How to deal with a pushy salesperson

Holly Thomas / 30 April 2015

Dealing with persistent salespeople can be very stressful, especially if they are putting you under pressure to buy. Holly Thomas shares five tips to help you deal with and avoid pushy salespeople.

Sales people who turn up on your doorstep or stop you in the street can be very persistent. Many people get caught off guard and end up buying goods or services they don’t actually want – or need.

Here’s a five point plan to avoid falling victim to pushy sales tactics:


1. Make an informed decision

Take your time as you would any other kind of purchase.

The salesperson is probably under pressure to meet targets – but don’t feel obliged to rush to sign up.

Be polite but firm - say you want some time to think over the offer. Take down their name and contact details and say you will be in touch if you have any questions or when you have decided what to do.

Alarm bells should ring if you hear something like “this is a one time offer”. This is definitely a signal you should walk away.

Seven ways to spot a scam.


2. Don't be tempted by a deal or a promise that sounds too good to be true

Don't take only their word for it that whatever they are offering is the best, no matter how convincing their argument sounds.

Don’t be charmed by sweet talk and a smile – salespeople know the easiest way to get you on board is to become your 'friend'. But remember, this is business.

Do your own research. If in doubt – don’t.


3. Know your rights

If you are approached at your home or in a shopping centre there are specific rights should you cave and sign up to something.

You are able to cancel within seven days from when you are told about such cancellation rights – which might not be on the day you sign up, buying you more time. Don’t be afraid to cancel – but don’t hang about.


4. Tired of pushy sales people coming to your door?

No Cold Calling Zones help combat doorstep crime in areas where unwanted rogue cold callers and doorstep crime is rife.

“No cold calling zones” were created around 10 years ago by the Trading Standards Institute in response to the growing problem of elderly people being targeted – and ripped off.

Zones are usually defined by lamp post signs and stickers placed in the doors or windows of homes within the Zone area.

To set up one in your area, you will need to present justifiable reasons for doing so (such as being in a high crime area or somewhere with a known history of nuisance callers). Contact your local Trading Standard Service in Wales or Trading Standards Institute in England.

Read our guide to protecting yourself from bogus callers.


5. Get tough on junk mail

If you are receiving a large amount of junk mail – which is another version of cold calling, you can sign up to the mailing preference scheme, which will remove your name from junk mail sales lists.

If you are receiving lots of junk mail, you might also be constantly answering the phone and batting away sales calls. There is a telephone preference service, which can take you off landline and mobile phone sales lists.

Beat the nuisance callers with our guide. 

Take control of your finances and improve your credit score with our free access to your Experian credit report for 30 days.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.