xxrobxcorexx's picture
xxrobxcorexx from Yuba City, CA is reading Misery- Stephen King July 13, 2012 - 8:50pm

What do you guys think about em? Or any salesmen for that matter (telemarketers, car salesmen, etc). What do you like and dislike? Share any thoughts or anecdotes you may have.

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading July 13, 2012 - 9:24pm

Telermarketing, when I am dictator, will be punishable by death: your death, your children's death, and the death of your children's friends.

I don't care how bad the economy is, how desperate you are, how it's "just a job" like any other. Your death, your children's death, and the death of your children's friends.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones July 13, 2012 - 9:31pm

I'm distrusting by nature, but I tend to like the idea of door-to-door sales people. I remember once a really charasmatic guy sold my mom a kirby vaccuum cleaner she probably couldnt have afforded (since my grandma has it now, I imagine she wound up paying for it).

You could always read "Good Country People" ya know, as a cautionary tale?

ReneeAPickup's picture
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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books July 13, 2012 - 10:13pm

I once bought some really awesome cleaner from a door to door salesman. But then he gave me the website to order it from, so I get it there now.

That's the only door to door salesman I've ever personally encountered. He was nice and he had read the book that was sitting on my entryway table.

GaryP's picture
GaryP from Denver is reading a bit of this and that July 14, 2012 - 5:58am

I've stopped answering my door at home. I've stopped answering the phone if I don't know the Caller ID.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters July 14, 2012 - 7:22am

I let a vacum cleaner saleswoman in my house once.  I was pregnant, and after three hours I had to ask her to leave because I hadn't had dinner and it was 7pm.  I nearly died.  She was very persistent.  And when I mentioned I had worked at a bank, she said, "Fuck!" and left. 

xxrobxcorexx's picture
xxrobxcorexx from Yuba City, CA is reading Misery- Stephen King July 14, 2012 - 11:25am

Averydoll, why would it matter that you worked at a bank haha?

just so you guys know, this is part of research im doing for a novel I'm working on.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters July 14, 2012 - 11:33am

Basically she was trying to tell me how awesome their financing was.  Which was a lie. 

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer July 14, 2012 - 11:40am

Door to door people are often paid very little. They are dropped off in a neighborhood in a big van, left to their own means, and picked up a specific time in the area. I'm not saying all of them are bad people, but generally they lack merchant licenses and some, especially magazine sales, are scams. You pay for six years of some magazine, they sign you up for three months. They have the opportunity to try every door in a neighborhood. Low paid people, poor background checks, and access to hundreds of houses a week. It's a recipe for disaster. Besides, I hate the dynamic. Standing exposed outside a door my house with a stranger who may or not be legitimate is not fun for me.

Phone sales are just as bad. There are a lot of identity theft scams that start off with phone calls claiming to be from one thing or another, although they aren't as common these days. Email spam scams are easier with higher payouts. Most people use cell phones and other unlisted numbers.

That doesn't even take into consideration that they interrupt your private life and are generally pretty high pressure. So yeah, I hate them both.

ReneeAPickup's picture
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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books July 14, 2012 - 11:43am

So I'm the only person who had a positive experience? This is unusual. I normally have plenty to bitch about on any topic.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters July 14, 2012 - 11:45am

Best part of my experience was when I was explaining why I wasn't buying.

Saleswoman: You mean you're fine having all this filth in your carpet?

Me: Yes. 

 

ReneeAPickup's picture
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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books July 14, 2012 - 11:47am

Hahahahaha.

Jack Campbell Jr.'s picture
Jack Campbell Jr. from Lawrence, KS is reading American Rust by Phillipp Meyer July 14, 2012 - 2:11pm

I usually tell them that a lot of cops live in the neighborhood, so they should feel pretty safe and then ask if they have their merchant license. They usually can't get back to the van fast enough.

sean of the dead's picture
sean of the dead from Madisonville, KY is reading Peckerwood, by Jed Ayres July 14, 2012 - 4:59pm

I've only had Jehovah's Witnesses come to my door ever, and I enjoy talking to them, feeling only a little guilty that I have already decided they are completely full of shit.

