A few weeks ago, I was cooking dinner when our doorbell rang. I answered the door, and found a young (late teens-early twenties) girl, dressed sloppily, with a bag full of bottles of what appeared to be cleaning solution. She did not introduce herself, but instead immediately jumped into a sales pitch by asking “What is the hardest part of cleaning your home…windows? bathrooms? carpet?” When I answered that it was “trying to maintain a semblance of clean with a toddler running around”, she said “Oh, do you have any carpet stains you’d like me to get out for you?” I told her “No, thank you” and was ready to close the door when she continued her pitch.
She talked about all the perks of her cleaning solution, how it was made, on what surfaces it was safe for use, and more. Then, right as my toddler walked over, she opened one of the spray bottles and put the plastic tube in her mouth to LICK OFF THE CLEANER! This was her way of showing me that this product was non-toxic and therefore safe if my toddler happened to get into it. Ummm…really??? YIKES and EWWWWWW!
This has to have been one of the most awkward sales pitches I’ve ever witnessed. Did I buy her product? NO WAY! Honestly, I almost called the police when she left my house. There is, in fact, a No Soliciting sign at the entrance to our neighborhood.
As a sales consultant for one of the most well-known and respected Direct Marketing companies (Mary Kay Cosmetics), I often worry about being too sales-y when talking with new people or doing facials and skin care parties. I don’t ever want to come off as pushy or overly selling my product. Instead, I want people to see that I have a great product about which I’m passionate. I want them to try the product for themselves, and to feel confident in their decision to purchase (or not) the items from me. I think that’s why I often stop myself before I approach a potential new client when I’m out and about. I don’t want to seem fake. I want to have a genuine conversation with women and for them to feel like I was truly interested in what they had to say. I want to be respectful of their time…yet I also want to be able to offer a sample or my business card without being pushy or awkward about it.
In contrast to the desperation I saw in the girl trying to sell cleaning products, I want the women I approach to see passion, hope, and joy in my eyes. I want them to see a woman who, even if she’s running errands with her two year old, is composed, confident, and approachable. You see, being a Mary Kay consultant isn’t just about making money to me. It is an experience that has given me confidence and has helped me to grow as a wife and mom. I’ve gained friendships and been pushed out of my comfort zones. I’ve learned to think positively about life, and to laugh off some of the stressful days (OK, so I’m not always laughing in the midst of the stress, but usually a day or two later, I can look back and laugh about how stressed I was over something so minor). Because of those things, I don’t want to be a walking sales pitch. I want to share the joy I’ve found with other women!
Tell me: What are the BEST and WORST sales pitches ever thrown your way?