How to avoid the aggressive hard sell

21 Nov 2016

Ensure that you always employ genuine tradespeople with the CPA. Protect your friends and family from unnecessary expense with our extensive database.

Woman on sofa: Homeowner choosing home improvement from colour range

Have you ever felt pressurised into buying a product you don’t really need? Whether on the phone, in a shop or salesroom, or even in your own home; the experience can be extremely unpleasant and cost you a lot of money.

The hard sell is a sales technique that has been around for years. The salesperson uses psychological pressure to try to convince someone to buy a product or sign up for a service. Playing on emotional indicators such as fear, worry, discomfort and risk; the hard sell is often intimidating and can feel threatening, particularly to vulnerable people.

Research before you buy

Saying no to a confident and forthright salesperson can often be very difficult. Whether you’re face to face, on the phone, or sitting in front of a computer, it’s important to always be able to say no. When you’re unsure or feel like you don’t have all the information you require, just say no.

Before you agree to any transaction, find out as much as you can about who you’re employing. If you’ve done your research you will feel more confident in refusing a salesperson when they become more forceful. Use these tips to avoid the hard sell…

  • Never pay a full deposit up front - A reputable tradesperson will not ask for this. A small deposit is usually requested with full payment upon completion of all works to a satisfactory standard.
  • Do your research – Make sure that any company you hire has a good reputation. Check for independent customer reviews, external accreditations, and a professional website. These are all indicators that a company is genuine.
  • Check with the CPA – When a company registers with the CPA, they commit to offering insurance backed guarantees on all their products and services. The CPA database contains many registered tradespeople who work alongside us to create a fair market for consumers and installers alike.

Recognise your emotions

Following the tips above will certainly help you avoid being conned and losing money. However, it is sometimes easy to get carried away and make impulsive decisions. It’s important to stay in control and buy rationally not emotionally.

Salesmen use your emotions against you when pitching a sale. In a recent incident, a vulnerable pensioner was persuaded to buy 2 doors for nearly £6,000 when all she needed was a £50 handle. The incident was certainly unscrupulous and morally wrong; but unfortunately for the consumer, the hard sell is not illegal.

It is difficult to always be there to protect vulnerable loved ones from unscrupulous salespeople, but you can help them to protect themselves. Take time to research a product or service with them. Show them the CPA website, and which accreditations to look for. Finally, remind them that they are in control and if they are ever unsure it’s always best to politely decline than buy something they don’t want or need.

Consumer Protection Association

Promoting genuine tradespeople

Unfortunately, the hard sell is as common now as it ever has been. If you’re unsure about a company or trader, contact the CPA for advice. We have an extensive database that promotes trustworthy interactions and builds the reputation of genuine tradespeople.