I hate pushy salesmen. “Hate” is a strong word, perhaps I should just say, “I dislike pushy sales people with a boundless disdain and an extreme prejudice.” When I want to buy something, I’ll buy it. I rarely need to be talked into a product and generally I know right away if it’s something I like. My wife is the only exception to this rule; she can pretty much talk me into anything… except for Brussels sprouts.
So when I walk through Chinatown in San Francisco or through an open market in a foreign country for example, I lose patience with the overzealous bartering shop keepers rather quickly. I can only say, “No, Thank You” so many times before I go straight to wanting to toss them right through the nearest plate glass window. “You want to buy?” “No, thank you.” “You buy, good price.” “Thanks, I’m just looking.” “You buy, you buy NOW!”
Some of these sales people can be more than a little bit “pushy.” I’ve had cab drivers literally take my bags and load them into their cabs while I was waiting for another ride. Vacationing tourists are approached by shady salesmen who want to sell fake tours to them or worse; to send them on tours that make stops in front of very specific shops whose owners are in cahoots with the salesmen.
I’ve learned a trick that discourages quite a few of these sales folks. I just speak Spanish! Now, I don’t know the Spanish language, but I know a little. I know enough to bark out a few Spanish phrases and here’s the funny part… none of these nuisance sales people seem to know or to want to speak it! They all seem to be quite multi-lingual but when I’ve spoken Spanish back to them, they immediately leave me alone!
So the next time you disembark from your cruise ship, or the next time you find yourself at a flea market, have the phrase, “Que? Con permisso, no habla” handy! Unless, of course, you happened to be in a Mexican flea market… then it’s probably best to learn the same phrase in French!
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please send an email! Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask the Expert podcast show.