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Share your pushy salesman stories
Old 10-11-2014, 08:41 AM   #1
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Share your pushy salesman stories

What are your favorite (or should I say least favorite) experiences with pushy salesmen and what lessons (if any) did you learn?

About 15 years ago, we wanted to buy a security system and had someone over to look at our house and give us an estimate. I could tell right away he was aggressive. At the end, he asked when did we want him to start? We said first we would decide if we want his system and let him know. He got angry and asked what he could do to make a deal today, blah blah blah. When we asked him to leave, it didn't get too ugly, but was not exactly civil either. After about 15 minutes, he finally left and the last thing he said was "If someone breaks into your house tonight, you will regret this!" Fortunately neither happened. We called another company and the guy was the complete opposite and we have been happy with the system he installed. My lesson is sometimes you have to be nasty - that seems to be the only language these guys understand.

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Old 10-11-2014, 08:54 AM   #2
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Electrolux vacuums. This was 1983 so they may have changed. My then-husband was convinced it was the best on the market so we had to put up with the sales spiel. The guy came to the house and had to go through the whole demo. I was younger and less confrontational back then. Now I'd just say, "I want this but only if you stop the spiel right now and just sell me the darn thing."

My Ex took it with him in the divorce.

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Old 10-11-2014, 09:17 AM   #3
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I have written this one before, but I'll mention it again.

Back in 2009, after I had been ERed for a year, my Account Executive (I pay him zero, it's a perk) at Fidelity left the company and I was assigned another one. This had happened before, in 2008, and the one (#2) who replaced the woman (#1) who I first met with in 2007 and who helped me run my budding ER plan through their RIP program was now leaving after helping me set up my Rollover IRA.

Anyway, AE #3 I had spoken to only once on the phone in the few months after he was assigned to me in 2009. I then got a call from Mr. Pushy (#4) who told me he had now been assigned as my latest AE. I didn't particularly enjoy talking to him, as he seemed more interested in taking over my account as a paid FA.

We go into 2010 and I met with him in late April, just after tax season, when he had more time to meet with me. He was just as pushy in person as he was on the phone. Of course, I did not want to have him take over managing my portfolio as I was quite capable of doing that myself. And I surely didn't want to pay him 1% or whatever insanely high fee he wanted to charge me per year.

Two long and annoying hours later, I was finally able to end our meeting. By the time I had walked back to my car, I had already mentally written a letter to his boss, the manager of the Fidelity office I had just left from. (I didn't even know the boss's name, I had to call and find it out.) I typed up the letter that night and mailed it out a day or two later. A week later, the office manager called me and thanked me for the letter and was rather surprised to learn that Mr. Pushy had claimed to be my new AE - all client reassignments had to go through him, the office manager (so Mr. Pushy had somehow poached me from AE #3). The office manager reassigned me to another AE, ironically the same guy (#3) I had been briefly reassigned to in 2009 after #2 left.

AE #3 has been my AE since 2010 and has been a helpful, low-key guy the whole time. He has also been the AE for my friend who got that large inheritance in 2012 after his remaining parent passed away.

I didn't want to mention to AE #3 the tale of Mr. Pushy, at least not so soon after I had gotten reassigned to him the second time. But last year I told him about it and we got a good laugh. He told me Mr. Pushy left the company a few years earlier, probably not long after he tried to poach me.

So the story has a good ending.

Another story about a pushy salesman was one I had posted here in 2012. It was about that friend I mentioned above. Before his remaining parent died later in the year, he was visited by a Prudential salesman who wanted to sell him an annuity using his Roth IRA. My friend called me on the phone while the salesman was there. I told my friend that no matter what, so NOT sign anything that day. My friend agreed (he wasn't going to sign anything that day anyway) but then my friend put the pushy salesman on the phone with ME, so I had to listen to his sales pitch which I had no interest in. When my friend got back on the line, I scolded him for doing that to me.

I wrote about this in a thread so I could get some more feedback from our forum members so I could arm my friend with some more questions to ask, if he were still interested in pursuing this further. Those who replied were very helpful.

My friend did not pursue it any further which was a relief to me. Another good ending.
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

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Old 10-11-2014, 09:23 AM   #4
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An insurance salesman called me earlier this year when I was shopping for a 20 Yr term life policy. I told him that I am only interested in term life policy and he came over with a printout of 3 different policies, Whole Life policy for 1/4 the death benefit I wanted and and two other variable life policies for 1/4 & 1/3 the death benefit amounts I wanted.

He started explaining to me how good the Whole life policy was because I just had to contribute for 5 years and the cash value would keep increasing and that it was "permanent Life Insurance". When I told him that I believe in buying Term Life policy and invest the money on my own, he pulled out the Variable life policies and started giving me the sales pitch about how great that policy was. At this point I started asking him probing questions about what would happen to the insurance if after a certain # of years if I withdrew the cash value value. He responded that is the best part you will pay below market interest rate on the money I take out. Well, this was a crazy concept to me so I responded why would I pay interest on my own money?

