I have a friend. I knew him in uni when I joined taekwondo club (by the way I’m a brown belt holder who has long gone without practice) and he was the president. I don’t really consider him a good friend, but because he is the kind of person who always text people every once in a while to catch up over drinks or dinner, I still keep in touch with him till now. Every so often we would meet and talk about random stuff i.e. my travels, his work, our old club mates and many other things in life.
I used to enjoy our random meet-ups until recently. You see, this guy works as an insurance agent (some of you may already guess how the story’s gonna progress). I’ve always been aware of what he does for a living, but it doesn’t bother me as he has never attempted to sell anything to me when we meet. It has always been about two friends catching up. That is, like I said, until recently. The last time I met him (which was sometime in April or May) he started asking me about my financial health - what’s my insurance policy, whether I have enough savings, if I’m aware that I can do certain things to gain passive investment income etc. - you know, the usual insurance agent talk. From that point I realize this so-called friend is trying to turn me into a client. He even asked me to show him whatever insurance or investment portfolio that I have so he could do a review for me, which of course I courteously declined.
Last week he texted me, asking if I was free to meet up. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I was busy with monthly accounts closing, so I couldn’t oblige. Yesterday he texted again. This time I thought, maybe I should give him a chance. Perhaps he genuinely wanted to catch up. After all I haven’t seen him in a month. So I told him why not we meet the next day (today) after work. His reply?
“Ok. C u tomorrow. Is it possible that u bring along ur insurance plan so that I can do a review for u, as we have spoken about it that time :-)”
I thought wrong.
To me, if there’s one thing that destroys a friendship, it’s pushing your friend into becoming your client. I’m not against my friends doing business, in fact I do support them (I have a list of links to my friends’ business blogs on the right hand panel to prove it!). But if any friend of mine starts to shove his/her products down my throat, that to me is a friendship breaker. If I think your product is good, I will buy it, you don’t even have to ask. But if you start pushing it to me, it doesn’t matter if your product is used by the Queen of England, I will keep away from it, and from you!
I didn’t reply to his text yesterday. I plan to reply today and tell him too bad I can’t make it to see him, no reason to be given, I don’t need to anyway.
So the next time you ask me for a friendly meet up, make sure you are not planning to sell me anything, or ask me to join some direct selling activity, or invite me to be your down-line in whatever multilevel marketing scheme that you are into.
Or else, go find yourself another friend because I don’t want anything to do with you!