Death of a Salesman?

Everyone knows the story of Willy Loman that’s been characterized time and time again, from Glengarry Glen Ross to the Simpson’s poor old Gil.

Have you ever been bothered by door-to-door sales people that refuse to take no for an answer?

Local columnist James Shiffer has the answer in “How I made a door-to-door alarm salesman vanish. What do you do?

Is this your home?” he asked.

“Yes,” I answered, antennae twitching. I noticed his gray tennis shirt had a corporate logo on it, and that he held a binder in his hands.

“How long have you lived here?”

“Who are you?” I said. I’m sure he could almost taste the hostility in the air, but he kept smiling. He said he was selling alarm systems for Pinnacle Security and that in this neighborhood –

“I cut him off. “Do you have a city solicitor license?”

Mr. Pinnacle Security, who still hadn’t told me his name, opened his binder and out came the scripted response, “Yes, I know that the city of Minneapolis requires a license for soliciting, just like many cities…” He flipped through his binder, “Okay here’s the one for Blaine.” He flipped back and forth a few times. “It must have slipped out,” he said, his grin never waning.

“You know, it’s illegal to go door-to-door in Minneapolis without a solicitor’s license,” I said. “I could call the cops on you right now.”

“But I’m in a good mood,” I lied.

“I’ll make sure I get the license before I do any more soliciting,” he lied.

I’ve been tempted to put up one of those “No Soliciting” signs, but everytime I get close to buying one I decide that they are too ugly. Although I’m sure it was kind of funny for my neighbors to watch a “home security” sales person, that had walked into my yard uninvited, be slowly backed out by two large dobermans as I rushed to stop the chaos; it’s not the kind of humor I want repeated.

I’ll usually tell them we don’t take surveys, answer questions, or accept solicitations. The few exceptions are people selling candy and/or cookies. The wife and I are always open to sweets.

How about you?
How do you keep solicitors from bothering you?


3 Comments so far

  1. aliecat on July 9th, 2009 @ 11:37 am

    Well, I live in an apartment, so salesmen are rare…

    BUT, my mom and I used to just hide in the spare room untill they left (Oh, wait, that was when the Jahovah’s Witnesses came by)…

  2. David (jacc) on July 9th, 2009 @ 1:26 pm

    @aliecat – I used to get in trouble for talking to the Jahovah’s when I was young.

    "Yeah, we love the Devil. You don’t think Satan is cool?"

  3. p1news on July 15th, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

    We actually offer a pretty cool looking "no soliciting" sticker. You can request one here Will try to share an image of it if I can figure that out! Hope this helps.

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