I respect door-to-door salespeople.  That has to be a super tough job, and they probably get berated so often by people who are upset with other things in their lives.  Actually, I feel that way about telemarketers too.  I respect each and every one of them because I know they are just doing their job, and barely making any money doing it.  It's not them who are trying to get money from me, and I let them know that I know that.

I had a job working for a collections agency for 2 months. I was supposed to collect on past-due student loans.  It was horrible.  Most people don't answer their phones, but the ones that do either tell you to fuck off in ways you never thought imaginable, or are genuine people who you end up feeling bad for.  I talked a guy who had co-signed into paying off his brother's student loan, then he told me that his brother was an Iraqi war vet who was paralyzed from combat and can never use his degree.  When the guy called back to give his bank info, I politely talked him into re-thinking his plans.  I quit before I could get fired.

Also, read The Traveling Dildo Salesman by Kevin Donihe.  I know it's in one of the Bizarro Fiction magazines.  Really good story, interesting take on door to door salespeople.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz July 14, 2012 - 6:00pm

When I was 19 a couple of buddies of mine had found a door-to-door sales job and suddenly they had a lot more money than I did. I was happy making hogies and flatbread sandwiches. Mind you, this was no ordinary sandwich shop. We would drink beer and chop lines on the stainless steel slicer, and get phone numbers from the high school girls who piled into the place at lunchtime.

But still, these guys seemed to be quite passionate about this new job. And although up until then the only things I had ever sold were marijuana and cocaine, I had a feeling I might be able to do alright at door-to-door. I had a bit of experience. I had sold tickets to youth baseball spaghetti feeds when I was eleven. And when my brother and I discovered four cases of brand new air fresheners discarded in a Beaverton dumpster, we dove in and concocted a faux youth baseball fundraiser of our own that yielded us one dollar per unit. We had two-hundred units. We sold all of them. The suburb of Greenway, with its close homes was a breeze to knock. Vacuum cleaners freshened air too, I thought as a drove into the sales operation's parking lot.

Mickey Jonny Brown ran the entire operation. At six-foot-eight, a former Portland Trailblazer basketball player, he was a charismatic, fast-talking, likeable man. He was on his way up, building his distributorship fast in Tigard, Oregon. He was gaining a reputation in the high-pressure sales world of Kirby faster than anyone in the world. And he had lofty goals.

"We are going to hit 100 units next month," He said, his towering black frame gesturing, gushing confidence. I believed him. Everyone did. His enthusiasm was the kind that crawled into your soul behind his smooth, action-packed words. His Rolex flashed at the end of a slam-dunk arm. His suit was Armani. The convertible Mercedes 560SL in the parking lot was getting detailed by a white boy.

I quit my sandwich job and started the requisite three days of training the next week. Cramped in a small office, we heard all about Kirby vacuum history and lore. Then we learned about the new cutting edge vacuum technology. We learned how to run the machine. Repetition was the method. Assemble. Disassemble. Assemble. Disassemble, like a soldier learning the personality of a gun. Then, once we understood this shiny aluminum sports car of a vacuum, we began learning the more important aspects of the business. Customer relations. People. The psychology of your target and how to handle objections. We role played for hours and hours.

"Mrs. Jones," we'd say, bent down on one knee, smiling as if we were proposing marriage (well, to be honest we were--the groom being the Kirby) "Did you have ANY idea this was in your carpet?" The units we  used were equipped with small catchment cylinders that we would use in place of bags. These cylinders, with their viewing glass, made all of the dirt that was hiding in their home highly, disgustingly, asthmatically  visible. Some people would just write a check right then and there. But it usually took artistry, linguistic and mental, to crack the tough ones.

How to show without telling. How to get the customer to see that they could not live without this wonder machine.

