10 Ways to Scare Off Pushy Salesmen

How come our evangelism techniques sometimes feel like door-to-door “sales” trickery?

I’ve been thinking a lot about evangelism lately, with the release of my new “Real Conversations” evangelism curriculum. In that curriculum I talk about how often our evangelism methodology sometimes can be either too pushy… or too silent.

Jesus was neither.

I probably wouldn’t be sticking my neck out to far when I suggest that our evangelism style should look nothing like a door-to-door salesman who use pushy tactics. Nobody likes a pushy salesman. Do you get these guys coming to your door? Maybe it’s just where I live in the burbs, but we get SOOOOOoooo many of these guys who come to the door trying to sell us something, arguing with you if you say your not interested… so hard to get rid of them. My kids and I have been trying to think of ways to avoid them and get rid of them.

Here’s my Top-10 list of 10 Ways to Scare Off Pushy Door-to-door Salesman. I’ll provide two through 10… and you submit a possible #1. I will vote on the best one and give the winner a free copy of my new Real Conversations curriculum, both a DVD and a Participant’/Leaders Guide.

10 Ways to Scare Off Pushy Door-to-door Salesman.

10. Just stand there sharpening a machete when you open the door.

9. Open the door just wearing a towel… a hand towel!

8. Be hollering at someone in a back room as you open the door, mid sentence. “…and Doctor Morse said as long as I keep taking the antibiotics and don’t go out in public for the next 3 or 4 days, it should be fine.” Finally look at the salesman. “Can I help you?” Start coughing severely without covering your mouth.

7. Silence. Don’t say a word. Just stare (add a subtle lip-quiver if possible).

6. Speak a foreign language to them. (I always speak Elvish.)

5. Open the door frantically holding a leash and a huge dog collar. “Did you find him?!!! Adolf escaped about 10 minutes ago and is roaming the street!”

4. Come to the door with a shotgun and an apple. Tell them you need help “sighting” your shotgun. Ask them to place the apple on their head.

3. Stare at them up and down and then in your best Southern drawl say, “You got a pretty mouth.”

2. Dip the knuckles of your right hand in re-fried beans then open the door and extend your hand to them saying, “Sorry I was so long getting to the door. I was just changing a diaper.”

And it’s up to you to write #1

Use the comments below to submit your best creative way to scare off a pushy door-to-door salesman. I will vote for the winners soon and post it on this blog.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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21 Responses to 10 Ways to Scare Off Pushy Salesmen

  1. dan manns says:

    #1 come to the door with aluminum foil wrapped around your head and say, “You’re just in time! The mother ship just informed me of your arrival!”

  2. AJ says:

    Once you open the door attempt to give the salesperson a big hug. From that point on ignore any and all attempts of identifying themselves as a salesperson but instead continue to speak to them as if they are your favorite uncle or aunt. Ask about their kids, their spouse, their recent bout with hemorrhoids, and so on until they leave.

    Or… grab something nearby and try and sell them that item. Oh, I’m glad you’re here! You would be remiss if you didn’t buy this half dead potted plant. It does everything!

    Or… as soon as you recognize the salesperson interrupt them telling them you need to grab your camera phone. Explain to them that “After what happened to the last sales guy that came by, I HAVE to record it this time!!” You can mention the police, the doctor, or America’s Funniest Home Videos if you like to add to the fear factor. If this alone doesn’t work, you should work out a routine with your kids that they terrorize the salesperson until they leave.

    Lastly… grab your laptop and a head set. As you open the door, act preoccupied by the feverish battle that you’re “involved” in online. Scream out game appropriate phrases, “Attack!!!!” “Get out of there!!” “Watch out!!!” etc. Then tell the salesperson that you’re sorry but you’ll have to go. Once the door shuts, go nuclear. Scream, yell, cry, all for the sake of the “game”. If you happen to be in your underwear with “Cheeto fingers” this will only help to sell the illusion.

  3. Ben says:

    All I can say is that it involves a jar of marshmallow fluff, a dead raccoon, brown cargo pants, and a passable Eastern Eurpoean accent. Oh, and a chainsaw…yeah

    This should be fun.

  4. Jesse says:

    Run out the door screaming “Bees! Bees! They are everywhere! Save yourself!

