…

We didn’t let him in. We just thanked him saying we were not interested.

Wow! The guy got really mad.

“Ye lah… apalah standard barang saya jual! Orang nak beli barang kat supermarket je, tak nak beli kat kita!!”

Whoa! Ini macam punya salesman pun ada ka?


U.Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nyonyapenang said...

Two days ago, I got a call too. The chat introduced himself as calling from my car franchise holder and he wanted to do a customer satisfaction survey. He said he'd be quick and I said OK. Manatau, he then said he wanted 10 minutes! I told him sorry, I cannot layan lor. Alamak! He sort of reprimanded me pulak.."Hey, good for you wan lah. Why dowan, huh?"
I find him utterly rude.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

whoaaa...i would have blown my top reading that sms. i would sms him back with an apology just to fish him to call me back, and all hell sure to break loose.

but your approach was commendable la. and you did the right thing to hung up on him. nowadays i noticed those manning the telecenter are polite and quite professional bunch, especially those from big and well-known companies. yang biadap2 ni semua scam je.

U.Lee said...

Pi Bani, saya lupa, you have been to my blog...SIA really knows how to market their new A380 jet.
And rose petals on the bed?
Makes our Air Canada malu la. Incidentally, I love flying MAS or SIA, but our AC? If given the chance, I will ehlak...semua perumpuan da tua....11pm semua tarek curtain, tidur, its then self service! Mana ada standard.
Here they cannot employ perumpuan muda...its considered, 'discrimination'! Then the orang tua hostesses...cannot retire them. Its called? Yes, discrimanition. And semua pun, "human rights".
Result? MAS and SIA ta'masuk Toronto...already Cathay Pacific suda makan most of passengers....siapa la nak tengok orang tua? Ha ha. And Air Canada can't even afford the A380 like Sinapore Airlines.
Given the choice of Cathay Pacific VS AC, semua lari to CP. AC anytime ada seats. CP, "sorry, flights fully booked".
And CP punya marketing? Same as SIA..girls, girls, girls, ha ha.
No need to ask which airline I terbang bila balek kampong, ha ha. Lee.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

oh one more thing kak Pi, thanks for the explanation given on your previous entry. learned something new today!

Salt & Turmeric said...

i hate doin marketing and hate entertaining ppl doing it.

here usually our very own bank or credit card provider yg akan call w the id theft protection or insurance plan. they'l always say something tht pissed me off or question me abt my answer (byk berani!). but once they heard the diff tone in my voice, theyd back off. hehe.

Pi Bani said...

Nyonya Penang,
The customer satisfaction survey I had to do once was while I was waiting for my car to be serviced. So no problem there. And I did receive a call once regarding the same thing and it was really a quick one, so I didn't mind lah.

But yes, I have also received calls from those who claimed they only need a few minutes to explain some things to me. Turned out it was such a long presentation, baru sampai point 2 out of 10 pun dah 5 minutes already. I stopped him there and told him I was not interested. Don't lah tipu say just a few minutes if they knew pretty well it was going to be a long one!

Pi Bani said...

The guy's intention by sending the SMS was to make me mad. I didn't see the point of getting mad at an already mad person... ;)

Yes, some are quite professional - they ask first if we're free and then if we say we're not interested they still say thank you. Yang jenis biadab ni are probably not trained at all for this line of work.

Pi Bani said...

Hey, how come you deleted your first comment? Didn't want other readers to know you kaki perempuan ka? Hahaha!

Anyway, yes, marketing does play an important role in the success of a business or product. If the marketing strategy is good, you'd get more customers. I know for a fact it is not my strong point so I never apply for marketing jobs. Nanti itu company boleh bankcrupt! :)

Pi Bani said...

Serupalah kita - tak berminat langsung bab-bab marketing ni no matter which side we're on. In fact I kalau masuk mana-mana kedai pun, kalau ada any of the shop assistants mengekor I, I terus keluar cari kedai lain...

Typhoon Sue said...

usually yg professional tu yg work for the banking and insurance groups. They are always well-trained and if you say u’re not interested, they won’t push further.

Yang selalu naik angin bila kita reject diaorg ni selalunya yg scam or kalau valid pun, company kecik-kecik yg tak bother nak train beruk2 ni. Malas nak layan.

I usually don’t pick up unknown numbers at all but nowadays if they are persistent, I do pick up anyway just in case it’s something important and if it is those beruk-beruk, I just cut them short and say I’m not interested, bye-bye….. and I hang up. Abis cerita.

Pi Bani said...

I pun ingat dah abis cerita when I hung up and did not respond to his following call. Tut tut... masuk pulak SMS nya yang sungguh sopan saying that I yang takde adab. Jenis-jenis macam ni I rasa kalau kena marah dengan boss pun dia akan salahkan boss dia!

Nightwing said...

Helo Kak,

Also faced the same problem....nowadays i just say not interested and hang up.

Pi Bani said...

Yes, if they try to promote something I always tell them not interested and then hang up. Habis cerita. But this one was asking for credit card expiry date - I simply hang up lah. Didn't expect the SMS though...

Munira said...

Kak Pi,

Was it really marketing? I don't know much about this kind of calls, but I always think it's dangerous to give out details to strangers on the phone about things like our debit/credit cards, even if it's just about the expiry date. Entahlah... maybe I'm paranoid, but nobody's ever asked me for my card expiry date here and my bank keeps sending reminders to never give this kind of details to anyone, unless you're actually *physically* there to buy something (some of the stores here check for card's expiry dates if you're applying for a store membership card).

I think the way you handled that guy was really cool. It's really rude that he actually sent an SMS to you... isn't that like against work ethics or something? Malangnya for him, bertambahlah suspicious that he reacted that way soon after he asked for your card details. I mean it just looks odd to me, especially now kan zaman orang asyik kena tipu out of their hard-earned cash left, right and centre.

Munira said...

Oh and lagi satu, you said that the SMS came from the same number he called you... was it cellphone? Doesn't that mean it's a personal phone? Sebab I thought telemarketing should be done through company's lines, and not cellphones?

Pi Bani said...

Yes the call was from a cellphone. Of late ni banyak pulak these telemarketing calls coming from cellphones. That's why I liat nak jawab calls from unfamiliar cellphone numbers - BUT if I don't answer, the caller may be a friend whose number is not stored in my handphone or anyone else calling regarding my NGO's support service to HIV infected families.

Leceh betul!

Munira said...

Betul leceh. Takut misscall from a friend pulak :( But I find it strange telemarketing pakai handphones. I think maybe that's their scheme (or scam), knowing fully well that orang risau they might miss an important phone call from a friend by using a cellphone numbers. Teruk betul. But I guess senang2 je just hang-up terus if the number is a cellphone line but it's from a telemarketer like what you did hehehe... I don't think a "real" telemarketing company would allow their employees pakai cellphones to ring up their potential clients in the first place. Unless they're cheap, but that says quite a lot about their company too ;P Bijak bijak.

Anonymous said...

kak pi,
i once got a call from one of those tele-marketing companies. When i said i wasnt interested and it was not a good time to talk( i was in the office, on a working day!), the girl actually had the cheek to say "GET LOST!!" to me!!! Hahahahaha!

Pi Bani said...

Really? She said that?!

Well, you should have just replied politely to her, "Thank you. Same to you."