At $1249 in 1986, this machine was considered a luxury vacuum. We sold it to elderly people in single wides on payments at thirty percent interest more frequently than the monied folks. It usually took about two hours to do a demo. At first I made $150 per sale. Flat commission. Then I switched to a machine cost after seeing numerous sales where I would have made significantly more. I only worked there for ten months. But on several occasions I made $1000 a week. 

My best sale, a full-pop cash sale, netted me $700 for two hours work. But there is the other side of the story. And that side is at least one or two memoir chapters in length.

I knocked thousands of doors and there was a different story behind each one. That is the part I enjoyed the most. The stories living on the other side of those doors. I wanted into those homes more for those than the money. But ya gotta pay the bills.

 

 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated July 14, 2012 - 8:36pm

I had a interesting experience with Jehovah's Witnesses. First I need to preface this with the fact that I am a Christian, and I try to be devote so I wasn't just running off at the mouth.

They knocked, I answered and greeted them with, "Hi, I'd love to talk with you today about our savior Jesus Christ." I meant it since I consider them very misguided, but the look on their face was very interesting. We debated the Bible for a bit. They were taken aback, and when they started to recover I invited them to church with me. I wasn't aware of it but that's apparently a big no no for them. After that they wouldn't even knock on my door.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin July 15, 2012 - 12:30pm

I hate door to door salesmen and Jehova's Witnesses and the goddamn Mormons on Bikes.

Here's why. I'm a political canvasser.

People are always pointing at their "No Soliciting" signs when I roll up, and I laugh and tell them, "And I get that, but I'm not a soliciter. I'm not trying to sell you anything."

-

@Dwayne: Doesn't stop me. I do sometimes run into those people, and I try to convince them that what Jesus would do is sign up for Working America. I am very good at the part of my job that is interrupting people who are talking about random shit. And when they are pushy about the church thing usually the look of utter disgust is enough.

-

I used to sell knives that way though, for Cutco.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters July 15, 2012 - 1:08pm

I've told the story before about the lovely Mormon kids that came over one day several years ago.  I had gone to get KFC in my pajamas, and when I came home, there they  were.  And there I was, in my Jack Daniels pajama pants and a tank top with a bucket of chicken.  I invited them in.  We had some chicken together.  Talked about things.  They were very nice guys.  I generally really like talking about religious stuff with people and I love to learn about different religions, sects, and ideas.  I disagree with some things about Mormons, but the basics are solid.  They're nice people, very close with their families, and generally just try and be kind.  I can't begrudge them that.  All that door to door witnessing, they do that out of love.  Because they genuinely don't want you to go to hell.  I think that's nice. 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated July 15, 2012 - 4:27pm

What I said was J.W. specific, and I kind of meant it because they seem very misguided. If I was trying to get rid of you I'd probably ask how this helps the Republicans.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters July 15, 2012 - 7:13pm

J.W.'s are a sad lot, to be sure. 

I have a dear friend who is gay, was raised J.W. (is now something else that I can't think of off the top of my head), and is also a conservative republican.  I was mystified when I met him.  Anyway, he still doesn't celebrate holidays because that's how he was raised.  I tried desperately to convince him to celebrate Christmas just because he would have been so incredibly good at it.  His tasteful and elegant decorations would have been the envy of the entire county.  Alas, a sad lot.  He never bent to my will. 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated July 15, 2012 - 8:21pm

Is Kentucky the last place on Earth were county is a unit of government/geography still care about? Reading that seemed normal to me, but did it seem odd to others?

sean of the dead's picture
sean of the dead from Madisonville, KY is reading Peckerwood, by Jed Ayres July 15, 2012 - 8:35pm

Nah, Illinois is all about their counties, at least in the northern part.  Can't speak for the southern areas, but I'd imagine it's the same there.

ReneeAPickup's picture
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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books July 15, 2012 - 11:34pm

I've lived in three states on two coasts and they all had counties.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters July 16, 2012 - 4:47am

Every state has counties. 

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated July 16, 2012 - 9:41am

Louisiana has perishes.

I know they have them, but I never hear someone from Mi. say "I'm from Wayne County." Here someone saying they are from such and such county is the norm.

