In my book, I talk quite a bit about manipulative people. In most instances, before someone attempts to victimize you they will try to manipulate you in some way. It’s how they test your boundaries to see whether you’re going to be an easy target or a bad victim. One of the BIGGEST warning signs of manipulative people is their refusal to accept the word NO from someone. I notice that salespeople have this same tendency, and it really honks me off. I know they’re trying to make a living or whatever, but seriously, I hate that whole “never take no for an answer” sales approach.
So today I’m at the studio having a meeting with a business associate, when the phone rings. It’s a salesman, obviously well trained in not accepting “no.” Many women have a hard time using their voice as a boundary setting tool, but this interaction might give you a good idea how it’s done.
Sales Dude: Hi there, I’m Buck, and I’d like to talk to you about how your company can use promotional items like keychains to publicize your business.
Me: Thanks, but not interested. (At this point, you have the right to hang up. However, I wanted to blog about this, so I continued the interaction. Bloggers are nuts. We engage ourselves in unpleasant experiences, with the sole purpose being to write about it online.)
Sales Dude: Have you ever used promotional items before? (This is classic re-direction of conversation, as to ignore the orignial “no.” I’m onto it, and don’t fall for it.)
Me: I’m in a meeting and not interested. Thanks anyways.
Sales Dude: Let me tell you about some of our past satisfied clients…(I inturrupt him now.)
Me: Hey Buck, I already said no, and I’m not interested. Have you ever heard the expression “No is a sentence?”
Sales Dude: Well no, I haven’t.
Me: That’s because I invented it.
Sales Dude: Really? My boss wouldn’t like that.
Me: I bet he wouldn’t. I’m gonna tell you “no” one more time. Not interested. Got it?
Sales Dude: We’re actually having a 10% off sale that ends….(I hang up on him.)
Normally you’ll never “straighten out” a manipulative person, regardless of their mission. Just get rid of them as soon as possible. My apologies to all you phone salespeople out there who are just trying to make a living. But do me a favor and cut it off at 2 “no’s” alright?