About a month ago I discovered that I have no sales resistance.

You’d think that after watching the “I Love Lucy” episode, “Sales Resistance”, where Lucy gets taken advantage of by salesmen and totally learns her lesson the hard way that I’d be invulnerable to salespeople.


In my defense, though, I was taken completely off guard.

See, I don’t do well when put on the spot, told to make an instant decision.  That’s why door-to-door salespeople have a pretty good chance of getting me to buy something if they stop at my door.

I really should put up a “No Solicitors” sign.

So what happened?  Well, it was early one morning – at about 8 a.m.  I actually had showered and done my hair by then, which NEVER happens.  If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have opened the door.  Curse my strange energy that morning!

At the time I’m writing this, it’s 9 a.m. and I still haven’t showered due to busybody children.

So, someone knocked and I answered.

Mistake #1:  I answered the door.

There stood a college-age guy with a smile and a backpack.  He introduced himself, saying that my neighbors had recommended me to him because I had children.

Curse those neighbors, I don’t even know them!  They must be getting even with me for having a loud 3-year-old.

I had a bit of a hard time understanding him thanks to his European accent.  He told me that he was selling educational children’s books.

I was immediately interested.

Mistake #2:  I let myself look interested.

He asked if he could come inside and show me a sample of what he was carrying.  The alarms in my head went off – I don’t let just any guy off the streets into my house.  He picked up his backpack and made to come inside.  I kept the door closed behind me and asked if he could just show me on the porch.  He did, reluctantly.  Apparently it’s a sales tactic to get inside the house.  He showed me a catalog and a sample book, and I really DID love the books.  They were fact books for kids with lots of pictures.  There were about 12 in the series including a book with removable stickers.  I asked how much?  He immediately went into his speal.

“$160 BUT this is a wonderful deal considering how many books you’re getting AND the stickers are removable (isn’t that amazing?) AND if you consider how much you spend on video games this is a worthy purchase AND do you have a place that we can sit down and talk about this?”

Um.  I really didn’t want to spend almost $200 on books.  Even if I did think they were awesome.  But he was so nice and smiling that I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

And he told me Americans are SOOO nice here, letting him talk to them and come inside…

Still, I told him I was busy and couldn’t buy anything.  I asked him if he had a card.  No, of course not – this is something that can only be bought now or never.  I hesitated.

Mistake #3:  I hesitated.

He knew he had me.  The rest is a blur.  I started thinking that maybe $200 wasn’t so much AND it wasn’t anything I could buy online.  Plus, my neighbors had made orders and had written recommendations on a paper he showed me.

AND I could make payments.  My neighbor had given him half up front.

He picked up his backpack again.  I told him I’d go find my checkbook, and he followed me inside.  I felt defeated.  I couldn’t be a mean American and make him stay outside, plus it was raining.  And he was doing all this on a bike.

Mistake #4:  I let him inside.

I just really really hoped he wasn’t an axe murderer.  Or maybe a hatchet murderer.  He could probably fit a hatchet in that backpack.

But he had that nice accent and kept smiling and making small talk all the time, telling me where he was from and showing me his homeland on a map he carried with him (I don’t remember where it was now but I’d never heard of it).

So, with a sinking feeling, I found my checkbook.  I asked him what would I do if I changed my mind?  “Oh there’s a number to call.  But that would be a lot of paperwork, so it would be better not to order if I’m going to change my mind later…”

But I felt like I was in too deep then.  Even though I was having buyer’s remorse already.  I mean, he didn’t even have the books with him at the time – he was going to deliver them at the end of the summer.  Okay…  He took my check, said farewell, and was gone.

Mistake #5:  When I felt like I was in too deep, I didn’t follow my gut feeling and tell him I’d changed my mind.

He was gone.  I was out $90 (apparently there was a delivery fee, too), holding a receipt and wondering what had happened.  I mean, how did I know he’d bring the books back by?  What was I thinking, spending that much on a set of books?  I’m a deal-finder!  I could probably find something comparable on ebay!

I considered chasing him down on his bike, but I couldn’t do that of course.

I tried to build the books up in my mind for awhile, thinking that there wasn’t anything like that at the store or online.  But I knew that I could find something like that if I really tried.

I had fallen for the old, “You can’t buy it online and there’s nothing comparable on the market” line.  Oh me.

The next day I emailed the company and canceled the order.  I felt bad, but I would have felt worse later when my daughter and son abused those books.  Either that or I would have had to keep them up high where they could never touch them, the $200 set of educational books.  And what’s the point of that?

I DID eventually get my money back, so it wasn’t a scam, thankfully.  But I learned my lesson.

Well, sort of.

A couple of weeks later, a meat saleslady came by and tried to sell me “really cheap high quality meat”.  It wasn’t cheap.  She was SO pushy, I kept telling her no, we didn’t have room in our freezer or need meat.  She actually asked to come in and look at my freezer so she could prove that she could fit them inside. But I wasn’t real firm and so had to sit through her whole sales pitch.  She showed me the meat.  She asked me why I couldn’t buy any.  I can’t let these people waste my time!

I know that salespeople HAVE to be pushy.  They wouldn’t sell anything if they weren’t.  But wow.  I could never do that!  I just hope that I can remember the educational books episode later on when someone tries to sell me something.  That was a pain.

And you know what?  I went to a used book sale a few weeks ago and found some really nice fact books about animals for 25 cents each.

Lesson learned.

(I hope…)

So what are your experiences with salespeople?

P.S.  You HAVE to watch this episode of I Love Lucy, “Sales Resistance”.  It’s sooo funny and my favorite.  :)  There’s a little advertisement at the beginning but then you can watch the whole episode.




