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How To Get Out of Annoying Sales Pitches Without Losing Your Cool

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Sharon Ang

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Ever signed a spa package or an insurance policy that you don’t really need only to regret it later? With all these credit card and Groupon deals on spas, facials, slimming, yoga lessons, the objective at the end of all these is to persuade you to part with your annual bonus or future income by signing on a package. After all, a package assures the establishment of a steady stream of business and pays for rental, staff, equipment, and yes, profits.

What are some effective and creative ways you can walk away from these sticky sales situations without feeling like a worm?

 

When approached by a salesperson at the MRT station who wants to do a short ‘survey on savings’ with you:

  • Smile and continue your purposeful gait towards your destination. Do not even make eye contact.
  • Use the ‘I’ve been approached by your colleague earlier’ one-liner, or
  • Tell them your brother/cousin or you are an insurance agent or bank relationship manager. They usually understand straightaway.

 

After the $28 or $38 spa/ facial session:

  • Refuse that invitation for ‘tea’, saying you have to rush off to an appointment right now
  • If the therapist was really nice and you feel satisfied enough to listen to the sales pitch (but you don’t intend to sign a package), cut it off after hearing the first pitch. The longer you hem and haw, the more its taken as a sign of interest and the more freebies will be thrown in, until you change your mind. You could say you didn’t bring any credit card (which is a good idea to leave at home), have to rush off this moment, or don’t live/work nearby and it would be impractical to sign their package.
  • If you have need for such a package and are intending to sign up, keep your silence during the pitch. In negotiation, whoever speaks first loses. The longer you wait, the more freebies will be thrown in. At the end, ask for a discount. In lieu of that, they would usually offer you some products or more sessions.

 

As for that trial class at the gym:

  • Think about whether you really need a membership and what your objectives are. There is nothing worse than an unutilised or under-utilised gym package that stresses you out month after month when you realise each gym visit equates to something like $70. Yikes!
  • If you love the treadmill, consider jogging outdoors. After all, you would be making good use of all that park connectors that your taxes helped to pay for. Some vitamin D from the sun doesn’t hurt either!
  • If you want to tone your limbs or abs with machines, look around your neighbourhood to see if there are some free gym-like equipment at playgrounds or neighbourhood parks near you.
  • If your intention is to meet people at the gym, then.. go for it!

 

How about timeshare deals or multi-level marketing products?

  • In the case of timeshare, try not to accept ‘free gifts’ (like dinner at a high-class hotel while on holiday) that oblige you to listen to their sales pitch. You will be ‘trapped’ in the place for a long time while the precious minutes of your holiday tick away.
  • As for multi-level marketing, as far as possible, do not take up the invitation from relatives or friends to come to your place to tell you about it. Their seniors will usually come along and it will be difficult to send them off without buying anything without your relative or friend losing face.

 

We hope these tips will help you to beef up your repertoire of escape tactics from sales pitches that you do not need to hear, and save you from impulse purchases and credit card debt!

What are some tactics you use to escape annoying salespeople? Help everyone out here!

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Sharon Ang

I love sunshine, adventure, new experiences and outdoor places. I started taking personal finance seriously ever since I became a senior relationship manager at a local bank and later a priority banking relationship manager. I feel gratified to be in a role where I can make a difference in people's lives on a subject close to their hearts. I would love to hear from you at sharon@moneysmart.sg.

  • Great advice on escaping these sticky situations but there are those few sales people out there who still remain painfully persistent.