I then asked him a few more probing questions and he started getting mad at me and at one point stood up. At that time I ended the meeting and he stormed off out of my office. The next day he called to apologize for losing his temper and to give him another chance to explain the product better. Needless to say that I declined.
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:24 AM   #5
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Going to the dentist is my nomination.
No doubt a continuous prosperity, though spendthrift, is preferable to an economy thriftily moral, though lean. Nevertheless, that prosperity would seem more soundly shored if, by a saving grace, more of us had the grace to save.

Life Magazine editorial, 1956
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:36 AM   #6
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For some goofy reason I like dealing with pushy sales people. Kind of a challenge I guess and I have no trouble at all being nasty if the circumstances call for it.
Normal is an illusion...what is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.
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Old 10-11-2014, 10:59 AM   #7
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I hate pushy checkout clerks who insist on trying to sign you up for their store's discount card. I guess that's kind of a pushy salesperson, in a way.

I dread every time I go into a Barnes and Noble, because it usually goes something like this:

Me: Standing there with just a couple magazines to buy.
Them: "Are you a member of our Membership program?"
Me: "No, that's okay."
Them: "Would you like to sign up?"
Me: "No, I'm fine, thanks."
Them: "What's your email address so you can receive special offers?"
Me: "I'm fine, thanks."

At this point, they FINALLY get the hint I'm not interested in any of that crap, and just want to pay for my stuff and get on with my day.

B&N isn't the only one, either. At Best Buy if I buy an electronic gadget of some kind, I have to go through the whole "No, I don't want a service plan" spiel. And a few months ago, every time I wandered in to look over the newest Blu-ray movies, I'd get accosted by one of the Direct TV people trying to talk me into signing up. I'd usually tell them I already had it (a lie) just to get them to shut up and leave me alone. Thank goodness they don't seem to haunt the place anymore, so I can browse in peace.

And speaking of browsing, I hate places where three different salespeople have to come by and ask me if I need help with anything. No, I don't. If I need help, I'll come find you. Don't bother me.

No wonder so many people buy online, just to avoid pushy people in brick-and-mortar stores.
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:02 AM   #8
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We had a small term life policy on me when kids were little and I had no income for maybe a year and a half, just enough to pay off the mortgage if I slipped on a piece of Playdoh and hit my head on a Big Wheel. When it came time to renew, the salesman called to make an appointment to come talk to DH and me, with two of his colleagues, to discuss some incredible offers and our financial future. I am pretty sure I laughed out loud at that, but then he he said we HAD to meet with them even to just renew the policy. He argued about this mandatory meeting for another 15 minutes until I said he could either mail the renewal to me or he could cancel the insurance. Two days later it was in my mailbox.

It must be hard to be a commissioned salesperson who obviously has some sales goal to make, but hey, move onto the next customer.
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:23 AM   #9
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Just this week the American Red Cross called. I am a very frequent donor, but for various reasons I'm taking a few more weeks off (16 instead of 8).

She calls me up and says: "We have a blood drive tomorrow, what time would you like?" That hit a raw nerve for me, and I told her even though I'm a reliable donor, you can't act like that. So, put me on your do not call list.

So they'll have to wait for me to call them, or else I'm filing a Do Not Call complaint if they call back again.
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by LoneAspen View Post
I hate pushy checkout clerks who insist on trying to sign you up for their store's discount card. I guess that's kind of a pushy salesperson, in a way.
IMHO, you should really hate the pushy management of those stores. They are the ones who put pressure on the clerks and sales staff to get people to sign up for things. Often, they have a quota and if they don't meet it, well.... so much for that job.

I know a server at a restaurant who was almost fired because they had a daily 'push' item, usually high profit desserts or appetizers. On any given day they had a quota to meet. If they failed to meet their quotas, they were put into a class on how to sell the stuff better. Alas, while she was a good server, she did not like the idea of pushing special desserts on people who did not want one and often certainly did not need one. She quit rather than put up with the nonsense.
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
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Old 10-11-2014, 11:37 AM   #11
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Within the last few months people have come to the door to plump for political candidates. I've found one question that shuts them up pretty quickly. I ask if the candidate has promised NOT to run for re-election if he/she wins. (The last thing we need is more career politicians).
The worker usually can't answer (the candidate has never brought it up), so they're on their way pretty soon.
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:18 PM   #12
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I think the worst salesman was the real estate guy who kept on asking me if I was thinking about selling my house . This was as my husband was dying. After he died the salesman called me again to ask when he could talk to me about selling my house . I replied " You would be the last person on earth to ever get the listing ".
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:25 PM   #13
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I went in a running shoe store the other day to buy an accessory item. I knew exactly what I wanted, so I had picked it off the rack and was standing at the checkout counter within 30 seconds of entering the store.

Clerk: Can I get your name?
Me: No, I'm not in your system.

OK, I can use your phone number.
No, I just want to pay for this.

