Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How to deal with pesky street recruiters

  1. Jun 30, 2013 #1

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Ever have someone start waving enthusiastically at you, followed by them skipping over and proclaiming "HI! I really like your coat, where did you buy it?". Followed by "Do you also want to make the world a better place?". Yes, a street recruiter who wants to sign people up for a membership.

    The above happens to me about 4–6 times a week. No, I'm lying, they don't always compliment me on my coat..

    Now when they say "HI!", I reply with "Hello! Sorry, I'm not interested". However, that annoys them and that in turn annoys me. I get the reply "You don't even know what I want from you!".

    Does anyone know a good deal breaker that I could use to stop them before they strike up a conversation? Saying "I'm already a member" doesn't work, they're hiding the identity of the funds they're recruiting for.

    There must be something, but I can't think of it. Maybe invite them to walk with me and keep them chatting until they're annoyed and excuse themselves..
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2013 #2

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    What are they selling? Since Hare Krishnas were banned from soliciting, I've not seen anyone soliciting, but of course this is the midwest, they'd be shot.
     
  4. Jun 30, 2013 #3

    D H

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    It's summertime. Why are you wearing a coat?


    Tell them you're a poor student and you got that coat at a second hand store. Since it's summertime, that coat was almost free. Their summertime clothes were too much for your meagre budget.
     
  5. Jun 30, 2013 #4
    Door knockers are even worse. The thing to keep in mind is that these people work it as a numbers game. They expect to hit some percentage of go's and another percentage of no-go's. Your job is to find out how you can place yourelf in the no-go category so that they just move on. It's not easy, though, because they are trained to overcome objections, and the number one objection they're trained to overcome is "I'm not interested." Close behind that is "I don't have the money."

    What I typically do is just throw some wild curve ball back at them that immediately puts me in the no-go category. For example, just the other day some guy tried to sell me coupons for synthetic motor oil. What? I told him that my buddy works for a repair shop and that I get all my oil changes for free in return for helping him when his computer acts up. What's he gonna say to that? No go, NEXT.

    I deal with the cell phone hawkers in the mall by telling them I get unlimited minutes for $15 a month. They just look at me dumbfounded. NEXT. At the mall I just keep walking slowly and talk to them. Same thing on the street, you don't want to stop. At the house though, they have you, and sometimes you will get tricked into stopping in the street or the mall. The thing to do is to let them give their speel for about 30 seconds while you're coming up with you trump card blow off line. Coming off as short or rude just gives them something to come back at you with. Give them 30 seconds and make it very clear that you are a No go and that you heard what they said and that you are being courteous by not wasting any more of their time. You let it go longer than 30 seconds and it just gets tougher to blow them off from there. Hope that helps :smile:
     
  6. Jun 30, 2013 #5

    D H

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Hmmm. That might be exactly why they're after you. Poor student = someone we can draft to write letters, convince to get walk up to rich looking women who aren't wearing coats in the middle of the summer to wheedle money for the cause, etc.

    Do you know what they gimmick is, and why they're picking on you?
     
  7. Jun 30, 2013 #6

    WannabeNewton

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I would tell them "No. Do I look like I want to make the world a better place?"
     
  8. Jun 30, 2013 #7

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There're trying to recruit people for membership of "good causes", such as the cancer foundation, green peace, etc. They have a city licence to stand on certain locations. I already have multiple memberships that I consider enough.
     
  9. Jun 30, 2013 #8

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    About the coat, try to not wear one in summer weather of 10oC :)

    Exactly, these people are highly trained and have a solution for every scenario. That's why I cut them off at the greeting, but I'm sure they are working on tactics to address those replies as well.
     
  10. Jun 30, 2013 #9

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Sorry, the app doesn't support multi-quote..

    I guess it's obvious I'm not a tourist, which makes me stand out, and I shop alone, which makes me the optimal target. Probably I'm also in the right age group and don't have children, and am just approachable (the last one I just like to think).
     
  11. Jun 30, 2013 #10
    That's the last thing you want to tell them. That puts you squarely in the "go" category. The charity hawkers are a bit of a different game from the one I gave above, though. Like the guys that stand out in front of the supermarket. That's a lot easier. The thing to do is definitely acknowledge them, smile big. If they compliment you on the coat say, "thank you so much." I usually give them a corny plaintiff lip tightening to express sympathy for their cause. And then just keep saying, sorry, I can't today and just keep walking. Another good one is to kind of look down at the ground implying that you are as sad as they are that you weren't able to help their cause, 90% of the proceeds of which is going to the boss. Piece of cake. There's so many people walking by they're onto the next victim/donater right a way.
     
