I have never been keen on sales people. I suppose that is not an entirely uncommon thing. Anyone who is pushy and tries to convince me that I should buy something from them comes across all wrong to me. My defenses immediately go up. Those types of sales people usually strike me as cocky, overly confident and stuck on themselves. I have a hard time hearing any of their sales pitch once my walls go up, no matter how much I might actually need their product. Once they’ve rubbed me the wrong way, I can’t hear anything else from them. I just want to run away.
Long ago, when home parties became a common thing for people selling products, I attended a few and always hated it. I felt obligated to support my friend, no matter how much I heard that there was ‘no obligation to buy’. Between the “come to my house and enjoy these snacks I bought” and the sometimes manipulative sales tactics involved, I never felt like I could leave a home party without making a purchase. So I pretty much boycotted ever attending another party. (Plus I’m quite an introvert, so attending a party with a bunch of strangers was always pretty tiresome for me.)
These days, home parties are far less common. Those parties have moved to the internet. Facebook groups, event pages and websites are the way these ladies and gentlemen sell their products now. I will admit this comes across much smoother for me because I can walk away or exit a group if I choose to without feeling any guilt or remorse for not making a purchase. But multi-level marketing companies still exist that train their representatives to be manipulative. Fortunately, these days, I can click one button and get that irritation out of my life. The power of technology is great!
Interestingly enough, with as much as I dread sales people, in 2001 I joined one of those companies that sell products to friends and family. At the time, I had a five month old baby girl, a fifteen month old son and a four year old daughter. I was up to my eyeballs in diapers, bottles and laundry. I barely slept for several years and spent my days in stained clothes with little ones crawling all over me. I cherish those days now as I look back on them, but at the time I desperately needed to find something to do that did not involve babies or someone whining in my ear. I needed a hobby. So when I realized that I did not have a local lady to buy my favorite eyeliner from, I looked into it. A ten dollar investment signed me up. I’ve never pushed the products, never really pursued sales, never hounded people or knocked on doors. I’ve never cold called anyone or really tried to sell anything. Fortunately, word of mouth has been my best advertisement, and sixteen years after starting all this, I still get a twice a month shipment of items for my loyal customers.
While I have a better respect for sales people these days due to my own experiences, I’m still not a big fan of anyone who is pushy. I have met plenty of brilliant people who sell products they believe in without having to be aggressive or overbearing. They support their families and enjoy getting to share their products with family and friends. I like to support those individuals. It makes me happy to know I am helping them pay their bills and send a child to college by purchasing their scented wax, probiotics, clothing line, books, dishes and make up products. And I can do all that without attending one single home party! That’s a big win for me.