The Hustle, The Hard Sell

Door bell rings with excitement, dong-dong, dong-dong, dong-dong. Man at the door looks like a cross between your average Joe, and acts like he is my favorite puppy, almost bouncing with enthusiasm. “Hi, I’m Jim, how are you?”

Almost without waiting for an answer, “Hey we were in your neighborhood, going to drop off a purchase for a customer who’s not at home. We sell _____, interested? Just come out and look, no buy, no foul.”

I do not mention I saw them around the neighborhood last week too….

“Hey, its cold out here, you might want to put on a jacket, you don’t want to get cold. We would rather sell off the purchase than haul it back to the warehouse.”

“John is over at a house across the street, he will be back in a second. Small pause. Here he is” in an upbeat voice.

“John this is Michael, he wants to take a look at what we have.”

John opens the door to the van. John, “Do you have any interest in _____, ______, or ____?”

Michael, “No, about all we use is _____.” John is not impressed, “Sure you don’t have any interest in ____ (much more expensive)?”

“No thanks, ____ is about it. Rarely use anything else.”

John, “What’s your name again?”

My best buddy Jim says forcefully, “His name is Michael. Are you losing your mind?”

John acting in a very professional manner inside the van takes out a large carton and proceeds to open it. Jim is continuing to do a ‘my favorite puppy’ imitation on my left.  John removes the product and explains to me why it is superior to what I can buy at the store. Jim stands still and remains quiet.

John, “We normally sell on-line”, and pulls out a brochure showing me their choices. “This is our asking price”, showing me the price below the product he has displayed. “Because we don’t want to drive it back, we can let it go for $xxx.xx (which is almost thirty five percent off brochure price).” “Am I anywhere close in price?”

Michael, “It’s a great price, but more than I want to spend.”

John, “What is your price?” “A lot less than that.” “Can we get close on price” “I would like too, but it is just too much to spend.” “You don’t have to pay cash”, John say’s showing me the brochure again with all major credit cards on the bottom of the back page.

“Sorry, it’s too much for me…”

John turns his back on me and starts packing up the goods.

In this moment, I feel rejected, which is what was intended. Here are a couple of guys on quietly excited, and the other acting professionally, and I turned down their offer.

I back up and look at Jim, the human puppy. He is looking dejected, like I scolded him for peeing on the floor.

“Thanks for the offer Jim, wish I could afford it.” John is still putting the offers away, and refuses to acknowledge me – more rejection in the making.

I walk away and Jim continues to look like a lost puppy who lost his best friend.

What a hustle! These two men deserve an award! As smoothly as they played it out, I was feeling rejected, and I expected to be put in a situation. I am curious how many people after feeling rejected, decide to be a do-good take the offer. After all, all’s well, that ends well.

I’m rude, and I don’t care

The cold call must take a special type of personality on both ends of the conversation for a successful sale. Most of the cold calls I encounter are over my land line telephone. Some cold calls are door to door.

Peter called me two days ago. Caller id: v3957286419 or similar informative caller id string. I was instilled with confidence before I even answered. These numbers are flags saying, get ready, here is another one.

Me, “Hello?”

“Hello this is Peter”

Me, “Yes Peter”

“I am with xyz security systems”. We will be in your area…click.”

Did I need to hear any more?

After years of commercials, commercialism is part of my phone etiquette. Who is Peter really? Peter could be the next door neighbor who never talks to me in person. Peter could be some poor schmuck who needs to pay his rent and this is the best he can do. Peter may in prison, who chooses to cold call rather than sit in his cell.

Who is xyz company for that matter? Do they even exist? Are they running a new scam? Are they casing houses for theft? Do they really exist or are they part of some boiler plate operation trying to get money from the unsuspecting.

unknown number

Having your time wasted by telemarketers

If I was Peter, would I want to call me? If I was xyz company would I want Peter to waste his time calling me? Who created the list I am on where cold callers think the confidence game is a game I play? isn’t there a list somewhere where it says, “This guy doesn’t play the confidence game?”

The xyz company is going to be in my area shortly. That also means the xyz company will be out of my area a short time later. Maybe Peter and his buds, or the company he works for, cased the neighborhood and and decided we are ripe for a fly-by-night security system cold call?

The same rules apply to Jesus Preachers who go door to door. Is there anyone who has not heard of Jesus, the bible, or how to live life in a Christian manner? Why should I place my confidence in some never seen before door to door bible thumper? I have made up my mind on Heaven, hell, and how I choose to live my life.
When I really feel energetic, I invent an imaginary product to sell and pitch it to them. I think my Son in Law has the best system. At the door, he tells the unwelcome visitor to follow him. He starts working in the garden, or other project. He tells the unwelcome visitor to help while he/she talks. He tells me he gets about fifteen minutes work from the younger ones. He also rarely answers his phone.

I gotta a deal for you, but you need to act quickly

I gotta a deal for you, but you need to act quickly, or maybe: The other side of the mirror

I am just getting out of the shower and the doorbell rings.

Ok, throw on some pants and shirt.

Go answer the door. A man introduces himself and his wife and Granddaughter. So far so good. He proceed to tell me there is a new church opening up and his son is a pastor.

Ok. I am standing in the door with the heater running. A little soggy from the shower.

I am not aware we are jumping from the new church to the state of my immortal soul, or maybe better said, the beginning of his preaching. No Burger King here, can’t have it my way.

“….Have you been saved?”

Of course I have been saved.

“When did this happen?”

I have known all my life I am going to heaven, we all are.

“The story of the day he was ‘saved’ at 37.”

Kind of a slow learner I thought to myself, but we all walk our own path as he talks on.

“Do you know you have eternal life?”

(My turn to preach, but I am sure it’s terrifying for him to hear)

Of course I have eternal life. Our eternal life did not start in this lifetime. We didn’t just appear. That defeats the idea of eternal life. We have always been and we will be until we go into heaven. That is eternal life isn’t it? Eternal life is forever and not a few years on earth and then we go one place or the other.

“More preaching”

More commentary because he does not want to address the ‘dangerous or misconstrued’ idea that this isn’t our first rodeo.

“This pamphlet has a test in it to see if you have been given eternal life.”

I already have eternal life, we all do.

“I do not want to argue with you”

(whew, I didn’t know we were arguing. I am waiting for the discussion to come back to the new church and how I need to join)

“You have a good day and God bless you.”

You too Sir, and god bless the two of you, sorry, I mean the three of you.

They walk off. And so it goes.

First it was the Mormon ‘missionaries’. After they got scared and threatened me with their elders, it was the Jehovah Witnesses. Now it’s the Baptists. Maybe I am next to go door to door to argue with people over their belief systems? Funny idea I think,

Back to getting dressed for the day. I think my personal invitation to join the new Church has been rescinded. I do not mind these people, they have good intentions. Why they feel the need to convert people to their way of thinking is a mystery to me. They have no more insight than I do.

‘Men, get the bonfire ready, we have another one….’