  12. Jun 30, 2013 #11
    I think the last one is probably it as well. A little unrelated but I always thought my sister is waaay prettier than I am but whenever we go out together men are always coming up to me to talk to me and NEVER her. I asked one guy about it and he said I smile a lot and seem friendly. So I think your approachability must be high. I wouldn't recommend going about scowling or changing your demeanor in general, but a firm no to these people should work hopefully.
     
  13. Jun 30, 2013 #12

    Borg

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Tell them your 6'4" boyfriend works across the street and gets extremely jealous of anyone that you speak with. Self preservation should kick in at that point.

    While not exactly the same, it reminds me of a Jehovah witness who knocked on my door one day. The curtains were shut and I decided not to answer. I could see just enough to see that he was trying to peer into the window. He found out that wasn't a good idea when he saw a rifle barrel suddenly poking through.
     
  14. Jun 30, 2013 #13
    One other thing. The charity hawkers are one exception to the playing poor rule. If they ask why you can't contribute, you say financial hard times. They can relate to that. You are having money problems, so am I. Let's pray for each other. Have a nice day and good luck. NEXT.
     
  15. Jun 30, 2013 #14

    WannabeNewton

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I would carry pepper spray if I were you. Better yet carry an automatic assault rifle. Then when they come up to you and ask "how are you my friend, do you have a minute for such and such" you can pull out your assault and rifle and say "why don't you say hello to MAH lil friend" xP
     
  16. Jun 30, 2013 #15

    jtbell

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I just say something like, "Uh oh, the wasps are coming out of the nest in the porch light! Run!"
     
  17. Jun 30, 2013 #16
    I can be pretty arrogant and rude when some one annoys me. Here in Toronto it's mostly Green Peace teenies who ask you to donate. I politely tell them to F*** Off.
     
  18. Jun 30, 2013 #17

    lisab

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Well, there's less of a chance they'll be shot where I live, but still it's not part of our culture. If someone approached me like that I'd assume they were trying to scam me out of money. I just give them a cold brush-off.
     
  19. Jul 1, 2013 #18
    It looks as though everyone but me on this thread advocates the proverbial "Sell your lies to my friends Smith and Wesson" approach, as opposed to the subtler techniques I have espoused. That's definitely one way to go. I approach it a bit differently most likely because I used to do it myself, so 1) I have more sympathy for these guys because it is a hard gig, and 2) I know the way they think. I've sold just about everything at one time or another, Cars, Spas, motorhomes, camp ground memberships, etc. When I was a kid I used to sell the LA times door to door all over So. Cal. I lived in various tourist resorts and sold timesharing, various events and tours, you name it all off hawking tourists right off the street. So I probably have a lot more sympathy for these guys than most people. My approach definitely isn't for everyone but it works for me and eases my guilt. I just basically say in not so many words, "I know you're just trying to make a buck but I'm not your guy. Good luck." If they don't go for that and keep pestering me, then I'll come down on them hard in a way they won't forget.
     
  20. Jul 1, 2013 #19

    Bacle2

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Try stuttering really badly , I (do-do-do-do-do )^300 (not-not-not-....)^500 , etc. Try spending a full minute in each syllable, see if they can take it.
    Or change the topic: say they come to you with" I have a message from the Lord" , you say, who, George Lord, the Oakland A's Pitcher? Why would he want to talk with me? Besides, wasn't he traded to the Rangers in exchange for Coco Crisp ? He's got a good knuckleball, George, doesn't he? Or, you say, is that Lord the one from Lord and Taylor? I haven't seen any Lord and Taylor around here. How come? Maybe George Lord bought it and moved it somewhere else. Or try laughing really loud for no reason, and tell them their comment is really funny.

    Or, for more confusion, try all strategies together.
     
  21. Jul 1, 2013 #20

    Monique

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Thanks, that gave me a good laugh :smile:

    I've tried that in the past, doesn't work. Their reply is that I don't have to give a lot and then they pull out the sign-up card and start talking numbers.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: How to deal with pesky street recruiters
  1. How to deal with loss? (Replies: 14)

Loading...