Attitude towards salespeople

Might look like one of my posting days :wink: Anyway, it’s happened again:

Some salesman from a hotel knocked on our office door, talked to one of my colleagues and handed him a brochure of his hotel. My personal assistant brought me the brochure and told me all about it: we should keep it in case we have overseas visitors who might need a hotel, the brochure looked so good, probably, the restaurants were good as well, she went on for quite a while. No thanks, in case I have visitors, I’ll probably be able to choose a hotel for them on my own, and possibly closer to the office than some place at the other end of town.

Last time, three people from a bank came in here, handed out free pocket-sized radios to everyone and asked us if we wouldn’t want to set up an account in their bank. No thanks, we have a company account with a bank located in our building (very convenient!), and there is no need for us to go and open an account somewhere else. However, my colleagues were really impressed with the gift and the talking and close to running over and opening an account. I told the lady, we would get in touch with them if we needed their service, took her name card, thanked her and said good-bye.

Things like this have happened before. It’s one way of advertising a service/product, and though I wouldn’t necessarily do it myself, I don’t mind it as long as it doesn’t get too much. But while I might listen for a moment to whoever is trying to sell me something, I usually end the monologue by asking for the persons name card and with a smile tell him/her that we will get in touch with them when we need their product/service. I think I’m polite enough but do you think the Taiwanese consider me rude? My Taiwanese colleagues, however, always seem very impressed with whatever the person wants to sell and close to buying on the spot, regardless of whether or not the person’s offer is special (it usually doesn’t look special to me). Am I oversensitive? Have other foreigners experienced something like this? Is my point clear?

Confused :?


Impressed doesn’t necessarily mean interested…

I don’t think your rude and if the salesman things you are rude, well so be it. You are at work and you have things to do.

I’ve experienced this several times. It’s just a way of doing business and introducing new products, or old products and usually adds a little excitment to the day.

But after the bank people had left, my assistant asked me whether we shouldn’t go and open an account over there. It was like: Wow, they gave us a gift. Now, let’s go and open an account! The bank had probably bought thousands of these cheap little radios for a very low price, and I didn’t consider it too special a gift, but maybe that’s how it works here? :?

I agree about the excitement, though!


If the salesperson is a lovely little dolly in a miniskirt, I’ll have all the time in the world for her and buy her product or take her service, whatever it is. If it’s a tedious guy, I’ll give him short shrift and get shot of him quickly but politely.

Now you know why vote-buying worked so well and for so long :smiling_imp:

I couldn’t care less about the stuff they try to sell or gifts they offer.
I will (politely) decline and say I am not interested, that’s it - and normally they leave me alone. Usually those gifts aren’t of any use and the cheapest stuff you can find.

In Malaysia it was common that they come into restaurants and try to sell you anything, like toys or pens etc.
Again my friends and me politely declined and hoped that guy will take off but he kept on talking while we were eating lunch, so I responded with a firm “No” and yet he didn’t stop. Another “no” and then I had enough - I stood up and he run away. :smiley:

On a similar note: I have been told that my colleagues here take all those brochures and paper tissues distributed on the street so that the person standing there wouldn’t loose face.

I generally have no time for salespeople. If I am unaware that I “need” some item, I probably really do not need it.

I have noticed a surprising tolerance for unsolicited sales calls among my friends here. Some of them will interrupt a very important meeting just to take a call from some sales person.

My typical response when in the same situation back home was: “Sorry, no thanks. Good bye. Click.”


That’s exactly my point. Not those people coming to my office or my way of getting rid of them but the willingness of my colleagues to listen to everything they say and to jump on it. Bit like kids that get attention by somebody talking to them. What do you figure where that stems from?

Really wondering … :?


Wondering? So am I…
I never really understood why people would queue on exhibitions just to get another large colorful bag (often made of paper or vinyl) displaying advertisements or company logos when they already have five such bags in their hands. When I still went to Computex and the like, I usually shouldered my backpack and put all materials into it, while my colleagues sometimes had almost more bags than catalogues…
Maybe it is the same reason why “TCO” has probably not yet been translated into Chinese: Many people see only the short term advantage and can’t see some problems further away.
Why would someone want four (4!) different SIM cards? “Because I have 200 units free on each card!” Nice, but what he didn’t ever think about was that those units were extremely short and he had to pay about 200NT$ monthly fee for each account. One card with less than 800NT$ basic fee would have bought him much more time…


What do you figure where that stems from?

Really wondering … :?


Well, I’ll ask some of my local friends. I think the answer will be “This is a kind of courtesy.”

Cultural differences, eh? I have often felt that in face-to-face situations, there is a strong motivation (sometimes love, sometimes fear) among local people not to offend somebody by being rude. Of course, all of that goes to hell when somebody wants to get on or off the train or the subway. :unamused:

But why courtesy after those people have actually left? They’re not even there to notice! I mean, they are doing their job, fine. I’m doing my job. It’s their job to try and sell me something, and it’s my job to decide whether or not I need their service/product. I think we both keep face by just dealing with each other in a polite way. But maybe I’m too Western? And why would people try to scam me over a (mutually useful) big business deal (where is the courtesy in that?) but open a bank account (they don’t need!) because somebody gave them a cheap radio for free?