Sense & Sensitivity

Saleswoman Won't Stop Harassing Reader

DEAR HARRIETTE: I know a woman who sells beauty products through a multilevel marketing company. She is aggressive with her pitching, and recently she focused in on me. I must get three calls or emails a week from her, all pushing me to come to a meeting and sample her products and consider becoming a salesperson. I like this woman, but I am not interested in buying or selling beauty products. I have limited time and resources, and I have already committed to what I spend my free time doing.

I get that she is trying to build her business, but I do not want to get sucked in. This woman won’t take no for an answer. Honestly, she is a bit stalkerish. How can I get her to stop? -- Don't Market to Me

DEAR DON’T MARKET TO ME: The woman in question is doing her job -- being a salesperson. Her pushiness is probably something she learned from her multilevel marketing company's training. What you have described is not unique. It is standard practice for some salespeople.

You do not have to succumb to her pushiness. Stop answering this woman’s calls and emails. Stop engaging her. If you don’t begin a conversation, you can’t have one. If you have already told her you are not interested, let that be the end of it. One of the most powerful things I have heard women leaders say is, “‘No’ is a complete sentence.” You can say and mean no by ending the discussion there.

A problem that many of us face is that we feel guilty for not allowing our compassionate side to lead with salespeople. But you must begin and end with no when no is what you mean.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriettecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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