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Dealing with Pushy Sales People

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 4 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Pushy Sales Salespeople Consumer Reviews

Whether it’s door-to-door or over the telephone, many people find pushy salespeople hard to deal with. This is hardly surprising given that salespeople are trained to sell. They also have the added incentive of earning more money the more they sell and some even work on a commission only basis which makes it imperative for them to make sales. The thing you need to remember about salespeople is that they’re trained to overcome customer objections. Therefore, no matter what kind of response you give them once their initial sales pitch is over, you can be certain that they’ve got some kind of plausible answer lined up to keep the dialogue going – but only if you let them.

How To Deal With Pushy Salespeople

The most successful way to deal with pushy salespeople is simply to ignore them. A good technique is to tell your family and friends to always telephone you first if they’re planning to visit. That way, you can simply ignore any doorbell or knocks on the door that you’re not expecting. If it’s the meter reader man or a delivery driver, they’ll always put a card through your door to tell you they’ve been. Alternatively, if that sounds too inconvenient, then as soon as you open the door and you know it’s a sales visit, just say ‘No thank you’ and close the door even before they begin their pitch. Just remember that if you let them start their pitch, you’re likely to be ‘trapped’ into listening to it until the end. It’s far better and easier to simply say ‘No’ before they’ve even got a chance to speak. Or ask them if they’re selling something as soon as you open the door. You don’t need to be rude about this. Be courteous but, above all, be firm and just say ‘No’ or ‘I’m not interested thank you.”


Consumer reviews will always tell you to have a chain fitted on your door anyway for security reasons. That will also serve a couple of purposes when it comes to pushy salespeople knocking on your door. Firstly, because your door will not open fully, it’s easier to say ‘No’ plus there’s no chance of the sales person browbeating you into letting them into your house to explain more. This is a tactic they’ll often try to employ as there’s a lot more chance of getting you to sign a sales agreement inside the house than there is if they’re kept on your doorstep and the agreement will sometimes result in it being a ripoff. Secondly, there are numerous examples of bogus sales people going around preying on vulnerable people, particularly the elderly. Therefore, if you let them inside, they can often seize the opportunity to rob your home usually employing tactics whereby they operate as a 2-man team and one will keep you talking and distract your attention away from the other one who might be taking your belongings.

No Soliciting Signs

Many people who don’t want to have to deal with pushy salespeople will resort to putting up signs saying ‘No Soliciting’ or ‘No Sales Calls’. However, consumer reviews will often state that this tactic simply doesn’t work. Because there is no law preventing door-to-door sales, the chances are that the sales person will still call anyway and often these signs give them an indication that you aren’t comfortable with handling sales pitches so they might feel you’re an easier target.

Telephone Sales

Fortunately, there is a law that protects you from unsolicited telephone sales calls. By signing up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) which is free and can be done online, this should prevent any sales calls as companies know they can be fined if they telephone people who have opted out to receive such calls. You may get the odd call from overseas but you can always hang up. Having caller ID on your phone is useful too. Plus, for a small monthly charge with your phone provider, you can also pay for ‘anonymous calls rejection’. This means that anyone who calls you and withholds their number (as most telephone sales call centres will do) they will be diverted to a message which tells the caller that you don’t accept anonymous calls.

You can be fairly certain that no deal which is offered to you either door-to-door or over the telephone is as good as it appears and it might even be a scam, bogus or a ripoff. And the chances are, even if a person is selling something that sounds appealing, if you shop around you’re likely to get a much better deal. Therefore, don’t be intimidated by pushy salespeople and if you do have cause for complaint, report them to your local trading standards office.

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The worst are those people that try to insist that they're "not selling anything", in the vain hope that you'll stand there and debate whatever they'd like you to think they are doing with them ("conducting a survey", "giving free estimates", etc - all the while holding crudely-printed literature in their hand that has "sale!" written in bold red letters across the top). I try not to answer the door to salespeople as a rule. However, if I accidentally do open it expecting someone else, and they don't take my first "no thankyou, I'm not interested in what you're selling" as an answer, I just shut the door in their face without giving them any further reaction. These people are looking for any interaction with you at all - even irritation will do - so there's nothing quite so satisfying as snubbing their attempts at communicating further by cutting them dead. I truly hope it shatters their confidence and thick skin just a little to be treated with such flat contempt.
RP - 4-Aug-12 @ 11:19 PM
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