November 1997, Banda (a small town in UP, India)
I was at the railway station waiting for my train back to my headquarter town that was delayed by 2 hours. I was an inveterate smoker and my favorite time pass in those days used to be smoking and observing people at a distance to guess the relationship and the likely conversation going on (its real fun most of the time).
A beggar walked in to me and asked for Rs.10/-. In those days, Rs.10 was a very big sum to be offered in charity and the highest help would be a Rs.1/- or less. I was literally puzzled with his emphatic request for such an amount but he kept on pleading with all his strength of starving to death on that cold evening.
I offered him a 50 paisa coin but, he was reluctant to accept it continued with his bragging. Finally I reached out to my pocket and got aand Rs.5/- note that I gave him without much of thinking to get rid of him and the situation. He accepted it polietely showing his unhappiness and I sarcastically waved him off. He walked out of the platform and I got myself back, busy with my observation game, feeling relieved of his pleadings.
A few minutes later, I found the beggar talking to a family that I was evaluating in my observation, doing the same.
Oops, he did not go with my money to feed his empty stomach but was busy playing the same trick with others too. Watching him do the same suddenly generated lot of bitterness within me and all my sympathy for him was gone. I started to feel agitated may be because somewhere, within, I was not able to digest the fact that, he has fooled a sales guy like me and extracted a very big sum in a very ordinary circumstance.
Yes I was a fool and a victim too though, I held myself in very high spirits of sales esteem till that day.
Trust me, my journey back home was tireless, thinking of what and how he could do it to me.
Then I realized…. Anyone in India, normally would not have paid more than a Rupee in such situations and I ended up paying 5 times the price.
He taught me a great sales trick on the art of negotiation and human engineering. I successfully tested and verified the technique in my future course of working that got me more than Rs.80,000/- as an incentive from my organization.
Learning: To save my skin from paying Rs.10, I ended up paying Rs.5 and that too was a big sum.
I hope you would have by now understood the sales technique used and applied here based on human psychology to generate better business.
If not feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to share my testimonial to this learning with actual situations where I have used it and it always worked for me as an universal truth.