Does It Seem like Everyone Wants to Sell You Something? RANT

Updated on January 11, 2013
X.O. asks from Naperville, IL
18 answers

An old friend of mine who I have stayed in touch with over the years recently called me. We had a really nice chat, and then after about 15 minutes she launched into a Mary Kay recruitment pitch. I really get that she's starting a new venture and MK ladies need to recruit to grow and be rewarded. But, it just kinda rubbed me the wrong way because lately EVERYONE wants to sell stuff to us.

A realtor who is my husband's patient was complaining to him about not having enough $ for her medications, so we used her as an agent when we purchased a townhome so she could get the commission (we didn't NEED a realtor at all--we knew exactly what we were buying, but wanted to help her out.) Since then she's been hounding us with new home searches. I've told her numerous times that we wont be able to move for about 4 years, because it will take us that long to save for the down payment. Yet, she keeps asking me when she can take me out to look at houses. I politely tell her that we are not ready to look at houses, and that it is pointless to do walk-thrus, since none of those homes will be on the market in 4 yrs. And she keeps sending us listing of homes that are in $800k! She has been told numerous times that our max budget will be $650k. We won't have room to go up on that. I actually think that we will be able to get the type of home that we need for closer to $550k.

And then....the realtor starts trying to get me to let her to do a Mary Kay makeover on me. ARGH!! Why can't people just stop asking? I thought I was pretty clear with her when I told her that I don't have extra funds to use on MK products--I stick to drug store brands, and don't wear makeup on a daily basis. It's just not that important to me.

How do I tell this realtor/MK sales rep that I am not interested in any of the goods she is peddling right now, without making it awkward for my husband, who is still her MD, and who is also her husband's MD? At least this taught my husband to not get involved in his patients' business pursuits.

Now I have a cousin who started sending me invitations to her body wrapping parties.

And every few months someone will ask me to buy their Discovery Toys, Girl Scout Cookies, purses, adult just doesn't end! I want friendships, not marketing networks.

Anyone else feele like the sales pitches are unending?

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

No, I haven't been responding to the agent's MLS listing emails. I've been searching on my own just to keep familiarity with the market, and I am a long-term planner, so I have been researching to make our future search easier.

Oh, B, YES, the door to doors is maddening. I have a NO SOLICITING sign outside, but since that wasnt working I made another sign that says, "Shhhhh! Baby is sleeping. Do NOT knock or ring." I told my neighbors that the sign doesn't apply to them--they can knock or ring whenever they'd like to. And Omaha Steaks? I've asked them at least 3 times to stop calling me. The last time I spoke with a manager and told them I was going to write a letter to their corporate HQ if I got another call.

Haha, Marty, EXACTLY! Can't even come rant about it here without someone trying to sell Phineas and Ferb tickets--and I LOVE P&F!

ReverendRuby--haha, i really mean it with my No Solicitors sign--I HATE having to put on my bra to answer the door ;-)

Featured Answers


answers from San Francisco on

Back when I was actually looking for a home I had to do all the legwork to find listings. Now that I own a home I am bombarded with listings! They come to my door/mailbox/email all the time. It's not as if I'm going to by buying another one soon! Anyone else find this baffling?
We've had a couple parents use team or classroom email lists to send out listings which I find totally inappropriate!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Yeah, I hear you. It's ok to ask, BUT a no is a no. I would rather just tell my friends I'm doing MK and ask them to help me instead of the "pretend" thing. Sigh.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from St. Louis on

I commend those people for actually working instead of living off of the government or others. Some people don't own business like the other posters who make millions per year. Some people are just trying to make it. And that is how people get word out about their product - I can't say I blame them.

I remind my husband of this every time he gets irritated at some young man or woman trying to make money by standing at our doorstep attempting to interest us in something. Of course we don't need it, but no need to be rude or irritated. He is WORKING. Just kindly say no thanks and move on.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Phineas and Ferb tickets anyone?

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntington on

I think that you will have more success if you do not give these people "reasons" or excuses for saying no. When you give a reason, then it makes it very easy for a persistent person to come up with a "workaround" . You simply need to say, "No, we are not interested". Do not add "at this time" because that just means they are going to be following up at the end of the month!
I do not have people trying to sell stuff to me. I dropped the friendships where I felt used for my money (I did have 1 friend that had countless sales ventures like this). I do empathize with you because it is very annoying. Learn how to say no the right way and you will shut down a lot of these bothersome people for good, without being rude. Good luck!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

ooh Katie!!

I am SSSSOOOO sorry!!!

