Back in the 1950s, stay at home moms were much lonelier than they are today. Today we have blogs, Facebook, Twitter and cell phones. I think Kirby needs to change their techniques just a smidge. I mean, it has been 50 years and we are just not as easily duped today!
Let me just say, I live on 20 acres. Our driveway is 1/4 mile long. They still found me. I was so shocked! When I was a kid, a Kirby salesman came to my house. I remember the entire speal and it was the exact same thing that they did today. Seriously people, that was 15 years ago!
Here is my story, that happened just a few days ago!
First thing that happens is someone that makes a fab first impression knocked on my door. For me, it was a sweet gal in jeans and a t-shirt. She shows me over and over this pamphlet that says “Free carpet cleaning!” Her line? They are being paid by Warren Buffet to put demos on in the home. (Heard it, lady! But for sake of this post, I endured it) No obligation to buy, no fees. All they ask is that if they do a good job I tell my friends about them. “Because word of mouth advertising is how we make money. We don’t sell ads on TV, we depend on you to spread the word.” Those were her exact words. I thought, “Hey, I have a blog! I can spread the word like you wouldn’t believe. Go right on and do your thing.”
She waves to someone in the van, and two guys walked up. They introduced themselves and then only one remained and the gal and the other guy left. The gentleman that was in my house had a ton of Kirby Sentria boxes he was setting up in my living room. I told him I only had hardwood floors in my house, but he said he could buff my living room as his demo, no carpet necessary. YAY! I didn’t have to mop today!
First, he showed me this flyer (that I kept LOL)
click image to see it bigger
So I knew I was getting the demo and going to be asked to buy a Kirby. Been there, done that. What I didn’t realize was how expensive it was ($3k!) and how long it would take to get these people out of my house.
This guy had to suck up dirt on a certain number of white and black pads before he could call his demo complete. I accidentally threw one of them away and he got worried, telling me he needed to show his boss the pads of dirt! Ok, your vacuum sucks up stuff mine doesn’t. Got it.
Of course I heard over and over how NASA developed it, how it had a trademark on their super duper vacuum seal to the floor, their HEPA filter is better than in hospitals and it can groom my dog and paint my house. (Not kidding. He said it can be used as a leaf blower, house painter, and massager) But for all this research and patents, why is it still as loud as a freaking jet engine?
Then, after two hours of cleaning my TV, my living room, my dog (yes, Rufus just laid there while he used the vacuum on his backside), he moved to my bedroom. His boss guy (who kept referring to his boss? When the only other person I met was a woman?) kept driving back to my house to check on him. And this poor salesman dude had to use my phone to call him once, cause his phone didn’t have service. Strange….I don’t live that far out in the sticks.
This is when it started to get really fun.
He started to shampoo a dirty part of my bedroom floor. While that was soaking his boss told him he had to fill out the questionnaire so he could have proof that he did his demo and get paid. He didn’t know that he left his questionnaire at my house. It is basically a script with leading questions that reel the customer in so they buy the Kirby.
They started at $3K as the price. I (of course) balked at that price. I told them it was way too high and no way. They tried to get the monthly payment amount down low. “How much per month can you pay without taking away from other expenses?”
How about nothing?
That didn’t fly.
Then somebody came home. They started to really go on and on about how low they could get the price down. Finally, they want down to $800. By this time, they had been in my house for nearly 3 hours! In my head, I knew their job totally sucked and I wanted to do something for them. If I was a millionaire I’d buy that rocket-ship engineered vacuum to help them out!
And get this! They used the same worn-out line they used 15 years ago! “Your neighbor up the road just bought one for $2500, so please don’t go telling people we went down to $800.”
Oops. Cat is outta the bag dudes.
Then I remembered, my blog! The lady said she needed help spreading the word about their company. So I pitched them.
“I have this blog that gets thousands of visitors each month. Can you please leave your business card so I can hand out the name and number of your company? While I cannot afford to buy another vac today, I am sure someone out there needs one.”
They were speechless. They stammered and said, “Um. well. We don’t have cards.” That is when they reached for a flyer with their name and number on it.
Nearly 4 hours later, my living room floor was shiny, but I was exhausted.
Totally not worth the non-effort.
But I knew someone else out there has dealt with Kirby salesmen before. So I thought this post would be fun.
What is your experience? I want to hear all your stories – did you or someone you know work for them? What did you do when they showed up at your door? Did they vacuum your dog? Do tell!