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was i rude?

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    was i rude?

    so, an alarm salesperson came to my door yesterday a little after 5pm. i told him no thank you, that we were just renting and moving soon. he proceeded to tell me that they have a wireless solution that we could take with us when we move. i told him that we weren't interested. he asked if he could leave some information with me and follow up later. i again told him no thank you, we really aren't interested.

    he seemed offended at that point and said something as he turned and walked off.

    i thought i was polite, and that i didn't let my irritation at his persistence surface. but perhaps i did and didn't realize it and my tone reflected the irritation i felt - i did cut him off and didn't let him finish all he had to say. i was busy at the time, trying to get ready for something and didn't want the distraction. and i didn't want to take the literature because i didn't want to waste his sales materials when i knew we weren't going to buy his alarm system. taking the literature and tossing it in the recycle bin is also not the most environmentally responsible thing to do.

    perhaps he reacted the way he did because a lot of people had been telling him that they weren't interested in getting an alarm system?

    anyway, i was feeling bad this morning that i may have been rude.

    i'm curious how you communicate that you aren't interested tactfully and kindly when someone approaches you with something you aren't interested in?
    Last edited by maverick; 10-14-2010, 06:19 AM.

    It sounds like you were very polite - and I'm having a hard time picturing you ever being rude. I think sometimes people are unhappy hearing "no" - no matter how politely it is presented. That's just the way it goes.

    I know what you mean, though - a sales job like that must be difficult, so I also make an effort to be polite in those situations. We're very fortunate here at TOM BIHN that a "hard sell" is never something we engage in.

    Up until recently, when we took orders over the phone, we'd say, for example - "I've added the Size 4Z Brain Cell to your order. You also have the option of adding the Absolute Shoulder Strap should you need one. If you already have shoulder straps from other bags laying around that connect via snaphooks, you could probably just use one of those too." - because it's true and we didn't want people to feel like we were saying they had to buy an Absolute strap. We pretty much stopped saying that after a customer called to say their shoulder strap had broken, sending their Brain Cell tumbling down a flight of stairs (laptop was still functional afterwards, phew) and we figured out that they had been using an inferior shoulder strap from a previous non-TOM BIHN bag instead of one of ours. By no means are we saying that all non-TB shoulder straps will break, but there's some really awful straps out there that will.
    Have a question? @Darcy (to make sure I see it)

    Current carry: testing new potential materials in the form of Original Large Shop Bags.


      Saying no thank you to a sales person is not rude. If you need to say it three times, the sales person is the one with the problem not you. I've watched your videos, listened to you and read a LOT of your posts. I doubt seriously you were rude, it's just not in your nature. If anyone was rude in this situation it was the sales person. Just my two cents.
      Happy travels,
      List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!


        I agree, Maverick, you don't have a rude bone in your body! I am guessing that this salesperson is having a tough go of things in this economy and is desperate for some type of sale. It also sounds as though he may not have much experience in sales and doesn't have his "pitch" mastered yet. Seriously, having to tell him "no thank you" three different time is just not right. It was he that rude, not you!
        Ego in Black, Steel, Wasabi, Empire Builder in Black, Black, Sapphire (Husband), 2 Brain Cells (Black), 2 Medium Cafe Bags - 1 in Black, Wasabi & 1 in Navy, Cayenne, 2 Large Cafe bags w/Absolute Straps - 1 in Linen, Olive and 1 in Cocoa, Wasabi, Guardian Dual Function Light & Lots of pouches!


          thanks folks!

          wow darcy! on the one hand, it's hard to imagine a shoulder strap actually breaking, specially after using tom bihn products for so many years. but, i do remember having backpacks through school that would come undone at the seams after a year of use - and at the start of every school year, i'd get a new backpack. so i guess there are shoulder straps out there that break.

          now, i have a 7 year old smart alec that still gets used regularly, still looks fantastic, and still has every seam well in tact!


            If the sales call was a Cold Call where they just go down the street knocking on doors then they do not even get past telling me what they want.
            In fact they get about 10 seconds to spit it out before I close the door on them.

            Rude? Not as rude as Cold Calling in my book.
            I even sold Door to Door in a past life a long time ago when people were friendlier and more open to it.
            There is no more frustrating vocation I can imagine but we also learned it is merely a numbers game.
            The more doors you knock on the more sales you make and you can not take it like he did and last too long.

            On the other hand,I do not mind being assertive in these situations either.

            Move on.



              If you are going to say 'no' to a sales pitch, I actually think it's ultimately kinder to be just brusque enough so that the person knows they should not waste their time trying to convince you. If they hold out any hope at all of making a sale, they will keep trying. In other words, I don't give someone an explanation that they'll feel they can counter. I just say, "Not interested, thank you!" in a tone of voice that doesn't allow for continued discussion.
              All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
              Edmund Burke


                Maverick rude? I can't imagine it. That said, I do have some sympathy for door-to-door sellers, who get screamed at and sworn at all day, every day--probably it had been a bad day for that guy and his patience had been worn out completely by the time he got to Chez Maverick. I, too, am pretty brusque but polite with uninvited solicitors, whether by phone or at the door. "No, thank you, we don't respond to telephone solicitation," and "No thank you, good bye," are my typical responses, followed by my closing the front door or hanging up the phone.

                I did get rude with a door to door knife salesman once. He was a classmate of my daughter, selling knife sets for college money. He turned up on our doorstep to do a demo and I told him we weren't interested. He pleaded for the opportunity to do a demo, since he said he got paid for every demonstration done, even if we didn't buy the knives. Well, he *was* a friend of my daughter, sort of, so I sighed and said, " Go ahead." At the end of the demo (which was kind of funny, actually, since we have good, sharp knives such that his comparisons with our knives fell kind of flat) he asked if we wanted to buy a set, then a smaller set, then finally, "How about one?" I reminded him that I had warned him that we weren't interested, when he said, "But I've just spend half an hour doing a demo here!" Probably it was rude of me, but he was shown the door milliseconds later.
                Western Flyer (crimsom) with Absolute strap, Zephyr (black), Medium Cafe Bag (steel/olive), Shop Bags (solar, steel), Large Cafe bag (navy/cayenne), Small café bag (forest), Tristars (steel/solar and indigo/solar),Aeronaut (steel), Side Effects (old skool black cordura, olive parapack), Imagos (steel, cork, wasabi, and aubergine, hemp, steel), Dyneema Western Flyer (Nordic/Steel) and miscellaneous packing cubes, pouches, etc.


                  I think the salesman may have forgotten one of the core “don’t” of sales: Never try to sell to someone that is not interested. That's an equally powerful point for both the the seller and the customer.

                  When confronted with a sales pitch, ask yourself...

                  "...am I interested in this, yes or no? "

                  Then select the ONE best answer to give the salesman:

                  "Interesting, tell me more!"
                  "I'm not interested at all, but thank you."


                    Since I got laid off, I've been able to say truthfully, "Sorry—I got laid off." You might say, truthfully, that money is tight and try to sell them something. Or offer to convert them to your religion.

                    I agree with KarlJ. My first job was in retail sales (clothing), and I was good at it. I let the customer know that I was there to help, and then I backed off until needed. Basically, shoppers sell themselves. If you push, they want to escape.