An Anti Sale

3 min readFeb 13, 2024

Every few months, I generally find a scene from “ The Newsroom “ and somehow relate it to something that I have encountered.

This one is towards the end, probably one of the final most scenes, when Neal Sampat (Dev Patel) has returned from his hiding-spot in South America, and he’s not happy with how the new digital director is managing the website. The new director decides to rate some of the top most over rated movies of all time which will act like a negative click bait. Neal questions, why overrated and why not underrated, in an obvious attempt to show his disdain about their attempts to click bait the viewers.

He ends the discussion with “ You embarrass me “

Coming back to my story, we recently hired a new member to the team and he immediately came with some special ideas on how to a) Increase sales and b) Increase profitability, while the ideas were good, it bordered some sort of mis selling. Mind you, while we would end up doing exactly what we were promising, it would still end up short changing the customer ( in this case the school) in the long run!

It was more of case of leaving the long term implications of a purchase silent, while the school would not know, because at this juncture they would just not know any better.

After a few polite whatabouteries, the new member got a bit agitated on why we were not greenlighting this brilliance, that’s how we all do it sir, that’s how everyone does it, he finally exclaimed !

It took a fair bit of explanation from our side ( and I am not sure still, he is fully convinced) that while they (the school) did not know any better, we knew !

We would not sell something which would give us short terms sales, but would infact make the project more problematic for the school in the future & that is something which we would not do now or have ever done in the past.

When we were discussing this in our internal meetings, and I quote Vishals’s words here “ We need people who can sell the right way ! Aisa Jhol selling, where we short change the schools we would have never let pass then or now “

So, yes, we let the sale opportunity slide, yeah we probably lost the school, there are several shark tank survivors who will do the sale for the nos, but just could not, we passed.

In a serendipitous moment, like something from the scene of “ 3 idiots “ — we told the sales guy in these unexact words “ Aap apni naukri rakh lijye, mai mera attitude “

This may be the most appropriate time for this to be said, in a world where deaths are faked and lies are peddled and “ rock star “ sales people are revered, we as a company stand for what is doing right and being right. This is the culture we are proud of, this is the “ anti sale “ we are happy to do.

Some excerpts from “ If “ by Rudyard Kipling

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!