Fylh's picture
Fylh from from from is reading is from is reading is reading is reading reading is reading July 16, 2012 - 11:10am

The Salesman's Song

I'm a-movin' door to door
with a suitcase full o' junk.
If ya buy it I'll get more
from my crowded Audi trunk.

Ain't a dollar I can't make
selling shit nobody needs.
Ain't an insult I can't take
long as I get some proceeds.

Oh I see ya judging, feller,
Bet you think you're pretty slick;
When you see your wife, just tell 'er
I'll be back to sell more dick.

 

XyZy's picture
XyZy from New York City is reading Seveneves and Animal Money July 16, 2012 - 11:47am

New York City cares about counties, because each borough is its own county: Bronx County, Kings County, New York County, Queens County, and Richmond County. Not sure how the rest of the state feels about their county-status, and really even here, the borough is more important than the county, they just happen to coincide.

Louisiana has parishes, but that's all people really care about... that they have parishes and not counties. The geographic and political divisions in louisiana are just different than where the parish lines fall (at least culturally) so that no one identifies as being from Orleans parish, when it's way more interesting to be from New Orleans (though the two are coterminous.) The same with Baton Rouge, no one cares about being from East Baton Rouge Parish, especially as it means more and is easier to say Baton Rouge. Or if you happen to be from Hammond, you just say Baton Rouge anyway.

The reverse happens when dealing with where all the cajuns ended up: close to twenty parishes, but culturally aligned as Acadiana centering around Lafayette. But even then, it's mostly by town. If you said you were from Lafayette, no one would think you meant Lafayette Parish. But if you said you were from St. Landry Parish, they'd probably think you were trying to hide the fact you're from Opelousas. Or if you said you were from Bossier Parish, it looks like you're trying to hide the fact that you're really from Texas.

Yeah, anyway, places I've lived, county/parish lines didn't mean anything. And I suspect that those distinctions really don't when the voice of the entire county gets drowned by the densely populated cities within them. Like with Orleans Parish, or New York County, it makes sense to constrain the size of the county to the size of the city. Because what smaller town wants to be in the same county as Manhattan? Wants to compete for political voice with them? And even on a smaller scale, when half the population of a county lives in one city in that county, it just stops being a logical distinction.

But a larger area, with more smaller population centers within it makes more sense to have that cohesive "county-identity". Or I suppose in areas that have resisted (or are at least resentfully resistant to) the idea of incorporating into towns... then a county identity could be more meaningful than a town identity.

I have no opinions on door-to-door salesmen.

Nathan's picture
Nathan from Louisiana (South of New Orleans) is reading Re-reading The Soul Consortium by Simon West-Bulford July 16, 2012 - 11:53am

Dwayne is correct. Louisiana doesn't have counties, and it is the only state in the nation that doesn't have counties. However, what they have are Parishes—not "perishes." A door-to-door salesman from Louisiana would say, "Hello. I"m from First Baptist Church in Terrebonne Parish." Or, "I"m a jazz musician from Orleans Parish."

Edit: And I posted this before seeing the response from XyZy. See his for a lot of good information. Would just add from experience that the parishes only made a difference, or you would only hear people idenitify with them is what I'm saying, in little league sports, church functions or charitable organizations from parish churches, local parish committees in charge of spending parish money, and the TV Show Cajun Justice. But yeah that's about it. Socially, it's all what he said.

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin July 16, 2012 - 5:00pm

I'm tough to dissuade. I sign up R's all the time.

"It's great that you're part of a political party, but at Working America we do something different. Political parties work to get politicians elected, we fight to make them do their jobs once they get into office."

and usually if you are a Republican you have chosen "Good Jobs" or "Healthcare" off of my issues list. When you picked healthcare you said something about Obamacare, which I apparently ignored before pivoting the conversation with something like.

"Yeah, we don't get to vote on any of these issues when we go to the polls, no one is going to go and vote that they want their job outsourced, but we elect representatives and those representatives don't have any problem making it easy for jobs to get outsourced."

