Friday, 19 November 2010

The Hard Sell


I just spent forty minutes on the phone with someone offering to make me the greatest English teacher in the Edinburgh area ever. EVVAR!

He's part of this online directory that offers to get one person within a particular field in a particular area to the first page of google when people search for that thing in that area. So I was to be on the first page of google for anyone searching for an English teacher in Edinburgh. Unfortunately, he woke me up (yeah I was still sleeping at 10am) and my voice was all retarded and I didn't know what was going on.

Pretty soon, though, as I lazily agreed to everything he was saying like a good consumer monkey, it became obvious that he was taking my ill-considered assent as a form of encouragement as he asked for my debit or credit card number. I started to wake up around this point and managed to claw things back a few stages, trying to say I'd just started out in this game and wasn't ready to commit to major advertising. But, being a marketing man, he wasn't about to take no for an answer. He ran the conversation like a Socratic dialogue, making me agree to all of his points all over again before making me say 'no' again. I said I didn't have the £399.99 (650 dollahs, ladies and gentlefolk) he was asking for. Then he wound things back, said he could talk to his boss about bumping the fee down. I did my best to give the impression I still wouldn't be able to afford it, but magically his boss came into the room and he bumped his fee down to £250. Not bad. Still, it was too early in my tenure as a language teacher to be committing to this, and too early in the morning for me to be making this kind of decision.

Alas, he wasn't taking no for an answer, and ran be back through every self-evident truth about the opportunity he was proposing. I said something about having classes (meaning teaching students) and he thought I meant I was a student and that was why I didn't have enough money. Then he got even pushier, saying, "Well students have credit cards and overdrafts, don't they?" - cheeky git. Unfortunately I took on the 'being a student' thing as a possible out and accidentally implied I was living hand-to-mouth. He ran through things like, "So if someone asked you to go to the pub tonight, you'd have to say no?" and I was like, "Not exactly, but," and he'd chime in with, "Ah! See! So you do have spare money?" and it got to the point where I was trying to get him to appreciate some self-evident truths, such as, "Just because I can afford £2.50 for a pint, doesn't mean I can afford £250 on self-promotion. Idiot." He wasn't seeing it though, and in retrospect I think he may have been suggesting I go into debt because, "After a few months it's paid for itself, right?"

We went round and round in circles, me not budging any more and him using the same tired arguments, and then, out of the blue, he seemed to give up and said he was moving onto the next person. I'll be sorry, I'm sure.


mcbusted said...

"Sorry, not interested. Have a nice day, goodbye!" Would have got rid of him.

Anji said...

Just put the phone down... or blow a whistle. If you thought about it you could get yourself to the top of Google.

Good news about your lessons. The first one is always the worst. No doubt they have friends they will talk to about you and you'll pick up some hours that way.

BTW, do you go to them or do they come to you? - I always get people to come to me, it saves time and money.

Jimijam said...

Because I'm living with the parentals and am not in the centre of town where most of the foreigners live, I've been going to them. I'm hoping to move and do classes from home at some stage.