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The Door To Door Salesman Who Won Me Over

By Author: Russell Foster

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This article has little to do with metaphysics or anything that I would describe as being philosophically meaningful. It's just some interesting memories I thought I would share. Recently I was selling my car to an insurance salesman (Yes he did try to sell me life insurance, but this article is not about him). As he was telling me about his job, it sparked some memories in me of the salesmen (women too) who gave me their presentations over the years. A few times I rudely sent them packing because they just didn't take no for an answer. I guess that is how they were taught to close a sale. I imagine a person must have a tough hide to be successful. Rejection is to be expected. The following two stories are reversed. The story in the next paragraph occurred when I was in my thirties, and the second one took place in my early twenties.
I remember an ADT salesman who had an excellent argument for why I needed his alarm system. I was young and lived in the bad part of town. My house had been broken into before I became its new owner. The tip-off was that the owner had nailed the windows shut. However, I was the proud owner of a pure bred German shepherd who had a loud bark. The truth is, he was afraid of his own shadow. I expressed my doubt that anyone would break into my house with a large shepherd patrolling it. The salesman said home intruders could just spray oven cleaner in his face. I didn't buy the alarm system. Later I was thinking about why a criminal would break into a house occupied by a large dog with sharp teeth when he could pick a home that doesn't have any pets? My house was just one of many in a busy residential neighborhood. A criminal would have to go through a lot of trouble to leave with very little.
In my earlier years, there was a Kirby salesman who came to visit after I signed up for a free carpet cleaning. This gentleman was by far the most talented salesman I have ever seen. He had this see-through vacuum cleaner, so that you could see the dirt accumulating in the filter. He rolled the vacuum cleaner back and forth on the sofa chanting "Do you want to clean all of the dirt or some of the dirt." The only thing I can remember about his presentation was "all of the dirt or some of the dirt." It was almost hypnotic. He moved very quickly. I was thinking to myself "Yeah. I want to get all of the dirt." That's rational I thought. I fell right into it. Somehow I was sweet-talked into buying a $1,500.00 vacuum cleaner on an installment plan. I don't believe I ever used the Kirby. I ended up giving it to my friend years later who says he loves it. Strangely enough I almost felt compelled to call the company and give the salesman's boss a commendable report on his presentation. I must have had sucker written all over my face.
I detest hardcore sales tactics as I feel the salesman is insulting my intelligence. I actually find it insulting when a salesman says "How much can you afford?" Or "Let me check with my boss." I'm sure that's not their intention. It's annoying just the same. However, there are those rare occasions when a common peddler impresses you with his or her energy and charisma. Be wary of the fast- talking sales professional.

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