Eye contact as a sales device



Unlike Highpoint, the entire length of the shopping centre at Airport West is chockers with businesses in the aisles or walkways between with the more formal businesses with their own premises.

Some of these seem permanent and of regular business nature, such as the ones promoting health or IT services, or wanting to buy whatever gold people have lying around their homes.

Others are selling the likes of cheap toys or calendars or mobile cases or haircare products.

But there’s heaps more spruiking gimmicky stuff and seemingly as many selling raffle tickets for charity.

In regards to the latter, I am skeptical – like everyone else, I’ve read the stories about how little of the money raised so-called charity enterprises actually ends up with the stated recipients.

I’m for sure not someone cut out for this kind of public sales pitching.

So in some ways I have sympathy for those taking on this kind of work.

Backpackers looking to extend their travels or battlers looking for a break – where’s the harm?

But in other ways I find myself resenting some of the tactics used.

Particularly when it comes to taking advantage of the profoundly human and instinctive reaction to engage with anyone who makes determined eye contact or makes an effort to start a conversation.

I find such ploys hard to resist,

Maybe in the tedium of such work, any engagement is to be desired – and bugger the sale and the commissions.

This week, in his desperation to get some action going, one of these sales people even made comment on my moustache.

This is far from uncommon, but still it usually emanates from people not working – as far as I know – on getting me to open my wallet.

5 thoughts on “Eye contact as a sales device

  1. I DETEST being accosted in the street or in shopping centres by people trying to sell me something. A group of them hang outside the Caulfield train station and practically chase people down the street. There are others in my local shopping centre who say things like “How’s your day been?” as an opener and so on. I want to say, “None of your business”. Most of all, I want to say “Do not speak to me ever”, but as you say, when someone makes eye contact, smiles and greets you, it’s hard to be rude back. I find myself making excuses such as, “Sorry, late for an appointment”. Ditto cold callers, though I now just hang up on them.


  2. I did that job for a few months when I was 18, got lured in by an ad for a “sales and marketing” position. It was fun at the beginning, then got awful. Long hours, commission based. Had some good weeks where I made heaps of sales and commission, but it was 14+ hours days and SO MUCH TALKING.


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