In sales and marketing your perseverance and patience will always pay. What I experienced is a very small incident and we come across such instances many a times in our everyday lives but I felt inclined to share this with my readers as it created an impact on me. It’s a classic example of not to give up and just have faith in your judgement.
Last month in December 2018, I and my colleagues were in Bangalore for the Intersolar India exhibition. Our company had booked rooms in a hotel, located in the Jalahalli West region of Bangalore on Esarghatta main road. The exhibition venue was located some 7 – 8 kms from our hotel, at 10th Mile, Tumkur road, a location way off city limits. And on top of that commuting anywhere in Bangalore can be a really time-consuming affair, even if the distance is short. The traffic will drive you nuts. Sometimes it may take an hour to cover less than ten kms!
Given this situation, when you book an Ola, you have to wait for at least half an hour for the cab to reach you, as the poor cab driver is most probably stuck somewhere in traffic when he gets an intimation about your booking.
During exhibitions, when the event commences, I have to reach the venue 2 – 3 hours in advance to make sure that everything is shipshape, the pantry is stocked up, your video wall is running perfectly, the sound is ok and your booth is neat and clean with everything in order.
During the second day of the event, as usual, we were ready and dressed up by 8:30 AM and booked an Ola. We were waiting at the patio of the hotel from where we could see the main road when this auto rickshaw happened to pass by us. The driver glanced at us and sensing a potential customer immediately halted and asked us where we wanted to go. I told him that we had already booked an Ola. Now this fellow was a local and very sharp. He knew the traffic situation in Bangalore and very well knew that sometimes it takes ages for a cab to reach the pickup point.
So, this fellow parked his rickshaw at the curb and waited. I thought to myself, ‘This fellow is wasting his time in vain, nothing is going to come out of it’. My colleague’s Ola app was showing our cab 10 minutes from our location. Great, it will reach in ten minutes. In the next five minutes when my colleague again checked, it was showing 15 minutes! What the heck! We called the cab driver and he told us that he was stuck in traffic somewhere but will reach in few minutes. Again, we checked and the ETA showed 20 minutes!
All during that time the auto rickshaw driver was watching us patiently. I knew that time was running out and we also had to count in the commuting time to the venue which sometimes could take 45 minutes. We decided to cancel the Ola and I asked the auto rickshaw driver to take us to the venue. After a little haggling over the price we got in and were on our way.
Hiring his auto was a good decision, as this smart fellow was well versed with all the small lanes of the area apart from the main roads. He was also super social and greeted every auto rickshaw driver that came across us, with a wave and a hello and a big wide smile.
Any city will always have such narrow and small lanes intricately weaved across its length and breadth and if you have knowledge of these lanes you can considerably cut short your commute time.
The auto driver got us to the venue in fifteen minutes flat! And when I paid him, he took the money and touched it to his heart, his lips and both his eyes as a sign of gratitude to his first earnings of the day, which we Indians generally call ‘Boni’. His energy, his attitude and his positivity cheered me up for the rest of the day. We shook hands and parted ways.
Three lessons I learnt that day from this auto rickshaw driver.
Firstly, you have to be well updated about situations and your surroundings always!
Second, having that knowledge with you, you have to be on a sharp lookout for opportunities that come your way. Yes, opportunities always come, you have to be alert and be positive.
Sometimes it will just look like a chance, it won’t be clear cut; but you have to give it a try, you have to take that chance… most probably you have nothing to lose!
Third, even if the advantage is not on your side, you have to be patient and give it your best shot. Who knows when your luck may turn around and you hit the jackpot?
The auto driver knew that we had booked an Ola cab, but he thought why not give it a shot? What is my loss in it? Let me wait: the traffic situation is bad, it will take time for the cab to reach these guys and they appear to be in a hurry.
If they lose their patience, I will be the first one to benefit from it.
His attitude was that of a person selling his services with a surety that the customer will go for it. No assumptions, no doubts.
It’s cut-throat competition out there and it’s a tough world. But our perseverance and patience will always pay. Those are the very first qualities we should imbibe in ourselves. And we have nothing to lose!