The Door-to-Door Saleperson
It was a no-school/no-work day in our family. It was a great day to sleep in and catch up on more intensive chores like digging out the depths from under the bed. I had unearthed a lot of dust with all the tidying and I was just starting my detailed vacuum job when I heard a knock on our door.
In our new house in a new neighborhood, we get a lot more knocks on our door than before. We have a lot more foot traffic. When I opened the door, a youngish man in a tie stood with a slip of paper with the statement "We will Deep Clean & Dry Foam one room - NO CHARGE". He explained he was showcasing the Kirby, that he wanted to demonstrate what it could do.
He caught me at the right moment, just as I had been sweating for a couple of hours already cleaning and vacuuming, just as I was lamenting the condition of our carpet in the entryway and just as I was getting ready to ask a neighbor to borrow (again) her industrial carpet shampoo machine to deep clean the entryway. When this man, with his trainee, offered a free deep clean in 30 minutes, no obligation to buy, I was sold.
The moment the salesperson and his trainee set foot into our house to take a look at our carpet, I was suddenly suspicious. Were they *really* vacuum salespersons? When I said, "I don't have too much time", he responded, "Do you have to go to store, or pick up kids?". I wondered if he was trying to discern whether I'd be home later that afternoon, perhaps he'd come back and victimize our house and set off with our belongings.
Well, nothing like this happened (yet), and - as he continued on with his demonstration of the machine - I could not help but feel continually guarded. He asked about my kids, how many I had, was I married, what did my husband do, did I work, and what did I do. It turns out that his trainee was his partner, and they had a 6 month old daughter who was being watched by his parents so they could work.
I do not think I have ever invited a door-to-door salesperson into my home to demonstrate a product before. I don't think I would be open to it. But, today.... well, they just caught me at the right time, selling the right product.
When they brought out the cost sheet, I was flabbergasted. "Today only! $2,295". My jaw hit the ground and I actually said "holy @h*t". That's a lot of money. "We offer some great financing options, just 36 payments of $92.45". I kept shaking my head in disbelief.
At the end of the day, this couple really worked hard to demonstrate this product. They vacuumed and deep cleaned my entryway and a good portion of my living room. Had I known how much this product was, I might have never entertained the demo. I can't help but keep thinking about this couple, who explained to me that maybe 1 out of every 3 folks who receive a demo would buy a machine. He had sold 7 so far this month, and he was hoping to sell 15 units in one month so he would be promoted. I asked him how he was being received by our neighbors, and he mentioned that there was a very mean older couple around the corner who slammed the door in their faces.
I am still in disbelief over the price-point. But, as I sit here, faint aroma of the deep clean solution in the air (I am told they are non-toxic enzymes that bind with the dirt), I can't stop thinking about this couple, their machine, how it is indeed an amazing appliance, and how I would never, ever find myself in the position to pay 36 payments of $92.45 after a $270 down payment.
Have you experienced demonstrations from door-to-door salespersons? Did you buy? Did you decline but still think about the product? At the end of the day, this fellow said "When you find yourself in the position to make this kind of purchase, we just ask you that you think of us and our product."
I have to say: I appreciate how decent he was and how he didn't really push the hard sell. It was all-in-all a pretty good experience. And, my carpet in the entryway is pretty damn clean.