I have been in your shoes and been just as frustrated. We have LONG time friends that got into Amway (QStar I think it is now) - and EVERY time they called - they were talking about us buying Amway products. It was VERY frustrating.

People assume that doctor's make a boatload of now that you helped her once, she's like one of those leeches (it's NOT meant mean!!) that just won't let go. She's kinda STUCK on you.

Sounds like you need to be a tad bit more aggressive in your NO's. You asked about homes next to railroad tracks the other day - did you ask about a home that gave this W. the "hint" that you were active again?

I would tell her this "Jane - I am SOOO grateful that you are trying to help us find a home right now. We are NOT in the market. When we are? You will be the person I call. Please do NOT send me ANY MSL's until I'm ready. It will be a waste of your time and efforts."

As to the Mary Kay - I love MK products - but I HATE the "upsale" and constant bombardment - I GET it's your livelihood - but you are turning me off to the product. That's what I told one girl and she backed off. When I was ready to purchase, I called. I told her what I wanted and she TRIED to get me to spend $200 on products that i didn't want or need. I was pissed. I told her - THIS is what i want. If you want me to buy or refer more from you - it ain't happening because you are too pushy for me. She backed off and apologized. Yeah, being forceful sucks sometimes. But really - you have to do it sometimes!!


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

You probably should tell this person that you have clearly made a mistake mixing your husband's business with your personal life, because she is doing nothing but pestering you. Tell her she is wasting her time because she is annoying you so much that you can't even refer others to her; you cannot suggest her as a realtor when she is relentless. She is hurting her own business because she is spending all her time talking to people who aren't in the market. She's wasting her time and missing out on potential sales because of this. She's spending too much time talking and not enough time listening. She is not hearing you that you aren't in the market, and she is not hearing you that the houses she is choosing are too expensive even if you WERE in the market, which you are not. Say it as a "word to the wise" to be helpful. If she is contacting you, she is contacting other people with "Want a house? No? Okay, how about some makeup?" She's going to get a bad reputation in the community and be avoided like the plague. But be insistent that she should not contact you again - you will contact her. It's not up to you to protect your husband from being awkward - as you say, he's the one who crossed the line. And I'm not sure that she didn't engineer that by talking to him about how she had not money for prescriptions. Does she think all doctors are wealthy beyond belief? Your husband can do without this patient if that's what it comes down to. OR, he can be the one to tell her to stop calling his home.

FYI any good direct sales company (like Mary Kay and many others) will tell its distributors to STOP being annoying - that it's not effective in developing a network, that it damages the company's reputation, and that it just sets the distributor up to fail. They have to broaden their networks, not keep harping on the same people. Real estate agents at good realties are trained to send out occasional helpful notes about tax rates or mortgage rates, just to stay in someone's mind but NOT to harass them! So she's completely going against what the successful realtors and Mary Kay salespeople do. She is doomed to fail.

I think it's okay to reach out to friends and relatives when you have a business. If I opened a store or became a car dealer, I'd let everyone know. You never know who is in the market, or who they know. Businesses work on referrals from satisfied customers. If I have to buy insurance, I'd just as soon give that business to a friend or relative assuming rates and service were equal. I mean, why not?

Where these people are going wrong is when they don't listen to "no" and keep harassing you. So the first invitation is fine and shouldn't annoy you. If it's not for you, you can always refer someone else you think of. If you don't want body wrapping now but might like to in the future, you can let your cousin know that this time doesn't work out but to invite you again. If you DON'T want to even consider body wrapping, then don't be so inviting. But that's on the first contact. After 2, the cousin should move on.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I did Pampered Chef once. I would just tell my friends, putting this out there, and we moved on. I can't hard sell my friends because I hate when people do it to me.

I just got three calls on my cell phone this morning asking if I was interested in a time share, um, no!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

So glad to know I'm not alone in this annoyance . . . it really bothers me when "friends" do that. There are certain people in my life who tend to contact me ONLY when they want to sell me something. I have finally given myself the permission to ignore them (this is after numerous chances).

People don't get how hurtful that can be too (much less annoying).

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I totally agree. And I actually LOVE going to parties like Pampered Chef, Lia Sophia, Cabi, etc. But I hate it when the consultant sees that I like the product, and then decides that I simply must be a consultant. Um, no. I just like to shop. Already own my own business, have the wrong personality to do MLM type businesses anyway, and I'm just not interested. I just want to enjoy my shopping experience without someone becoming overbearing about it. What they don't seem to understand is that I would very likely order from them on a routine basis if I didn't feel like calling them would lead to this hard sell to become a consultant.

