The best salesman I have ever met

Published on May 13, 2012

4:30pm May 6, 2012

It’s a hot summer afternoon. I am in a bus travelling from Hyderabad, my workplace, to Khammam, my hometown. It’s an unplanned journey needing me to reach the destination as soon as possible. This haste made me go for a non-a/c bus.

Three hours of journey has passed and I’m regretting for taking a non-a/c bus, for it is 39°C outside. Several vendors stormed into the bus when it halted at Suryapet bus station. It appeared as if my laments have been addressed, when I saw a vendor pacing towards me with cool water bottles. He was quick and passed me by the time I reacted to call for one bottle. I called him. My voice was gloomed by his loud shout out: Water bottles, cool drinks. With some effort, I could manage to grab his attention. I wasn’t much pleased looking at the water bottles as he approached, for what’s written on them was shady. It’s only when I read... AquaSin - India’s No. 1 brand for 100% pure water. ...did I realise that I am utterly underexposed to the top brands in India. The falsified brand water was ridiculously overpriced and I refused to purchase it. So, did several people in the bus.

I was hoping to find another vendor with authentic waterbottles. A vendor shuffled in with a basket in his hand. "Hot boiled peanuts" he shouted out packing a handful of peanuts in a piece of paper. That would be the last thing anyone would have in such a hot temperature. It’s very clear that none in the bus is going to buy that. We boil peanuts he shouted. Then we add spice to it he continued. Then we sell he said packed in papers with a wide grin on his face. Half the crowd in the bus broke into giggles. Ah! What can we do, we do not have a production plant like the one Haldiram’s has! Now almost everyone in the bus is laughing and is attentive to what he’s speaking. He continued on similar lines, interacting with everyone in a humorous way.

When he approached me, I refused with revered opinion, hinting that I don’t eat street food. He said You people do jobs all day and night. Why don’t you enjoy when you can with a grin that’s getting wider with time. I couldn’t refuse to have his offering. In fact I had two helpings!

I was musing about his sales skills while having the peanuts. He didn’t have a great product. The market is least interested in his product. He nailed the sale, in spite of these negatives, with his expertise in one skill. A skill which I thought isn’t very important is sale: humor. He entered into a wrong market with a wrong product; made half the customers smile; made sales with all the customers! He has chutzpah!!

I have spent the next few minutes nibbling the peanuts cogitating over the salesman’s skill. I was preoccupied with these thoughts till I felt thirst. I was having oil heavy food on such a hot afternoon. Now I need to quench my thirst. Where is that AquaSin guy?