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How not to sell things to me


To the bloke who tried to sell me double-glazing on my doorstep:
So sorry I wasn\’t polite enough to you. I work at home and I\’m constantly being bugged by people who want to sell me something at the door or on the phone, but immediately deny that they\’re selling anything at all because they have a script and the managers told them to stick to it, especially with gormless housewives like me because then you can con them with doubletalk and bullshit about £2,500 cashbacks (on an expenditure of what, exactly?) and sell them loads of double glazing they don\’t want and can\’t afford but hey, who cares, right? We still get our commission. Yes, banking and mortgage broking experience very acceptable.
Incidentally, cold-calling me on the phone gets you one of two responses. If you\’re stupid enough to try and be pally with me by calling me \”Pat\” (a shortener for my given name of Patricia which I have ALWAYS hated), you\’ll get a sub-zero voice temperature. Then you\’ll get the information that I have a policy never to buy anything from a cold call because I assume that if the company needs to cold-call, their product must be crap. If you are at least polite, you\’ll get the same response, but nicer.
In fact if this particular bloke at the door could have come off his high horse long enough to realise I was actually asking him for his card so I could call him back when I wasn\’t working, perhaps he could even have sold me something since my conservatory needs work. But I\’d upset him by asking if he was selling something (no! no!) and then I\’d been rude enough to point out that a \”free quote\” bloody well should be free so it isn\’t exactly a selling point. So after he\’d snapped his smart little plastic folder open to find No Business Cards (his manager needs to be shot, by the way, it\’s sort of a basic tool), off he stropped with passing shots about how he doesn\’t need to be spoken to like this.
Laddy boy, in your whiter than white shirt and your hatchet face full of sourly offended pride: the happy days of mortgage broking are gone. You are now a door-to-door salesman and even if your shirt is white, you still have to try to be friendly. My dog was being very friendly, but then she loves everyone. If someone says they\’re busy working and could they have your card, that is an opening, a lead, and what you do is you say, \”I\’m very sorry I bothered you, here\’s my card, I\’ll come back and talk it over with you when it\’s more convenient for you.\” Then you have a fighting chance of making the sale and getting the commission.
I speak as one who spent a year selling newspaper advertising over the phone and I was just as bad at it as you are because I too was full of arrogance and contempt. As a sales technique this really doesn\’t work. Maybe double-glazing isn\’t really your field. Maybe you should go back to mortgage broking? Oh sorry, I forgot. That\’s sort of a bit dead now.
Ha. Ha.


  1. Patrice says:

    Ooops… Why do you hate your first name (if I may ask that)?

    …I was told that St.Patrick did a great job chasing snakes out of Ireland… (but where did they go…?)


    (Brittany, France)

    1. Patricia says:

      Hi Patrice, I don’t hate my first name (though I think it’s a bit boring – I wanted something more romantic like Rhiannon, to be honest). What I REALLY REALLY hate is having some idiot shorten it to “Pat” without even asking me first. There is a rant in storage at the moment on this subject which will arrive soon(ish).

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