Hide Your Checkbooks – The Direct Marketing Sales Army is Growing
I came a across a news article yesterday that was both interesting and disturbing. It seems that the declining economy has created more interest among the unemployed and the underemployed in personal direct marketing. As used in this context, “direct marketing” means that even more scary people are gearing up to knock on your door so that you can be annoyed while they try to sell you some overpriced junk that you don’t need.
Mr. ToughMoneyLove once got duped into attending one of these direct selling “parties” by a co-worker. I don’t even remember what they tried to sell me. I do remember that I didn’t buy anything and that I never set foot in that co-worker’s house again.
The direct selling party hosts never tell you ahead of time what you are in for. However, I now know that if the person inviting me uses the words “party” and “opportunity” in the same sentence, I definitely have other plans that night.
I’ve never even heard of most of the companies mentioned in the article. Jafra beauty products? Univera nutritional supplements? Even the names sound cheesy, no doubt matching the quality of the products.
The most disturbing part of this apparent economic trend is that many of these door-to-door sales people are very good at what they do. And what they do is break down your natural resistance to purchasing stuff you don’t need. (You do have that resistance, don’t you?) One of my good friends is a sales trainer for a prominent door-to-door sales organization. I’ve seen their sales training materials and watched him in action. He is really good. He has to be. The students that learn his doorway sales techniques are quite effective in pushing stuff across that threshold into the hands of mesmerized homeowners.
The hard truth is that we do not need more broke Americans spending what little surplus cash they have on stuff they don’t need. So Mr. ToughMoneyLove is sounding the warning. Mentally prepare yourself for the march of a larger direct selling army. When someone is standing at your door in the hot sun telling you that he/she is selling X so that he/she can go to college, you want to help. But in this economy, you need to look out for yourself and your family first. If you find yourself in someone’s home and the party downshifts to a sales pitch, suppress your guilt and keep your wallet secure. You don’t want to buy it and you don’t need to buy it.
If it makes you feel any better, just say you are allergic to what they are selling. I can attest to the fact that I have severe allergies to all products that are overpriced or that have a primary use of merely taking up space in my house.
Anyone have any interesting direct marketing experiences they care to share?