I’m in Dallas tonight, an overnight stop on a trip home. I went to Stonebriar Mall to find a replacement case for my crapalicious Window Mobile phone (Never again. Just trust me on this…you do NOT want a Windows Mobile anything. Ever). So I’m walking along, minding my own business, and suddenly I’m accosted by a mall cart sales rep, offering me a free sample of something I don’t want and don’t need. I wave him off. Not to be deterred, he says “can I ask you a question?,” and starts to invade my personal space. Oh, but I’m ready for him this time. “Nope. Sorry…In a hurry…gotta keep moving…thanks anyway,” I say, as I power walk away. You see, I’ve been here before – literally and situationally. The mall cart salesreps are the slimy underbelly of live sales. They prey on people who respond to a question like that with a naive willingness to answer what they think is a reasonable request. If you’re the type that doesn’t wish to offend, you’ve got “sheeple” written all over you as far as these jackals are concerned.
I hate that.
There are ways you can deal with them, without being rude or violating your personal code for living. Or you can get creative when you respond. Ergo:
- You look like you are searching for something. Allow me to introduce you to the wonders of the Zarathustrian Church of the Multiple Singularities…
- Sure! Maybe you can help me with this credit card…it keeps saying things like “insufficient funds” and “declined.” Any ideas?
- Hey do you take plastic? Because I found this card in the parking garage, and I’m dying to find out what this guy’s limit is.
- Klaatu! Barada! Nikto!
And my personal favorite…
- Love to talk with you, but first let me tell you a little bit about Amway…
You get the picture. If you can out-annoy them or make them realize that you’re treating this as a game they can’t win, they’ll quickly lose interest. Frankly, if more people would do this, they would learn (eventually) that it’s a losing strategy to pull a full-court press on people. Until then, my suggestion is to annoy them before they annoy you. In this case, it is better to give, than to receive.