Here at Monarch Mobility, our customers know that they will never be pressured into buying any products that are not suitable for their needs, whether it’s a rise and recline chair or one of our new or mobility scooters. However, the sad truth is that there are still companies out there – many of them operating in industries which specialise in marketing items towards older people – that will not think twice about employing unfair, or even illegal, tactics in order to meet their sales targets.
Below, we will provide you with some tips on how to avoid the always unwelcome practice of salespeople applying excessive pressure, whether in person or over the phone.
Don’t let salespeople ‘guilt trip’ you
The image of a salesperson turning up at your home and relentlessly badgering you to buy their product is somewhat outdated. These days, it is far more likely for a company representative to use much more subtle – although equally persuasive – tactics when they try to get you to buy whatever product or service they are pushing.
One of the most common, and most morally questionable, tactics that some salespeople use is to imply that you are doing wrong by your family if you do not purchase the item in question. For example, if you turn down the opportunity to buy a mobility aid from a sales rep, they may suggest that this will make life harder for whoever is responsible for your care.
However, you should be careful not to fall into the trap of being made to feel guilty about your purchasing choices. A salesperson will not usually know anything about your personal circumstances and, if they bring your family into the equation, this will often be no more than a cynical move to secure a quick sale.
Don’t be rushed into a decision
Another tactic which pushy salespeople tend to rely on is making you feel like you need to decide on whether to buy their products straight away. However, whether they attempt to do this by explaining that the offer they are presenting is time-limited or just by adopting a ‘hassling’ tone, always remember that you are under absolutely no obligation to buy anything you don’t want to.
More to the point, you are always well within your rights to request that the salesperson you are dealing with gives you more time to come to a decision. The rep in question may be unhappy about this, of course, as it could mean they miss out on their sales commission! Once again, though, this is not anything that should concern you – at the end of the day, it’s your money, and you are the only person who can decide how and when to spend it.
Beware of offers that seem too good to be true
It may have become a cliché, but it is worth repeating nevertheless – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is! There are various ways in which salespeople frame their offers to make them appear unmissable, but don’t forget that it is their job to do this and that they are skilled at showing their promotions in the best possible light.
Whether it’s a buy-one-get-one-free offer or a product that will only be available for a limited time, there are all sorts of promotions that can be used to entice customers to sign up. However, our previous advice about taking your time before you buy also applies here. If you have any doubt whatsoever, tell the salesperson that you want to go away and think about their offers further before purchasing. The chances are that, if you do some shopping around, you may find a similar product available for less from a company that hasn’t been trying to force it on you!
Remember you don’t owe salespeople anything
We mentioned at the start that some salespeople attempt to ‘guilt trip’ customers into buying their products by suggesting that this would be the right thing to do for your family. If this isn’t an option for them, however, some high-pressure sellers may try to entice you by offering a gift or other incentive.
What is important to bear in mind in this situation, though, is that you are not the only person they will be doing this for and that you do not owe the salesman or woman – or the company they represent – anything at all.
No matter how ‘nice’ the person you are speaking with may seem, this does not entitle them to your money. And, as for the gifts, just think about some of your most treasured possessions: did you buy any of them because they came with a complimentary extra? In most cases, probably not.
Discuss things with someone you trust
As with most things in life, talking it over with someone you trust – whether a friend, partner or family member – is always a good idea when it comes to deciding to buy something from a salesperson.
Unfortunately, it is well-documented that unscrupulous salespeople have a habit of targeting individuals (especially older people) who live on their own. This is a deliberate tactic and one that can be successful because it focuses on those who are potentially vulnerable.
If anyone comes to your door when you are alone and encourages you to buy an expensive product or service, however, make sure that you discuss their proposal with someone else before signing on the dotted line. It could end up saving you thousands of pounds!
Take steps to prevent cold calling
If all else fails, there are some proactive steps you could take to try to minimise the amount of ‘cold calling’ you are subjected to from aggressive salespeople.
If you want to stop door-to-door sales, the quickest – and cheapest – thing you could do is to buy a ‘no cold callers’ sticker that you can place in a prominent position on your front door or window. Available for just a couple of pounds from online retailers like Amazon (click here to see an example), this simple action could save you from having any more of those awkward doorstep sales discussions.
Sometimes, unsolicited telephone calls can be every bit as irritating and even intimidating as salespeople showing up at your door. However, it thankfully takes just a few seconds to register with the Telephone Preference Service, after which it will be illegal for any businesses (as well as charities and political organisations etc.) to call you up at any time. If, after registration, you receive any further unwanted calls, you have every right to tell the person phoning that they are breaking the law.