Consumer Guide: How To Deal With Pushy Salespeople

Don't be pushed around by aggressive salespeople when you go shopping. Advice on how not to feel pressured by the

Some days, going shopping involves more aggravation than fun. If your favourite stores hire pushy and aggressive salespeople, you might hesitate before walking through the door. But don't let them get in the way of a good shopping spree: here's how to deal with those salespeople who just won't take no for an answer.

Don't feel pressured

First of all, it's vital to remember that you're in their store because you choose to be, and because you're looking for a place to spend some money. You haven't entered into some unspoken contract to buy what they tell you to buy just because you've walked into the store.

You're the customer, and it's your choice to decide if there's anything there which takes your fancy. In order to make this decision, you probably need to be left alone for long enough to spot that perfect dress or a pair of jeans that fit just right.

By all means, if you're looking for something specific, or you need some advice or information, don't hesitate to ask the salesperson. But this simple request also does not begin a kind of contract to either buy the item they suggest, nor to listen to their high-energy monologue about what great value for money it is, or about the special, never-to-be-repeated offer they have going on a product you have no interest in whatsoever.

Remember: you're in their store out of your own free will, and you are under no obligation either to buy what they suggest or to listen to a long diatribe. Sometimes it's easy to lose sight of this fact if you're surrounded by thumping music and an extremely extroverted sales person who is trying to get you to believe you're her new best friend.

How to say no politely

There are several effective ways of getting that pushy salesperson out of your face, without resorting to shouting or making a scene. Stop making eye contact, and contributing to the conversation. Simply stop smiling and engaging with them. Let your body language spell out the message - don't be embarrassed to turn away and make your own way around the store. Eventually, they'll be forced to leave you alone.

Another way to effectively rebuff an aggressively friendly salesperson is to use one of the magic words to telegraph that the conversation is over. Any of the following phrases will usually do the trick:

"Alright, thanks a lot," as you walk away.

"I'll look around and let you know if I need any help".

"I'm not buying today, I'm just taking a look" - watch the salesperson drop you like a hotcake.

"I'm in a hurry and just want to take a quick look around" - this lets them know you don't have the time to waste in mindless conversation.

The combination of pointed body languge and polite but firm refusals to accept their "special offer" or "bargain of the day" will certainly buy you some time and space to look around without pressure.

There's safety in numbers

It's easier to rebuff a persistent salesperson if you take a friend shopping with you. If you're obviously already in the middle of conversation with your friend, it's much harder for the salesperson to attempt to be your new best friend.

Let the salesperson know that she's interrupting you: pause and listen to her sales spiel for a few seconds, and then cut her off firmly, by saying "thanks, but we just want to look around today", and go back to chatting to your friend.

It will be very difficult for the salesperson to penetrate this kind of shield. You're much more likely to discuss the kind of dress you're looking for with your friend, and short of following you around and overtly eavesdropping on your conversation, there's not much the salesperson can do to get in on the act.

Be careful, though, not to take too many friends, as you will automatically split up to cover different areas of the store, and it will be easy for an agressive salesperson to buttonhole one of you at a time.

All it takes to be left alone to make your own purchasing decisions is some determination not to be pushed around by salespeople who are obviously working on commission. If you use some of the tried and true lines suggested here, fine-tune your body language, or take along a friend for moral support, chances are you won't be bothered too much the next time you go shopping. Wouldn't it be great if shopping became fun again?

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