  5. Jordan says:

    Open the door with a big chunk of guacamole on your index finger. Stare at it for a moment, eat it, then proceed to pick your nose and tell the salesman “Wow, this is REALLY good, would you like some?” No matter what he says, insist that he try some.

    My favorite is #3, I already have the southern drawl so it’ll be easy!

  6. Jon forrest says:

    Start rubbing lotion on his arm, grinning while saying, “say, what are you? About a size 22 petite?”

  7. Nathan says:

    Get the whole family Super soakers. Jerk the door open while everyone’s aiming and say ” do you feel lucky today punk..” if he says one word “blast” him! ( plus super soakers would make for good family time)

  8. shawn says:

    #1 Way to Scare Off Pushy Salesmen
    When you open the door, squirt meat sauce on the front of his pants and then apologize saying “Sorry about that, I thought you were someone else…but you better hurry…my son can’t hold ’em much longer” as you play the sound of a braking, vicious dog in the background.

    OR…for a little less prep…

    When you open the door, just yell “AWESOME” at the top of your lungs and leap into him while wrapping your arms around his neck, and legs around his waist. The respond by saying…”Sorry…I thought you were the mailman…”

  9. Sally says:

    For mothers, come to the door wearing a nursing cover with your baby underneath. After opening the door, maybe even say something like, “ooo, not so hard, quit biting!” Smile, “may I help you?”

    The real question is how do you get rid of Mormon missionaries! I had a screaming baby and an excited golden retriever that I was holding back with my foot and they still wanted to talk right then. No concept of common courtesy for those boys!

    • Sally says:

      Additional thought – this would be even better if you have a preschooler or older child who isn’t nursing anymore.

  10. Nikki Reeves says:

    Hold a small chalkboard, whiteboard, etc in front of you and as they start talking write the words “Sorry I’m deaf” on the board. Keep underlining or shaking your head as they continue.

  11. Nikki Reeves says:

    Another idea would be to spray something super foul right by the door and then open it and say “sorry I just got sprayed by a skunk…its time to go wash with tomato paste”.

  12. Jim Bills says:

    #1 Way to scare off pushy sales people. Ask “Your full name please and credit card number please? Finish with “Will that be credit or debit today?” That way you can begin billing them for your time.

  13. Jim Bills says:

    #1 Way to scare off pushy sales people. Have plenty of cleaning supplies openly visible and state “I’m glad your here to help we’ve got lots of work to do.” Make sure you’ve typed up a very long list of things to cleanto show them and present this enthusiastically. (examples: toliet, shower, sinks, windows, polishing things, wash the cars… you get the idea:)

  14. Ann Graham says:

    Why do you guys even answer the door? If I haven’t invited anyone over, I don’t even look to see who it is!

  15. Terry says:

    Always have a fake/rubber hand in a jar of water by the door (ice in the jar would help). When they come to the door have one hand wrapped in a towel with red stains and carry the jar in the other. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind opening your car door for you so you can head to the hospital before your limb dies.

  16. Sorry for the delay in announcing the winner on this one. We were launching the new blog domain and this got delayed until we worked out some bugs.

    I let my 14-year-old Ashley pick the winner. She said that Jon Forrest was first place. So Jon… use the CONTACT US tab above to send me your mailing address and I’ll send you the REAL CONVERSATIONS, both the DVD and guide.

    And honorable mentions: Ashley also really thought Sally’s and Terry’s were funny. And I liked Dan Mann’s. But many of these were good. Hard to choose.

  17. Cissy says:

    Best ever….not mine…but I borrowed this from a good friend and terrific Christian….works w/o fail on telemarketers too. Ask them immediately if they will answer one question if you listen to their whole spiel…if they agree then listen…when they are done…before any follow up stuff… Will you buy… Do you want… Are you interested…etc….before they start with any of that…ask if you can ask your question…then ask this…(don’t change it… Don’t add to it….simple is best…) “what can I pray for you about”…( yes I know it’s awful grammar). I’ve seen people tear up and touched often enough to realize that if we want to reach the world for Christ we need not to ignore the people He puts right in our faces… I don’t do this nearly often enough…but I’ve never found it a waste of time when I do….

  18. Tonya Berry says:

    I know the contest is over but how about this one – ask them if they want to come in and hear about how they can have a relationship with Jesus Christ!!! 😀