Politicians and salesmen

As I write this the results are still coming in. Can I recommend a postal vote to you in future. It is absolutely fascinating watching the various politicians arguing and bickering and trying to attract my vote. And it does not matter. I voted weeks ago. All that bumf that came through our letterbox went straight out to the recycling. Unfortunately, no-one stopped me in the street, so I was robbed of the opportunity to tell them that I was not going to vote for them. I didn’t need to say that I had already voted.

It’s a bit like when you get a sales call. You know it is a sales call. You have heard it all before and you know you are just dealing with someone from a call centre or equivalent whose only task is to get you to agree to meet someone else who hopes to make the sale.

We get a lot of them. I am always polite because we all must make a living but the calls rarely last more than 20 seconds. Generally, I just tell them we have just entered into a 3, 4 or 5 year contract but, when they ask, I can never remember who with. That is usually enough.

Then there are the ones where I am pretty sure it is a sales call, but they are trying to pretend that it is not and start off by asking questions. I just plain ask what they are selling. Then I politely follow up with, “Thank you for thinking of us but we’re not buying today, thank you for calling”. Then I hang up. 20 seconds, sometimes 25.

Now that assumes that the salesperson has contrived to get past our gatekeepers, the ones who answer the phones. Some of these callers are quite adept at it but they come unstuck when they are put through to me. I have heard it all before and given we are all in the selling business, we know what they want and the devises they will employ to achieve their targets.

So, their devises don’t work. If you have a postal vote, it is much the same when it comes to all the electioneering. The difference is that I can sit back and observe all the antics of sundry politicians arguing vehemently for my vote. But it’s all in vain, a complete waste of time and effort. Their ploys and devises are wasted on me. They are now just performing for my entertainment.

Now, I can hear some of you saying that I will be missing all the arguments for and against various policies, that I will therefore have cast my vote in ignorance. I can see some merit in that argument, but I am not sure you really learn that much from all the last minute stuff except that in that media rich environment, few have anything new or meaningful to say. I pay little heed to the various transitory policies that are announced to get my vote. It’s all just sales chatter but I suppose they do stand a chance of influencing my next vote.

You could also argue that I am becoming old and cynical. You may have a point but at the end of the day, I think I have become oblivious to salesmen whether they be selling goods, services, or policies.

I hope the election brought the result you wanted. If it didn’t, that’s just democracy. Isn’t it wonderful.

Alan E Long

The Long Partnership

07770 738770



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