That's OK, we can use your credit card.
I'm paying cash.

Well, I just need your first and last name.
No you don't.

She was thinking of a response to this while ringing up the sale, but the whole time I had been counting out the exact change and I put it out on the counter.

Finally, she stared at me for about 30 seconds while I stared back.
"Was there something else?"
Yes, you can either give me my receipt for the cash purchase or return my money.

Rips off the receipt and practically throws it at me.

Yes, this is one of the reasons I buy so much online.
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Old 10-11-2014, 12:34 PM   #14
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Braumeister, again, the source of the problem is mostly store management which probably requires the clerk to get this information from you. Some of these bosses can be quite nasty to employees who fail in these things.
The worst decisions are usually made in times of anger and impatience.
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Old 10-11-2014, 01:05 PM   #15
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About 30 years ago I was buying my first TV and VCR. The sales guy was trying to convince me that the expensive VCR that matched the TV I had selected was the only one that would work with the TV remote, therefore you wouldn't have to juggle two remotes. I was 20, so I think he assumed he could tell me anything. I asked to try out the TV remote. My first test was to immediately turn around and push the power button. Two thirds of the VCRs on the opposite wall responded. A few more button pushes and it was obvious that all the primary functions worked with the majority of the VCRs they had for sale.
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Old 10-11-2014, 01:11 PM   #16
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I can't really recall any specific 'pushy' salespeople situations. I think that my sneakers, jeans, generic golf shirt attire may act as a repellent! The only occasions that come to mind are real estate agents who really want to be your agent when you go to see one of their listings. Usually just stating that I only ever deal with the listing agent ends the discussion.
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Old 10-11-2014, 01:23 PM   #17
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I have a few.
The first 2 stories have a common theme:
I had bought an older house in PA. It had some old knob and tube wiring and an older panel box. (Some of the wiring was updated to romex in the 50s or it was fine.) I called 4 electricians to give me a quote. I had printed out a job list to quote on... so I could compare the quotes directly. 3 of the electricians quoted me exactly on what I asked. The 4th kept asking to talk to my husband. I explained he needed to talk to me, I was the homeowner. (I was single, but that wasn't his business.) He repeatedly asked to talk to my husband. Finally he asked to talk to my dad!!!! His quote was the highest price of all of them.

When I was buying my first new car (fresh out of college, had a long commute so needed a good gas mileage car.) I knew what I wanted (make model options). I was visiting all the dealerships to see what price I could get, what they had available, etc. One dealership refused to talk to me. My dad was with me. I'd ask a question, the salesman would give the answer to my dad. It was so blatent my dad finally told the guy that he wasn't buying a car - and would be horrified I bought from a guy who refused to acknowledge I was the consumer.

2 more cases, not sexist.
When we were shopping for new windows we'd always specifically say we didn't want vinyl, we wanted metal clad wood. They'd assure us they had those windows then send out sales guys - who had no clue about metal clad wood. We never did get a quote from a window contractor willing to put in the windows we specified. (We ordered from the manufacturer directly and DH installed them.) The sales folks absolutely refused to quote what we were looking for.

Life insurance. When I bought the old house mentioned above I got a life insurance salesman pitching me on the phone. His pitch was that the mortgage would be paid. I pointed out that I was single and had no heirs. He said it would make it easier for others if I had the mortgage covered when I died. I said my parents could sell the house and my cat would have to fend for herself. He didn't see the humor... he kept pitching hard - it was inconceivable to him that someone with a mortgage couldnt' be sold insurance. I quietly hung up the phone.
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Old 10-11-2014, 01:39 PM   #18
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About 15 years ago my refrigerator died. It was old and not worth repairing. I took measurements, did my internet research and went shopping. I knew I needed a refrigerator no more than 60" tall. At Best Buy, the sales guy tried to convince me that a 66" refrigerator on sale would be a great bargain. I explained that there was a built-in cupboard above the fridge alcove. He did not listen, and continued to sing the praises of the 66" refrigerator while following me around the appliance department. Obviously he had been tasked with selling that particular refrigerator and could not see the customer's point of view. Best Buy lost a sale that day.
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Old 10-11-2014, 01:40 PM   #19
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Mine occurred about 33 years ago. We attended a presentation at Santa Clause, Indiana for some sort of subdivision they were building - really don't remember the details. Anyway, we only went for the freebies being offered to attend . Each couple is assigned a salesman to drive us around and hard sell us on buying a property. After lots of demurring on our part, we finally told him we really weren't interested in buying right now as my husband was preparing to go to law school and we couldn't afford it. The salesman slammed on his brakes and ordered us out of his car. We had to walk all the way back to the parking lot - laughing all the way.
And whatever your labors and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.- Desiderata by Max Ehrmann
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Old 10-11-2014, 01:44 PM   #20
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I remember going to this men's clothing store and trying on a sport coat that was way too big.

The saleswoman said "It looks great on you". I'm sure she wasn't looking at the fit but the dollar signs of a sales commission.

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