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Door-to-door detergent delight

Door-to-door detergent delight

Proudly displaying the detergent sample packet before me, my aunt remarked, 'These days, who takes the trouble to knock on our doors and offer such useful things without collecting a paisa? May God bless the girl.'

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Last Updated : 28 May 2024, 00:25 IST
Last Updated : 28 May 2024, 00:25 IST
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In the past, door-to-door canvassing for products was the sine qua non of almost every enterprise. Major companies meticulously selected and trained interviewers before sending them into the field, while smaller companies often appointed homemakers and students for canvassing, providing them with oral instructions. However, this mode of marketing has now taken a back seat, thanks to the widespread use of mobile phones, television, and social media for sales promotion campaigns.

I recall an interesting incident from long ago. One Sunday afternoon, I was awakened from my siesta by a knock on the door.  A neatly dressed young lady  with a hand bag slung over her shoulder, greeted me with a smile and asked, in a soft voice, if she could speak to my wife. Since I wasn't married at that time, I was taken aback. Sensing my predicament, she continued, “Any lady in your house will do, Sir. I have come to explain the unique qualities of the detergent powder manufactured by our company."

I called for my elderly aunt, the only woman in the house. Greeting her respectfully with folded hands, the saleswoman sat by her side and began explaining the benefits of using the detergent for both cleaning floors and vessels. She demonstrated how the powder should be used, and my aunt, who was accustomed to struggling to keep the vessels clean using indigenous methods, was amazed to see how easily the powder brightened her vessels. 

After jotting down my aunt's name and address in a register, the saleswoman offered a sample packet to my aunt, who hesitated to accept it. The packet was almost thrust into her hands with the assurance it was free of cost. When the young lady took leave of my aunt promising to call on her again after a fortnight, I heard the latter wishing the girl Godspeed and requesting her to come every week to give a free packet of the detergent.

Proudly displaying the sample packet before me, my aunt remarked, "These days, who takes the trouble to knock on our doors and offer such useful things without collecting a paisa? May God bless the girl." It took some time and effort to convince her that the sample was normally given gratis only once to encourage subsequent purchases.

On another morning, a couple of ladies walked in and requested to speak with the lady of the house. I sent for my aunt. But as soon as the visitors saw her, they abruptly got up and started left, muttering something to her on their way out. My disappointed aunt, who couldn't understand what they were saying, wondered why she had been denied free samples this time. I was equally puzzled. Later, I learned from my neighbour that they were campaigning for family planning.

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