Anyhow, I think you need to tell your realtor to stop calling. Don't mince words, just tell her straight up. Also, I think you need to inform her that you feel like she's not listening to you - and because of that, you'd be hesitant to recommend her to others. She needs to hear that so she can change her approach. She may not like to hear it, but honest feedback will help her.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I understand. I tell my friends and family this same sentence every time.

Hi __________thanks for thinking of us. We aren't interested and are happy with what we are doing. Then change the subject and say, would you like to meet for lunch? Stick to your guns. You will always be asked but you never let it get to you. You have the power to say no always from anyone.

As far as your realtor, I would NEVER do business with a patient--ever. As you found out, it comes back to bite you no matter how nice or wonderful they are. Don't mix business with your home life ever.

Ok, for your realtor/mk lady-- : Call her and tell her that you want to thank her for looking for you and sending you info. But at this time you and your husband have decided to take another route and are no longer interested in using her. Sometimes you have to be blunt but nice of course. You may lose her as a patient---but that is unfortunately the risk you took when you did business with her. GL

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answers from Seattle on

Not only are the sales pitchers after you, they are after your friends, because they think all your friends are doctors.

Thanks for posting, the responses are great and we've all been there.

Although I have met a couple of nice marketing people over the years. Both took the approach that if you're ever interesting in purchasing the product for yourself, then it's best to join the group. If not, they were happy to sell product to me. I seriously doubt their up-line would ever want to hear that feedback. But they both were very successful. are your feeling otherwise? ;)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I sell Mary Kay, and I just don't understand the logic of trying to recruit someone who is clearly not interested. Some of my friends are also customers, and some of my customers become friends, but I try not to pester them.

You can try telling her something along the lines of "I appreciate your excitement, but your company is not for me. I know your time is valuable, so I don't want to lead you on, I'm truly not interested."

I have a ton of friends who are in direct sales, but we do a pretty good job of balancing friendship with marketing. You never know who is looking for what you sell and will jump all over it. But you also learn pretty quickly how to take rejection without taking it personally.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I enjoy Victorian Epicure, Pampered Chef and Passion Parties, and I will usually make a small purchase. I do not like Norwex, Mary Kay or jewellry. I like Partylite products and Tupperware, but I usually buy those items second hand. I always buy a couple of boxes of thin mint cookies from the Girl Guides. I hate vaccum cleaner sales or the guys who want to fill your freezer. They offer a free gift if you listen to their pitch, but don't give you the free gift when you don't buy the product! I usually get rid of telelphone solicitors as fast as I can. I don't like the No Solicitor signs because the boys and I canvass for Heart and Stoke every February...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

I totally understand where you are coming from but I also understand that these sales persons work on straight commission and every thime they pick up the phone they are dialing for dollars. I sold Mary Kay years ago and I was told by my sales manager to mention Mary Kay everytime I made a call so the call and my entire phone bill was tax dectutable. I didn't do that because I didn't want to offend friends and family.
With economy the way it is school budgets are cut to he bone. In order for the schools to be able to offer the same programs they need to do fundraisers. And so many people can't make ends meet on one income anymore so they start a home business such as Mary Kay, Avon, Tupperware ect to hopefully make ends meet and keep their heads above water.
I have no answers to the constant barage of sales pitches. My daughter invited me to a jewelry party as a fundraiser for her son's pre-school. I thought the sales lady was overbearing and the jewelry junk. But I sat quietly and drank my punch and laughed at her jokes and when she asked me what I planned to purchase I simply said, 'Sorry I only wear real stones, no plastic or glass'. She walked away and bothered someone else.

I worked in door to door sales --- Sales persons are trained to ignore 'no soliciting' signs. We are told that when a person puts that on their door it means they can't say no they will buy anything, so always hit those houses and businesses.

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answers from Tulsa on

YES! And don't fall for the old "You can come to the party, but not buy anything" line.

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answers from Cincinnati on

Sometimes yes. Most of selling happens around the beginning of the school year and around easter. theres been weeks where the sales are a few times a day.
My friends host the "hen" type parties like 31, pampered chef, jewelry and tupperware. I usually can't buy anything but they understand.
I don't usually mind the door sales except the ones that ring the door bell and pound on the door. I stopped answering the door for these. One time I thought it was a neighbor who may have had an emergency and nope, it was the Jehovahs witnesses. I was not happy at all.
I wont forget the one time there was this girl who rang the bell, then opened up my screen door, stood on the step and looked in the window of the front door.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Savannah on

One of the reasons I love living on post. I never have to deal with that kind of door to door asshattery.

1 mom found this helpful
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