how do you deal with salesman?

Now that it’s slow season I seem to have an endless stream of salesman coming for every possible thing. Now if they come during lunch or dinner I automatically won’t even speak to them or do business with them. How do you let them down? I’m thinking of developing email only strategy, you want to sell me something? Here’s my email, I don’t deal with salesman at my store. The last straw was this morning, a guy just walks in before we open saying I’m here to make sure your cc machine is compliant. I was so sick of it I told him to take a hike.

I very very rarely have someone come into the store in person, we get on a good day only 10 phone calls, on a bad day around 50.

Depends on who answers the phone how we deal with them. My favorite is my ast manager, he lets them start their speal, then asks them what pizza they wanted to order. And when they say they didn’t call to order, he bemoans them for wasting HIS time and hangs up on them.

Easy, owner is not here and works Sunday’s only. Works everytime

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I do the same what kind of pizza would you like is it gonna be for pick up or delivery when they tell me that they dont want to order pizza i simply say this line is only for taking pizza orders they give up and hang up. When they walk in i see them coming and say what can i get for you and then proceed to tell them no thanks we arent interested have a nice day and i walk away.

I have our cashiers deal with the phone, and if I do have some goober coming in, and we are in the middle of a rush, I simply ask;
“Wait, you are in a restaurant based industry right? Then why in the “F” are you pestering me when it is so obvious I do not have time to speak with you right now?”

If they show a little knowledge about the industry, and say 'I realize you are busy, please let me leave a card and I’ll try another time" I will thank them.
I had a guy last year who was trying to pick up our seasoning business, this company that he represented is supposed to be very knowledgeable about BBQ (Our Main Focus) since they do produce smokers & BBQ pits. When he saw my woodpile, and asked if it was pine, that sort of ended his chance of earning my trust, or our business.
I thought he was joking, but sadly he was not.

If it’s the phone, “please take me off your list thank you click”, if it’s walk in " please leave a card and information, please don’t call me, i’ll call you if i’m interested. I’m busy and i don’t take walkin sales. Have a nice day.

“Leave me a card and I’ll call or email you when I have more time if I’m interested”. If they insist on giving me their pitch right then and there I hand the card back to them and tell them I’m no longer interested at all.

I gave up “cold calling” years ago…No doubt ti is a tough racket these days…But every so often on a local delivery I ask my client for a referral and will “pop in” on a nearby business…Unless the prospect is keen on spending some time with me, I drop off a “package” and leave…

When they are trying to sell us a rate change for our electric or gas I like to tell them that we don’t have electric, gas, etc. They usually get confused and before they can respond I have already hung up.

i always respond the same exact way…“the owner is not here right now can i take a message?” they always ask when will he be back again…“hes in and out with catering, would you like to leave him a message?” the really good ones will ask for a name…“i’m sorry i’m not aloud to give that information out to solicitors.”

I have a different take on it I guess.

Even though these guys can be annoying, they are just another person doing a job. Fundamentally, I have respect for anyone trying to earn a living rather than collecting unemployment… and in a lot of cases these call centers are in places where that is indeed the choice. Also, in a small town like ours, the ones that come in person are another potential customer… one who happens to talk to a lot of people! So… I treat them with respect. I do not game them. However, that respectful treatment may include a conversation that goes like this:

“I am busy right now. What is it you are selling?”

“Credit card processing services that can save you some money”

“I am happy with our current processor and am not interested in hearing about it. Thanks for calling and have a nice day. Goodbye.”

I used to be that way… but after my first 1000 or so distractions, i lost my patience with it. Specially the one’s who come in or call during Lunch/Dinner. If they come in during the afternoon, i will usually ask them what they want and politely say no. But if it is a phone call, no dice.

