Handling Hard Core Sales Pitches

We’re dipping our toe in the kiddie modeling pond; just to check out the landscape of possibilities. After a complete stranger yelled from a passing car, “Your son is sooooooo handsome”, I’ve decided to let my guard down and give kiddie pictures a try. In my mind, this is just another experience. Worse case, no one calls and we have a few more photos for the album. Best case, we book a few gigs, pad his college savings fund, and create a new memories to cherish. This is me, trying to tamp down expectations.

Off to the first “modeling agency” we went.

I’ve experienced my share of tug-on-the-emotional-strings sales jobs. We’ve even bitten off a timeshare, to my 30-year-regret. However, this one re-opened my eyes and framed my story for this blog post. If you want to melt the most hard-hearted, emotionally neutral person into a puddle of mush, compliment their kiddo. That’s exactly what this sales person does for a living. He laid it on thick.

  •          “It’s much better that he’s a little more reserve, rather than tearing the place down.”
  •          “We haven’t seen very many children today that we will accept.”
  •          “If you sign [and pay] today, we can have him on auditions on next Tuesday.”

Just $495 and we’ll get the ball rolling.  While I made the appointment fully expecting to say no, I almost reconsidered. Spread a couple of product ad snapshots before me, regale me with tales of residual income from national commercial gigs, or dangle the possibility of my son’s face selling diapers…let’s get this party started!

Thankfully, after a 5 minutes to reflect, cooler heads prevailed. I also prepped my tips for rebuffing high pressure sales tactics. Oh, that I would have used these before the timeshare…

  • Say, “No.” Alright, Nancy Regan’s 80’s campaign against drug use wasn’t that successful either. However, one cannot disregard the power of that small, but mighty word. No. Of course, sales people are trained to play off your no. It doesn’t matter. A no, is still a no, is still a no.
  • “I’m in the process of comparing other services/products.” This is the softer side of no, it’s a “not yet”. You can’t make a final decision until you have all the information; all of which cannot be obtained in one sales pitch.
  • “I never make same day decisions on big ticket items.” A good rule in general if you ask me.
  •  “We’d like to check your references before moving forward.” Due diligence dictates that you talk to other people. Visit yelp.com, pull up the Better Business Bureau, or a run an old fashion Google search to get first hand feedback. Do stop at a list of pre-screened testimonials, find out what the universe has to say about this product or service. All negative experiences should not be an immediate disqualification. The goal, however, is to make an informed decision.
  • “Can I try, before I buy?” Ask the sales rep for a no-money-down trial. If their product or service is above board, then a look-see should not give anyone heart palpitations. You would always test drive a car, right? Before forking over money or commitment, ensure this product or service stands up to the marketing presentation.

If all else fails, stand up and tell the rep, “Watch me as I walk a-w-a-y!”  I’m not sure what compels us to sit through an uncomfortable pressure pitch. Stand up, literally. We become a bit more assertive on our feet anyway. If you must choose between appearing polite and being talked out of your hard earned cash, the sales person will recover. Trust me!

If you have other tips for rebuffing high pressure sales pitches, we’d love to hear them. Chime in below!!!

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