What I Learned Selling SIM Cards at the Shopping Mall


Note: if you find some english mistakes, just let me know in the comments. This post is part of my 30-day challenge “I’m Italian, so I don’t speak English”.

I was still a student when I had the urgent need to find a job. I sent hundreds of curriculum during the pauses from a chapter and another of my book of International Relations. I had some interviews, two of them very awkward: one for adult entertainment at parties and one in a very messy office in the backyard of a bar where the boss told me I had a beautiful eyes and a gorgeous smile. I refused both of them and I accepted the third one: I became a Vodafone promoter and I would be paid only the commissions.

When I said it to my friends, they were skeptic. “You will not have a fixed salary. They are cheating you, you will see!”. But, actually, it was not a fraud, they paid me (a lot) and I learned many new things.

People are not like you

When my boss explained me the job, I discovered I had to stop random people and bother them asking questions about their phone and internet plans and try to sell them Vodafone offers. “Ok, fine, but do people really stop? I mean, I never stop when they bother me…” I asked to my boss. “Alessia, people are not like you” he answered me. And actually he was right. Sure, not everybody stopped, but somebody does and this was the important. I learned that you shouldn’t suppose everybody would act like you would, people act in different ways and you would never know. You have just to give it a try.

Listen, listen, listen

I learned by heart our offers and I proposed the ones with higher commissions for me every time somebody stopped talking with me. After three hours I didn’t close any contract. One of my colleague saw I was sad and he told me: “You talk too much! You should become your customers’ friend. You have to care about them. Ask more question and then sell what they want, not what you want”. So I discovered that one family is moving to another house near my boyfriends’ house, and I sold them wifi and advices about the good restaurants in the neighbourhood. I found out a soldier was born in my same birth town, so I sold him two mobile SIM cards and a little bit of “home” feeling. I just became their friend for a while and they trusted me.

Respect your collegues

The first question my friends asked me was: “You’re paid just if you sell something, so is it kind of war between you all?”. No, we were 4 persons and we tried to help each others. Of course, sometime we talked with the same person, but we decided together whose the contracts is. We had to spend our weekends together, often 150–200 km far from home, it wouldn’t be a good idea fight with each others.

Be honest

At the beginning we were trained to not tell all the truth. We didn’t have to lie, we have just to omit something if the customer didn’t ask for it. We discovered on our skin that it wasn’t a good strategy. A Saturday we were working in a shopping mall and suddenly an middle-aged man shouted against us all: “Cheater! Fucking cheater!”. Then he pointed one of my colleague and he added: “You will pay for it! I swear it!”. People we’re talking with looked at us and they left. So we lost our possible signed contracts and all possible customers around. We started telling all the truth and the second month our commissions were higher.

Enjoy your time

It was sad sometimes spending my weekends in a shopping mall bothering people that didn’t give a shit about new SIM cards. Luckely, we had a lot of fun anyway. One time our boss wanted to show us the high definition of his new tablet’s screen. He called us proudly and he show us a video: it was the Belen Rodriguez’s porn clip. He pointed the screen and he said: “You see! Nobody noticed the cute red cat at the border of the bed, but thanks to this new tablet I saw it! Technology is amazing!”. After five minutes we sold two tablet and two SIM cards.

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