Target-driven sales reps violate publicity norms

DUBAI — The pressure of targets is forcing many sales representatives to flout bank and municipality norms. With the banks allegedly putting a lot of pressure on the sales representatives, they are now resorting to all kinds of methods in order to sell a credit card or a personal loan.

By Joy Sengupta

Published: Sat 14 Jul 2007, 8:46 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:09 AM

One of the most common practices being adopted by sales representatives for luring customers is pasting pamphlets in public places. The sales representatives get these pamphlets either from the bank or they themselves take out printouts and paste them in different places. People interested can call up the representative for a loan or a credit card.

According to Dubai Municipality rules, anyone wanting to stick advertisement pamphlets in public places must have the civic body’s permission.

According to officials in the Advertisement Section of the municipality, those who violate this rule risk being fined anything above Dh500. “This is illegal. They should have proper permission from us,” said the municipality officials.

While some of the sales representatives said that they had no idea about this violation, others said they’ve got no choice.

Rajeev Sinha, who sells credit cards of a reputed bank of Dubai, said, “I don’t know anything about the norms and the rules of the municipality. But then I don’t have a choice. Our salary is very low and we cannot survive. We have got a target every month and have to fulfill it. Anything extra will give us incentives. And we bank on it. And we have to do these things, such as pasting the bills, so that people can read it and contact us. This is a good form of advertising as people do contact us,” he said.

“Selling a credit card or a loan is a very difficult deal. You have to talk to so many people, convince them and sometimes even listen to their abuses in a patient way. Then we have to go to far-off places in order to collect the documents everyday. Also, all the documents need to be perfect and genuine or else we would be facing the music. These advertisements give us the much-needed customers. There are so many advertisements of bed space availability, too. We have to do anything to sell our products,” said Nilesh Kumar, another representative dealing with personal loans.

The representatives pointed out that pressure comes from their seniors. “Everyday we are asked to sell at least 6 to 7 credit cards and loans. And if we don’t, the Team Leader shouts and abuses us. We have to earn the incentive any how. Otherwise how are we going to send money home? The targets keep climbing up every month and no one is ready to listen to us. In such a scenario we are forced to do anything in order to make business,” remarked another representative of a bank.

Burhan Khan, head of Consumer Banking at the ABN AMRO, said putting up pamphlets for the sale of credit cards and loans was against the bank policy. “This is quite against the policy of the bank. We are not sure whether the representatives paste pamphlets as the matter has never been highlighted. Such advertisements are not approved by the bank in anyway. Appropriate actions will be taken against anyone who is found doing such a thing,” he said.

Officials of other banks said the same. “There are other ways to sell the products. The representatives can get data of customers and call them. And pressure is there in every job,” they said.

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