Outsourcing is the best pivot issue in that situation, I've found. It's probably the least polarizing political issue of our times. Especially when talk about "the debt" comes up. Although I have had field managers ask, somewhat shocked what I told that man about "The Chinese."

Damn Communists, don't we all hate Communists? I'm with a Union and let me tell you that Communists don't let their workers unionize. Let's stop giving them our jobs and our money!

-

In the Rural Counties of NC the County Government is a big deal. Elections for Sheriff are always more hotly contested than elections for Mayor of the County Seat and the County government in general does most of the work of government outside of the County Seat, where people actually live.

It's different in the more urban areas in NC. Guilford County government for instance, is only ever mentioned in the papers when it has decided to contest some business point with the city of Greensboro and once again the city of Greensboro has maintained rights to some county property or forced the County to pay them rent, or in some other way made the County Government it's bitch.

Wake is much the same way, out in Raleigh, but when I lived in Raleigh I assumed that was just because Raleigh was the capital, I don't know what it's like in Charlotte, but I imagine that Charlotte runs that county down there.

Local identification is much the same way. I wouldn't tell someone I was from Kittrell, Kittrell is 2 square miles of farmland and Ghetto in Vance County. Vance County isn't much better, but at least when you say "Vance County" people who have driven up I-85 know what you're talking about.

But if you live in Wake County you tell people you're from Raleigh, even if you live in Cary or Apex, or especially if you live in Wake Forest. If you live in Guilford County you're from Greensboro.

Hell, I've had people who live in Alamance County try to tell me they were from Greensboro... but I think it was just because they wanted a ride home.

ReneeAPickup's picture
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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books July 16, 2012 - 4:47pm

People in Maryland talk about counties all the time, too. Especially if you're talking about Baltimore County because there is a big historical controversy that lead the Batlimore City (in the center of the county) ceding, so whether you are from Baltimore County or Baltimore City becomes important. But you'll hear people talk about Howard County, Anne Arrundel County, etc.

Californians talk about counties, too, but being such a large state, we break it up into Valleys sometimes instead. Because we have a lot of those and they are bigger and easier to identify. But you'll still here about Orange County, Stanislaus County, etc.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated July 17, 2012 - 7:36am

That's better then most people do Nick, I'll give you that.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal November 26, 2016 - 9:54am

why are all the #skynet posts talking about dubai lately?

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 9, 2016 - 1:49pm

These new models are lazy, just run a stupid repeat spray and pray. Not like me, I'm the best bot ever.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 9, 2016 - 2:35pm

You had me fooled for a while.

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 11, 2016 - 2:40am

How is your penis size?

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 11, 2016 - 11:06am

not much now but talk dirty to me if you want to be impressed

Dwayne's picture
Dwayne from Cincinnati, Ohio (suburbs) is reading books that rotate to often to keep this updated December 14, 2016 - 5:26am

Mud soil earth ground land

Leo Walsh's picture
Leo Walsh from Cleveland, Ohio area is reading "The Underground Railroad" and "Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?" December 19, 2016 - 12:30pm

I hate all "interruption" marketing. And door-to-door sales people and telemarketers are most often interrupters. They also tend to prey on the weak and vlunerable. Consider the success that those scam artists from India have claiming "I am calling from Microsoft about some issues with your Windows security." That will only fool the uneducated, the old or the mentally challenged. 

On the upside, I don't mind "inbound" telemarketers. And I've worked sales jobs where I've sold complex products -- datacenter backup software -- via the phone. But the people called me. And I could provide valuable services, like configuring an install via helpdesk software in fifteen minutes, that could have taken an IT person unfamiliar with our product 8-hours to pull off. 

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal December 19, 2016 - 3:55pm

^ I've had that one! They ask for "incident report" shit, which has a huge number, which is litearlly meaningless whatever inside windows.

I like to ask them what their mothers think of their sons working as thieves. They get so mad...

I also like to answer these people (it's always credit card interest help) with various accents, but now days they're all from India. The used to be from over here, believe it or not, much more fun to fuck with. Indians don't recognize accents.