This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

How to get rid of obnoxious salespeople

There are few things in life as irritating as listening to an obnoxious salesperson. It is, of course, wrong to strangle these people, so I can't recommend that. Personally, I would like be able to magically create a trap door that opens underneath their feet, and all I would have to do is to push a button, and they would fall through it.

And by "obnoxious salespeople", I am including anyone who is trying to sell me anything, including the idea of recycling used kleenex to lower greenhouse gasses, or someone who is telling me about their religion. That is, it doesn't have to be someone who is looking for money. Sales is all about convincing people, and an obnoxious salesperson is always talking, trying to convince everyone. Many people take their passion for something and make themselves into obnoxious salespeople. Obnoxious salespeople talk loudly, are repetitive, keep coming back to the same thing over and over no matter what you say. I don't want to be around those people and I certainly don't want to inflict them on my clients or my friends.

If you are a salesperson, remember that you don't have to be obnoxious. Sales is an art. Take some classes on sales. A good salesperson is a pleasure to talk to. They are helpful, they listen and solve problems. They understand which customers need which things, they are not just doing the obnoxious sales pitch to everyone they meet, even when it's clear that they are talking to the wrong person. I will recommend an excellent salesperson to my other clients.

Ways to get rid of obnoxious salespeople.

• Run away if possible. You don't need to say, "hey, I just remembered that you're boring and my feet work", but just go. 

• Sell them something yourself. I always carry business cards. If someone starts the obnoxious sales routine on me, I will try to convince them to begin a new career in computer graphics. Or you could try to convert them to your religion. 

• Say no. Or "no, thank you". Don't raise objections. An obnoxious salesperson will take that as a cue to continue selling. I like to add the "sad eyebrows" thing, or to look away a bit and fidget.

• Interrupt and redirect. This is really the nicest thing to do. Gently try to change the subject to something that interests you. You can say, "what a cool watch! Where did you get that?" Personally, I genuinely like techy stuff, so I ask about cell phones.

Now, be careful here. Like all self-defense strategies, begin gently. Some people may not realize that they are attacking you. Start with the interrupt and redirect. That works most of the time. If that doesn't work, by all means, increase your defensive strategy. Sales people who are really obnoxious will need a piano to fall on their head to stop. I can provide that piano, but only if necessary!