I thought that way a few years ago too… perhaps after the first 10 years of owning my stores? I still struggle to be polite at times as my natural tendency would be to come up with something clever. For example, I used to ask for their home phone number and tell them I would call them back after closing when I was less busy… Maybe it was turning 50 a few years ago or my work in club leadership with our Rotary club but I realized that I was gaining nothing by doing so… not even time saved and potentially hurting myself and certainly disrespecting another person. Don’t get me wrong, I might still never buy from a salesman who does not understand not bothering me or my manager (does most buying) when we are busy but being polite and respectful to another person takes no extra time and often pays dividends. It also is an example of how I tell my employees to treat each other (not to mention customers).

If I choose to deal disrespectfully with some people (even disrespectful salesment with bad timing), do I really want to trust my employees to determine who they can be disrespectful to? This focus on being respectful is a consistent message of mine to employees. It has to start with me.

I have no obligation to teach salesmen to be better at what they do so I may well not explain to them why I do not buy from them but telling them in civil tone that I have no time to talk right now (Sorry I can not talk right now. This is our lunch rush. Goodbye) or politely that I am not interested in their product or service costs me nothing. (I have tried local map advertising before and it did not work for us. Have a nice day. Goodbye)

“Nothing happens until someone sells something…”

Pizza operator’s are salesmen as well, with direct mail, tv ads etc…

My first question is “Are you a local business?” I ask this question because I prefer to deal locally as much as possible. If there is a local company or someone I know personally I will support them first. That being said there are times when a sales persons timing is just wrong. If They are interrupting my busy time I let them know I don’t have time and they will need to leave a message or information I can look at when it is not busy.

I’m kind of with bodegahwy here, to a point. I’ve been close at points in my life to having to take a sales job and can’t imagine how I would feel having to cold call people to make a living. As long as they are straight up with me, I usually let them give their spiel as long as I have a second. But when they start with the BS and used car salesman type talk, I run out of patience in a hurry. If not, I basically say that I’m not currently interested, but if they want to leave/email me their info, I’ll leave them in consideration in the future.

The best was the poor girl, who didn’t seem like she had been on the job long, who told me that she could get me a great rate on our natural gas. We don’t have natural gas here. I said, “We have natural gas now? Sweet! When did that happen? That would be much easier than hooking everything up to propane!” She seemed a little flustered and I felt bad. But at the same time, she wanted me to switch to a company that didn’t even know to tell her that we don’t have natural gas in my area. Everyone has to make a living and we all have bills to pay and mouths to feed. But don’t try to do it by being disingenuous with me.

W don’t get too many, but get quite a few call annoying centre calls from India. You can pick them because there is a 5 - 10 second delay before they speak so when you here this we hang up. If it is quite and I am in the mood I ask them what pizzas they want them delivered but delivery may take 3 - 4 days and delivery fee would be $1800, or the other one is to tell them to hang on and I will get the manager and put the phone down and walk away (only do this one during the day if I decide to answer the phones while we are closed).
I had one rep from a stationary company from the other side of Australia leave numerous messages to call if we were interested in their products (we weren’t). Our unattended phone message says we are not open until 5pm. So one evening while we are open she calls and tells the person who answered she had a complaint and wanted to speak to the owner. When I got the call she told me I was rude for not returning her calls. I told her the reason I didn’t call was because I didn’t need her services/products, what don’t you get. I then told her if she phoned and left a message again I would report her to the authorities for breach of privacy laws that exist here for unwanted calls. Not heard from her since.
Anyone coming in while we are open are told to leave details via email and politely told that while are trading we do not see reps but are happy to make contact during the day should they have something we are interested in from their email contact.

I very much like Steve’s (Bodega) way of thinking on this - time to change my ways - better late than never ! i guess like others here, i’ve let a sales person or two or 200 irritate me when i’m just trying to work and help customers,

I will admit he makes a good point, and i will probably change… but im still to young to admit i am wrong lol


Are the fraudulent cash register tape sales people an exception for you? My policy falls down there. Getting more difficult to be polite to Yelp people too.