The Chinese taxi driver and the mobile trading platform: My personal journey
How big is trading in China? I wanted to share with you all a few anecdotes as I spend the next four months based out of Chengdu, China as part of BMFN’s expansion strategy into all regions of China. It all started at my hotel concierge as I asked him for a taxi to the office. […]
How big is trading in China? I wanted to share with you all a few anecdotes as I spend the next four months based out of Chengdu, China as part of BMFN’s expansion strategy into all regions of China.
It all started at my hotel concierge as I asked him for a taxi to the office. He replied: “Sir, where are you going?” I took my mobile phone and showed him the address, and he walked with me out of the hotel looking for the bell boy and told him that I need a taxi.
The bell boy asked me: “Sir where are you going? I then showed him the address. He then walked towards the street, found a taxi and sent it to the hotel entrance.
When the taxi arrived at the hotel entrance, another bell boy received the taxi and ask me – yes you have guessed it “Sir where are you going?” And I showed him the address.
Once finally in the taxi, a stop was made one block ahead and the driver looked at me and then began to speak in Chinese. I had absolutely no comprehension of what he was saying. With a smile on my face I figured it out: I replied: “I guess you need the address!” I showed him the address, which was the 4th time I had done so to as many people in the quest for just one taxi ride. He then said “OK” and began driving.
Sometimes we don’t realize that in some cultures you really need to make an effort to understand the local habits and manners. We must not judge. Instead we must watch, learn and adapt to the new environments and situations. This is called adaptation. Why I was asked the address 4 times should not be my concern. It should be understood that this is the way that this hotel operates and there is a reason for that, therefore with more time I might understand it.
While he was driving I noticed: Normally taxis have their mobiles with Google maps or applications to look for clients or WeChat which is a Chinese mobile messaging system, but this taxi driver has his big mobile screen looking at the China stock market prices and talking to someone over WeChat, as he shared information or discussed the markets.
I realized: People love to trade more than we can imagine. This reminds me of what many sales people often tell management: The “leads are weak” or there are no prospects, specially the new sales. In reality: Not true!!!!. You just need to open your eyes wider and look for new opportunities.
I immediately showed the taxi driver my MT4 trading account on my iPhone and told him: Sir “ I also trade, the same as you” Of course he did not understand me.
At that point I took action! I called by phone to Lydia , my new Chinese assistant and told her that I will pass the phone to the taxi driver, having explained the situation to her very quickly and told her to ask him about his trading and get his phone number so someone from the office call him back later.
As I passed the mobile to the driver, he wondered what was happening. A mixture of fear and surprised was on his face as he took the phone and after 30 seconds he pulled aside, stopped the taxi and start talking to Lydia. After 3-4 minutes he gave me the phone back and say to me: Xie xie ( thanks ).
I got to the office and asked Lydia; “Please tell me you got his phone number? She replied: “Of course yes.” Then I gave that phone number to Crystal, one of our Sales Managers and she then agreed to call the customer on speaker mode so the new sales people would be able to listen and learn.
I gave the new sales people this speech and told them that Chengdu and any other place in China and worldwide are full of opportunities, only if you want them and if you seek for them. Results won’t happen by luck, Luck favors prepared minds and hard workers.
I showed each one of them this picture so they can better understand the situation.
By this time, the end of the working day had arrived and it was about 6.00pm, which is the time of our daily closing day meeting, during which I asked: ‘So, is there any news from the taxi driver?” Smiles from all were abound, as though they expected me to ask this question. The answer was: “He is coming tomorrow after his shift ends to meet us.”
And this is how you can have a cold, weak lead converted into a potential client and at the same time learn more about the culture in nations that you are trying to do business with passion and fun.
I welcome all of you to share with us your stories, as you can’t imagine how much we can learn from them and at the same time have some laughs and fun.