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5 Tactics for Saying No to a Sales Pitch

saying no to sales pitch

Recently, I was looking for a new hard drive for my computer after a catastrophic failure. When I shop, I like to look at my own pace and ask questions if I need help. The salespeople usually like to talk, so I give them the polite and clear ”I’m just looking right now” unless I actually have a question. In this case, I had done my research and knew exactly what I was after and how much I could get if for online. I was simply looking to compare prices. I tried my usual  message that I was just looking with the sales person, but he was not to be deterred. He made it very clear that I needed the hard drive he recommended today and that  if I left without it I would regret it.

This type of pressure doesn’t work with me. I’ll admit that I’m a sensitive person, and if a salesperson gives me their full attention and puts a lot of effort into their pitch, I often end up feeling guilty if I don’t buy the product. Salespeople count on that. I was able to say no that day, but it wasn’t easy.  Here’s how I was able to walk away, and how you can learn to say no to an aggressive sales pitch.

5 Tactics for saying no to a sales pitch

  1. Have a plan: It’s easier to shut down an aggressive pitch if you have thought through how to handle it in advance. Having a plan for what you want to purchase and how you will handle conversations with sales people will keep you from falling for the sometimes emotional pitches they will make to win a sale.
  2. Fight to Be Heard:  Salespeople are often passive aggressive, trying to dominate the conversation and your ability to counter or speak up.  Instead of putting your head down and listening to the salesperson dominate, fight to be heard. This directly conflicts with most people’s sense of common courtesy but remember your goal.  Salespeople are not looking to have a conversation -- they want your money . With the hard drive guy, I allowed myself to talk over him, and tell him that I was not looking to purchase right now.
  3. Get Rid of Guilt:  Before you can learn to say no, you have to realize that you do not need to feel guilty about walking away from the salesperson. If you say no to a sales pitch,  that’s really all the reason you need to give. The job of the salesperson is to make you want to buy the product; feeling guilty is letting them win. It’s your money and you have a right to spend it exactly when and where you please. There’s no reason for the customer to feel guilty about saying no.
  4. Ask Yourself Why:  Salespeople talk a lot. The hard drive guy was barely pausing for a breath. With someone talking so intensely , it can be hard to think for yourself. I decided to ignore the pitch and simply ask myself, “Why?” Why do I need this particular hard drive today? Why am I still listening? After those two questions, I realized I didn’t need to listen to anymore. That’s when I was able to walk away. Pausing to ask yourself a simple question like “why” can be enough to clear your head enough to say no.
  5. Practice Saying “No”:  Believe it or not, saying “no” gets easier the more you practice it. If you find it difficult to turn down a sales pitch, try some role-playing with a friend or family member. The more you use the skill of turning down a pitch, the easier it will become. Get in some practice before your next shopping trip and you’ll be better prepared for any aggressive salespeople you encounter.

Next time you encounter an aggressive sales pitch, remember these 5 tips -- you’ll be able to walk away guilt free.

Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit committed to empowering and inspiring consumers nationwide to make wise financial decisions and live debt free. Speak with a certified counselor for a free debt analysis today

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