15 Responses to Do You Have Sales Resistance? (I Don’t Apparently)

  • That’s hilarious! We all do it though. It only took once for me, but your father is a sucker:)

  • I am bad at it too. I always feel like I have let them invest too much of their time and feel bad saying no. I try to just get to the no before they start. If I listen I might feel interested, and then what I knew I couldn’t or didnt want to afford wouldnt sound so bad and I would regret it later.

  • Too funny. I had a similar sales call last month. I knew what was coming… My Mom bought me a set of those books (which I never used) because she couldn’t say “no” to a French accent – no joke!

    I told this guy up front that I wasn’t interested in buying anything. I let him talk to my kids… they talked his ear off. Then firmly said, sorry, not right now. I did give him a few pints of strawberries from our farm, so he left with a smile.

    • That is so funny! I guess those books get around… they were really expensive, though.

      It was nice of you to give him strawberries. :) I just can’t be truly rude to people, it’s too hard!

  • I try to never open the door if it’s not someone I know…especially if they have a backpack! Once a lady came chasig me down while I was trying to carry groceries into my house! Fortunately, I have grown a thick skin when it comes to sales people, I was one of them (for like 15 seconds) so I know all their tactics and that seems to help me realize that they are mostly all lies. So if I happen to open the door, I just tell them straight up that I have no money and I am not interested and then quickly shut the door. It took me awhile to do this because it seemed so rude, but now I realize that not only are they wasting my time, but I’m wasting theirs if I let them talk and I know I won’t buy anything.

    By the way, your story cracked me up!

    • That’s what I felt like… by the time I’d let him give me his pitch and we’d made small talk I had taken up a lot of his time and almost felt it would be rude not to make the purchase. Stupid! I know better than that. :) From now on, I’m tough. lol

  • I just finished telling my husband about a week ago that I was buying the “No Soliciting” signs to put up on our doors! Mind you, we get hit up all the time with fundraisers & I don’t mind those at all if they are for school or a good organization….but the sales people I can do without!!! Earlier this summer I was outside painting a cabinet for our bathroom & a girl came up trying to sell me those books! These kids REALLY don’t care if your busy or not….and she tried her best to sell me those books & I firmly told her no after she made various attempts to sell them to me! THEN…we had a guy come to the door a few weeks ago & I went to the door because I am pretty good at saying no!!! Well, he was with a roofing company & he saw we are going to be needing a new roof & so he stopped to schedule a free estimate. I told him from the get-go that my husband would be putting the new roof on when we got the money to do that project & he went on to say it would take so many days to rook it & he would need a few friends to help….then he goes on to flip the story around & said that we should just get the estimate because it was free. I told him I would speak to my husband about it & stupid me gave him our phone number! Well, he understood that my husband would not be home till late that night & I told him I wasn’t going to schedule anything without my husbands approval…wouldn’t you know, the guy no more than left our driveway & I was getting calls from their home office wanting to schedule an appt!!!! I explained that I hadn’t even spoken to my husband yet & repeated to the lady that my husband was planning on doing our roof himself!!!! I was NOT happy the next day when I got home & had 5 missed calls from their office number!!!! After I got home, they called another 5x without leaving a message & I ended up calling them & I wasn;t cery nice to them on the phone…but told them we didn’t need their estimate!!! We would be doing the work ourselves!!!!!! I’m glad you posted this though because I still need to go get those signs & get them on my doors!!!!!

  • I would NEVER let someone into my home. Never.
    I am such a tough sale they might as well not waste their time. When people are pushy with me to buy something then there is NO WAY they will get me to buy.
    We do not answer our door, but just let our dog bark. There are too many scammers out there and I am not going to get ripped off. Our neighborhood sends emails around about this all the time and says do not let them in because lots of times they are not legit. They also go around to see if people are home, try out the doorknob, and see if you are home to come back and rob you later. And we live in a nice neighborhood.

    • I know, it’s not wise to let people into your home, even if they do seem sincere and normal. For all I know, he was checking out our place to see if there was anything worth stealing. I know better than that. Well, I won’t be pushed into anything again! Now I know just how far these people will go to make a sale. lol

  • Umm Yeah I let those foreign students sell me books last year only cracked them a time or two. Really not worth all the money. So when they came by last week they got the door in the face….My automatic reaction so that I don’t waste good money. I need to get one of those signs too but when we had one they came anyways…

  • Your story made me laugh, I think the same people came out to my house last year, except it was an asian college aged girl. She was carrying the same paper with names of moms that I knew and that my neighbors had recommended me!! -Ugh! I was stupid and let her in too (at 8 in the morning!!) Yes, I’ve learned my lesson too, but I’ve also learned something about myself. People like you and I who listen to these sales people are really doing it because we feel compassion towards them. We feel sorry for them and want to help them, not realizing that they could care less about us and only about the sale. I myself am working on listening to that small, still voice that is saying, “Don’t open the door. It’s really ok to say no.”

    Great article!

  • You’re not the only “sucker”. I have some sales resistance, but it’s hard for me to be a toughie. Thankfully we don’t have many salespeople come to our door.
    I actually did get scammed a couple of years ago. Young gal, early 20s, came to the door to tell me she’d get points in college for speaking to people and was doing a fundraiser for her school. I fell for it because I actually thought it was a school fundraiser. She was a sweet thing. I ended up paying $67 dollars for a 1-yr subscription to Reader’s Digest! After she left I got to thinking about it and thought that was an awful high price, even for a fundraiser. Come to find out, it was a ring of scammers going around doing it. I called the bank and cancelled my check so I didn’t get totally ripped off, but I still had to pay $15 to have a stop put on my check.

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