Buyer’s Remorse And A Door-To-Door Salesman

Door to Door SalesmanIn recent posts I’ve talked about the idea of buying impulsively and my rule to “never say ‘Yes’ the first time.” My most recent experience is a testament to the fact that knowledge does not always convert to action. I think its a natural inclination to hide the bad and flaunt the good, but my guess is you’ll learn more from the mistakes I make than anything else… so here goes…

A few days ago a pest control salesman stopped by our home when I was not there. My wife does a good job at using me as an excuse since she will often buy because she feels bad saying no. She referred him to me explaining that I was the decision maker. My wife did the smart thing, and the first tip I will share.

Tip 1: When you feel pressure to buy, defer the responsibility to your spouse. A salesman can only “sell” if he/she is speaking with the decision maker.

Later that evening he gave me a call. He talked my ear off about all the greatest products they use, how it will improve the protection around my home, etc, etc. Now, I’ve been around the block enough to know how most of these salesman operate. In college, I was often recruited for all sorts of summer sales opportunities, including pest control and alarm systems (never did BTW). They tell you how you are the only one getting the deal they are offering, that they are going to “get in trouble” for offering such a deep discount, and in this case, a lot of neighborhood name dropping. As one in sales, its very easy to pick apart what they say, but the more I age, the more I hate the “battle” as I would call it, so I tend to let them ramble as I listen. This prompts another quick tip and a lesson from this experience.

Tip 2: If you know you don’t want to buy, cut the conversation as early as possible. The longer you wait the harder it will be to say no.

To better explain what happens next (I’ll give you a hint- it involves me getting “a really good deal”), I already have a pest control service. They aren’t the best, but I know the owner, I get a truly deep discount ($50 a treatment for those who care), and I have no contract. I have them come 2, maybe 3, times a year. I don’t pay for the constant treatments, especially in the winter. I’m actually leaning towards spraying on my own to be honest. My guess is that would make a great addition to this blog as well.

So I explained to the salesman that I already had a service, and it was cheap. So we made a deal. He wanted to show me around my house, and if he could show me some real reasons why I should switch to them, I would try them out for a $35 initial service and absolutely no contract. Since I just had my service done a couple weeks ago, I moved forward with it, thinking there would be no real issues.

Now, whether the things he showed me around my house could have been treated by my current company or not (something I may never know), he did show me quite a few surprises.

After about 45 minutes, and a slightly mind numbing conversation, I gave in. I told him I would buy the initial service and go from there. I signed, paid, and parted.

This may not seem like a big deal to some people, but for me it is. It is one of the reasons we don’t maximize savings… impulsivity. After this guy left I felt sick to my stomach. I broke my number one rule, never say Yes the first time. Impulsive buying is the number one cause of buyer’s remorse. The reasons I purchased that pest control service are almost irrelevant. Of course he told me it was now or never, but the reality is, waiting will almost never hurt you. I know for a fact that if I called that same salesman in one week the same offer would stand. It may have been, and may currently be, my best option as far as pest control goes, but the process of making this purchase is the caution of my post today.

Moola Mind Caution: Impulsive purchases will lead to buyer’s remorse.

Now that I am out of the situation, and truly analyze what I want, I feel I have wasted the $35 on the service. My previous company would have been willing to come out and respray since I had just had a treatment a few weeks prior at no cost. If that didn’t take care of the problems than I may have had reason to spend the extra money when the timing was right.

Needless to say, due to my impulsivity, I experienced buyer’s remorse. I always recommend waiting, and never saying “Yes” the first time.


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By Jake | Follow Jake on Twitter