Whenever I come across such bargaining incidents, I feel surprised and each incidence adds up to my surprise every time. I really wonder how she can really propose illogical (apparently) deals and successfully carry out the bargaining.
Once I told her an incidence when I went to a grocery shop, paid money and returned home without picking up the goods. While I couldn’t control my laughter while telling about my silliness, she took this incident very seriously and started preaching ‘How to become a good consumer and be aware of rights…and all…As I had no option but to listen to her, I also started to learn about consumer rights.
She tried her level best to teach me ‘How to scold the shopkeeper if he doesn’t give the free thing on any product, how to quarrel for your rights as a consumer…and so on.
I realized that I could not even follow her basic instruction that we should first be clear with our communication.
So to boost my confidence in quarreling with the shopkeeper, she purposefully returned from a shop without asking and collecting a free thing on a shampoo. She came home and told me to go to the same shop and ask for that free conditioner sachet. My legs started trembling, just to think of fighting with the shopkeeper.
I: How can I go and ask for the free thing….as you bought the shampoo, how will he recognize me?
Sis: So what’s the big deal? Tell that a girl just has purchased a shampoo and forgot to collect the free sachet, I am her sister and want to collect it, now go ……..
I: See..Mani….I really find this illogical, put yourself in the place of that shopkeeper, will you believe any stranger, pretending somebody’s sister?
Sis: Don’t make any excuses, go….
I: aa……I really find this strange….
Due to her insistence I had to go to that shop. I went there and stood in front of a shopkeeper.
After that day she stopped giving me a big lecture on ‘Consumer Rights’ and ‘How to communicate effectively with shopkeepers’. In her opinion I failed on the very first step of bargaining which requires ‘Clear Communication’.
Though this was a funny incidence, I could learn many things from it. I realized this, when I recently attended the workshop on client communication. In this training, I learned while communicating we should:
· State the purpose/ Agenda
· Define a common terminology
· Ask relevant questions
· Paraphrase and validate the points
· Listen actively
Of course that session covered lots of other things as well but some of the important points I mentioned here.
If you take a look at the above conversation you will get to know that what mistakes I did. I did not state the purpose; I straight away started talking without giving him any frame of reference or stating my purpose of coming there. Most of us unknowingly make others confused like this confused shopkeeper.
This was an incident when I was a school going kid. This incident taught me a lot about the importance of ‘Clear Communication’. I recollected this while thinking about the guidelines regarding effective communication. Many small incidences teach us a lot and help us avoid mistakes....Don’t you think so?