You’ve probably heard of “direct marketing” products – like Avon cosmetics, Cutco knives, or Amway health supplements. At the most basic level, I don’t mind any of these companies. If you have the desire to sell directly to individuals and work purely on commission, that’s fine with me. You do what you gotta do.
What I don’t like about many of these companies is that they promote selling to your “natural market”, aka – your friends and family. Even big corporations like financial planning company Ameriprise promote this. To me, this is the same as converting your friendship and love into money. I mean really, if you weren’t you’d simply go out and sell the product to complete strangers like everyone else. The only reason you’re selling to your buddies is because you know it gives you a better chance of making money.
What really bugs me is when someone abuses their social or professional influence in this way. Let’s say your boss’s son wants to sell you Cutco knives to “help pay for college”. Or your boss’s wife invites you to an Avon party and won’t take no for an answer. That’s an abuse of power in my opinion, as there is the unsaid possibility that if you don’t buy anything you may see negative consequences in the workplace.
So, I ask you, kind reader – How does one get out of this situation if they are really pushy? There are only so many times you can say “Sorry, I’m busy that day.” Do you just suck it up and buy the cheapest thing in the catalog? I’m leaning that way, the moral high ground is just not worth it (ugh… office politics). Is there some really clever way to get the point across?
By Jonathan Ping | Frugal Living | 11/15/07, 5:45am