It was year 1990. I was new in the city of Mumbai, was travelling in a 3 wheeler Auto Rikshaw with my fiance’. The rikshaw stopped at the busy junction and all of a sudden, popped in a dark face from the open side, with coarse voice and typical sound of clap and hand in from of my face. I was terrified but realised what was happening. The street eunuch was asking for or rather demanding money. Sitting with your fiance, in a Auto Rikshaw, which is not moving now, you are faced with intimidation of big, huge eunuch, you have no option but to give the money to buy peace of mind and time with your beloved.
This is a common scene for all the those living in Mumbai or visiting Mumbi often. Over a period of time I learnt the art of not giving in to these tactics and also learnt to communicate with these eunuch as normal person.
But I learnt 2 important lessons for my sales profession.
1. Prospecting : Usually the time windows available to beg / get money is 30 to 60 seconds, depending upon the traffic jam and traffic signal. If you observe carefully they don’t waste time with those whom they find are “hardened” Mumbaikar. They know what to look for in the prospect. They scan you in quick 5 seconds and decide to pursue the matter or move to next one. They are usally right about selection of the prospects and don’t waste time with others. This is how they improve their closure rate (so to say in sales language). From my observation the key characteristics they look for in the prospects are : Unmarried couple, just married couples, visitor in Mumbai from other part of India, religious oriented man, single lady, foreigners.
2. Delivering elevator pitch and closing the deal : In next 25 seconds are so they need to deliver the message that would fetch them money (close the deal). Depending upon type of prospect, they chose the right language ( give blessings or put a fear of curse) and straight away ask for money. Even here, they specify the amount which means helping the prospect to take decision quickly.
No one has given them sales skills training, it is the hardship of life that forces them learn quickly or they would starve.
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