Saturday, 18 February 2012

What to do with such people ?

16th Feb. 2012..... I started this year's season bookings from Rajkot - Gujarat's fourth biggest city.  Normally I start it from Surat but I thought let me reach my customer's in Rajkot before my competitors visit them.  So morning 06:30 hours I started from Ahmedabad and by 10:00 hours I was inside Rajkot city after battling the city traffic for almost 45 minutes.  This year's trip wasn't going to be like all the previous other years. More customers and more aggression.  

So after meeting my old and known customers myself and my sales executive decided to meet a whole-seller in the main market.  The board of his shop read, Satyam Stationery Mart.  My sales executive has already been visiting this customer since last one year. When I reached this shop there were already 2 guys standing at the counter buying stuff.  One thing I really have enjoyed while traveling all across different regions of Gujarat is the dialect.  Go South, North, East of West every region has its own dialect and in one way or the other some of the ways of speaking is really really funny.  For example men in the southern region can't speak without including one particular cuss word in every line they speak ;) .  In the same way Rajkot being a part of  Saurashtra region has its own peculiarities when it comes to speaking Gujarati.

I introduced myself to the man who was seating at the counter and the way he was handling everything I believed that he was the owner of the shop.  My sales executive confirmed it.  His name was Kirtibhai.  My company has been dealing with this man since almost a year now.  But he was buying from us products of just 2 companies.  This time I wanted to promote the other products that I am dealing.  My sales executive loves to speak and speaks a lot.  He sometimes looses his sense of timing.  Speaks wrong things or brings out wrong conversations at the wrong times.  And here too he did the same thing.  He brought out a problem before I had started to promote my products.  I got a little bit scared that I hope this problem won't escalate and a solution comes out. This problem with him was since last 4 - 5 months.  

The problem was that in every transaction he made with us, he used to deduct some amounts like Rs. 30/- , Rs. 40/-, Rs. 62/- and like this.  In all the last transactions such amount added up to Rs, 562/-.  And none in my company knew why he was deducting such amounts every time.  So we asked him the reason for this.  And since then Kirtibhai the owner started speaking and he continued speaking non-stop for the next 35 minutes.  It was as if an Express train running with no railway station in sight ;) .  I let him explain why he was deducting this small amounts and he took some 10 minutes to put his reasons.  So next I thought may be I should explain to him and remove his misunderstandings that he was at loss which actually he wasn't.  But he kept on speaking and speaking.  Some lines that we exchanged were,

Kirtibhai  :  This is how I calculate the invoice and accordingly I pay.  All my vendors send me invoices and with non I have this problem.
Me  :  See let me explain to you our way of billing.

Kirtibhai  :  I don't want to hear your way of billing.  Is my way of calculation wrong ?
Me  :  No.  But in my way of billing you are not at all loosing ..... (I got interrupted again)

Kirtibhai  :  Than why should I listen to you ?
Me  :  But at least give me one chance to explain ....

Kirtibhai  :  What one chance ?  You listen to me (showing the bill file) and see all this bills.  Can you see the billed amount?  Can you see the date I have made the payment and the amount?  Is there any difference?  No.  So than why should I listen to you.  The sales guy of the company comes, I ask him the rate and discounts and the rates he gives me, I will pay as per that only.  If my way of calculation is correct you should change your way of billing.
Me  :  But Kirtibhai atleast let me speak and I will clear ....

Kirtibhai  :  (His tone was slowly going up)  But why you need to speak and explain me ? I am right and I don't understand any other way.  If you want, you can change your way of billing.
Me  :  But I can't buy another software .... (again I got interrupted) 

Kirtibhai  :  I don't know all those things.  I just know that I am right and you are charging more money from me and that I am not going to pay.

And he keeps on repeating all this things at least twice in 2 hours.  OMG I was so frustrated :-L that I would have loved to pull his long and marron - brown hair out of his skull.  What a shouting and non - practical customer I have ?  Now it seemed that either I have to shout to make him listen, wound his ego and loose him as a customer OR I'll have to simply tell him that okay i'll do what best I can to bill you as you want.

Finally the argument slightly cooled down and we started to discuss the problems of our trade in general.  But again after sometime one more time he says, I am never wrong in paying my bills.  I am just doing as the company's sales guy has told me.  If he doesn't convey to me the right information than that is not my problem.  I care a damn if because of him you loose some money.  I said to myself what a jerk.

Its so rare that during all this years while I am in this trade, I have come across such a person for the first time who is not at all ready to even listen and understand things. Well its understood that most of the traders have never understood the small technicalities of this new tax regime that came into existence some 5 years back.  And they think that what they understand is the only right thing.  I still remember how when the first time this new tax system was introduced I was asked by all my customers whom I visited that how this new system will work and what are the pros and cons of it. And I, as if was an expert tax consultant used to answer all their queries and was very convincing too.... ;)  Well I guess sometimes you got to act more smart than what you are actually to put your weight across and make a heavy impression and it works too .... ;)

But how to explain to such jerks who are never ever ready to listen to you ?  Simply impossible.... ;)

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