Saturday, 17 May 2008

Andy's guide to...

...getting rid of sales people.

It's taken me a while to work out how best to do this, but I thought I'd list the general techniques I use in an attempt to get out of giving people money or buying things from sales people, without simply lying, as that'd be wrong.

Be a student:

This only really works if you are a student and doesn't necessarily work all the time, but generally saying "I'm a student" can indicate that you're unwilling to spend more money on anything you don't deem utterly worthwhile. Unfortunately, in the case of charity street people, they tend to say well you can survive without going out once a week (to which I reply "I don't go out anyway"), so it's not always a winner.

Don't show any interest:

Simply saying that you don't have time or deliberately avoiding eye contact or even blatantly ignoring them, whilst rude, is generally used by most people to great effect. However I'm a nice person so tend to stop even if just to say "sorry, I've got somewhere else to be"

Say you're moving to London soon:

This has worked relatively well for me for a number of months as it generally gives people the impression that I need all the money I can get and that frankly they should be collecting money for me, not cancer or endangered mosquitoes. This again only works if you are actually moving somewhere else soon (continuing the non lying thing), but should still have some weight after the move, just change it to "I've just moved here" and it should still hold true.

Explain that you'd like to give them money but as there are so many organisations it's not something you want to do lightly:

This is a bit of a lame excuse, as I don't give money to any charity at the moment (aside from my church every now and then) but you can make it known that you're willing to support charities but need more time than 5 minutes on a street to think about it all.

Go through with it all and then cancel the Direct Debit before the first payment comes out:

I admit that I've actually done this before, it was stupid. It was for the Dogs Trust, the guy I spoke to was really nice and I felt mean not signing things afterwards, more fool me, but I decided that I'd cancel the direct debit because, as much as I love dogs, I could give to much better charities who do work with humans not animals. From this experience I learnt that you can still say no even after a long chat and you'll be being rude as they're essentially being rude and asking you for money in the first place :D This is a really stupid way of doing things, as the organisation will have your details and try to get you back (in the Dogs trust case with pictures of dogs looking forlornly at you), just ignore them and if you get bored "return to sender".

Keep asking questions about the organisation whilst maintaining that you can't give money / buy anything:

This worked both for a charity and a sales person. By continuing to ask questions about the organisation in a manner which makes it seem like you want to make an informed decision, the person will either get fed up with you and want to call a more susceptible person or realise that you're not going to buy anything but are willing to give you more info. If they are going on commission or a per sale rate they wont really want to hang around with one person for too long, but you will atleast seem like a nice person (aslong as you're nice about it, my brother did make a buddist monk say that he wanted to kick him in the balls, but wouldn't)

Fake your own death:

By faking your own death when they approach/ring their attention will be drawn away from trying to persuade you to sign up to things and you get to lie on the floor for a bit.

Explain that you just don't do anything on the street/your doorstep/phone as you prefer to think about things and look at all the available possibilities:

Most companies will claim to be the best and show you figures that are most likely fiddled in some magical way to ensure they seem that way. By telling them that you're just not willing to sign up to anything in this way you can get rid of them without having to listen to any spiel (you may have to listen to a bit and them stop them, which can be fun). This is a relatively respectable way to do things.

Already have involvements with other groups or happy with existing services

If you are indeed happy with your current situation or you already give money to organisation(s) you can just say this and they will most likely go away. I can't really say this as neither of the above are true, but maybe they will be one day.

Well I hope that helps give you a nice arsenal of ways to get out of giving away your hard earned cash or changing your services over to another company. Please post your own suggestions if you have any more.


The Big LeBamski said...

I'm guessing "fake your own death" was included for humour more than anything else, but I thought I'd point out that if you're intending not to lie, pretending to be dead seems like a pretty major way of failing to do that ;-D

Another really good way of avoiding these soul-suckers armed with clipboards and faux interest in who you are is to use technology to your advantage. When I'm walking down a high street - the natural habitat of the predator in question - I usually have my MP3 player on, and usually to a volume level that I can't really hear much of what is happening around me. Whilst potentially dangerous to my hearing, the fact that my headphones are clearly visible (they aren't in-ear style, but more traditional) usually means Beelzebub's minions will avoid trying to talk to me.

Equally successful is your mobile phone. I have on occasion pretended to be having a conversation and held my phone to my ear as I've walked past the clipboard demons, but if you want to stick to not lying then it's always the perfect opportunity to make that phonecall you've been putting off.

Also, I've been stopped more regularly when coming to or from work than in my own free time, so avoid dressing like someone who is successful. Kind of fits in with the student thing - if you look like a student then it helps to ward them off.

Andy J. Wotherspoon said...

oddly enough, as I always look like someone with little money, I think that they do pray on students quite a bit as idiot who are probably still drunk from last night (not ever the case with me I might add) so willing to part with cash just to shut the overly hyperactive operative up so they can have some peace.

But yeah, fake death was a red herring and sticking to non lying is the general idea here.

Completely off topic, kind of, I did have a guy stop me, asking for money, who was one of the need to get to somewhere and I only have so much and I'm lying through my teeth to you but you know that so if I annoy you enough you'll give me money. So I listened to his tale, then told him I had no money on me, which was perfectly true, I had just bought a 80p train ticket on my card, to which he responded by calling me a liar. Had I had my wits about me I may have pointed out that he was in fact the liar and I was just an innocent passer by. Needless to say I objected to his accusation (annoyingly in a higher pitched voice than I normally speak in) but kept my composure and eventually told him I didn't appreciate how he was speaking to me, to which he responded with "You want a fight". I declined his kind offer and he told me to "f off", which added insult to err.. insult as he had stopped me to ask for money, the ass. To further compound this guys lying status, I met him a few days later, spinning an entirely different tale whilst incredibly high and abuse to people. Well anyway that's the story of Ass McGraw and the lie to end all lies.

TheTelf said...

If you're wearing a hooded top, just stick the hood up, and try to exude some serious menace. Holding a knife obviously in one hand also helps with this image.

I usually go with "Sorry, not interested" followed by "I already give money to charity" if they persist. But I've also used the on-the-phone trick.

And faking your own death will get you out of an immediate conversation, but will leave you lying on the floor nearby, which will give them a chance to continue to make their case, attempt mouth-to-mouth, or simply loot your corpse.

immedia reaction said...

If you've faked your own death than they can't technically loot your corpse. As the death is fake you'll still be a person rather than a cadaver. Depending on how enthusiastic the looting is I guess.

TheTelf said...

The 'loot your corpse' was from their point of view, and as such, stands as a valid option.

So there.

immedia reaction said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
immedia reaction said...

You know you're wrong. You're just not man enough to admit it. And I'm just not surprised by this at all...