Door to Door Sales

I had a door to door salesperson today. She was selling “Advanage Wonder Cleaner” – tbadvanagesales.com.

It isn’t the “wonder” cleaner they said, though her demonstration was quite impressive. She was a typical sales person – pushed her way into my home to clean a stain on my carpet, pushed her way into my bathroom to show me how it works on lime scale and calcium deposits… etc

I bought the stuff. I usually don’t buy anything from anyone. And it was way over priced. But I felt bad for her being out in the heat and smoke (smoke from our wildfires this summer). And I have some inside knowlege many people don’t.

I have known 4 people who have worked for these types of companies trying to save money in the summer for college. They are promised big bucks if only they will work hard. It isn’t that easy. Sales is hard. Really it is. My dad and husband are both in sales. Door to door sales is the hardest.

The people I knew that worked for these types of companies told me the salespeople are treated poorly in general – they are driven to some neighborhood in the heat of the summer, dropped off with their backpack of supplies, and left there all day. Someone comes to pick them up later after 12 hours of work. They don’t always have money, water, or food. I had one relative try to sell books one summer. She had to get a bus ticket home part way through the summer – her treatment was so bad. I had 2 other relatives work at selling extermination contracts for a company – in Arizona (the hottest weather I have ever experienced). They were working for an honest person and someone who knew our family. This person had made very good money several summers in a row. Their treatment was ok, but they made no money in this new market. I mean none. It was still hard work – getting dropped off and walking door to door for 12 hours in the 110 degree heat.I have heard horror stories about people who weren’t allowed to eat that night if they didn’t make their quota. I have heard about people who had to sleep on a hotel floor because they didn’t make enough (some of these companies drive these youth all over the country, packing them into hotels, all summer – and they don’t get paid until the end of the summer, so they don’t have money to eat or anything.)

So, this funny, smart girl comes to my house and makes some cute jokes and does a little demonstration – and I know a lot of the sales person tricks. For example, did you know they are supposed to try and get in the house anyway they can – like asking to use your table to write on, asking for a drink of water, etc. But she came in being so cute – really working her butt off – and obviously so tired and hot – so I bought some overpriced and honestly not impressive cleaner. My husband will probably kill me.

The thing is, then she only had one bottle left and “had to sell them in pairs” which I didn’t believe either. And she called her boss and said she needed one more delivered. From my phone.

The boss calls 10 minutes later, says he knows she said he’d be there in 10 minutes, but he got held up, make it 30. I said sure. So 2 hours later I put a note over the bell: “Dudes selling Amazing Cleaner Stuff: I waited 4 times longer than you told me it would take. I understand stuff comes up. But I gots shit ta do. Please put the cleaner in the milk box. Thanx.” Apparently they liked that – they took the note. I hope I see it on “wins.failblog.org”.

So in the mean time I had looked up reviews on the internet (because I was afraid they weren’t coming back) and found a few that were actually complaining about the product. But more that were complaining about the sales people. Now here is my problem with that. Sales people sell. That’s what they do. We don’t all like it. We don’t. But that’s their job. And they are going to do what it takes to sell to you. Hopefully they don’t outright lie. Because I’ve seen those types. My husband and dad are honest sales people. They wouldn’t lie to make money.

But they would make sure they look nice, and are nicely groomed. They would be outgoing and handsome and funny and use all the little salesmen tricks. Hint – if you are a sales person, don’t ever tell a sales person that’s what you do. My husband’s boss (who is a great salesman) once told a real estate agent that if he didn’t buy a higher priced car he wouldn’t sell as much. Because he knows that the real estate agent knows it’s true. Salesmen know what sells. Looking successful sells. Also being handsome and funny like my hubby sells.

So, to all you who complained about the salesmen, here is my advice: don’t open the door to them. In fact, put up a sign that says you will call the police on solicitors – because it’s illegal in many neighborhoods. And they will leave you alone. If you have to buy a car or insurance – well, I don’t know how to tell you to avoid those salesmen. I’m sure there are ways.

Just remember – they are people too, trying to put food on their family’s table. Sometimes it’s the job they do best, and sometimes it’s the best they can do. But at least they are doing it and trying. Give em a break.

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