One of my Freelance Prentice services/skills is promotional work (sales model, promo model, brand ambassador, booth babe, etc). Some people may find the idea of approaching strangers and talking to them while scantily clad in a short skirt and branded camisole unappealing or intimidating, but I love it. I’ve worked all kinds of venues, from bars to concerts to liquor stores to drug stores to festivals to strip clubs. It’s fun.
Oftentimes when I work at a store, I run into employees who ask “How can you deal with ‘no’ so easily? That would make me feel awful.” Well, I just don’t take it personally. As a matter of fact, I am amused by how far people will go to avoid me, especially when I’m toward the front of the store. It reminds me of how I avoid Girl Scouts during cookie season! It cracks me-up, so I will share the most popular ways I’ve seen people Dame Dodge:
The Aisle Dodge
“Oh shit. It’s one of those girls,” some huffy, cranky sow seethes to herself. She scowls and immediately turns her cart into the first aisle possible, even though there is nothing on that row that she needs or wants. To Aisle Dodgers, it seems worth while to circle the store in the most time consuming, inefficient way possible just to get past that promo gal and her kind words and swag and coupons. “I showed that hussy,” thinks the jerk who just turned a five minute errand into half an hour.
Deliberate Refusal to Make Eye Contact
“Oh gosh, there’s one of those coupon ladies,” some shy lady panics as she makes eye contact with me for a nano second. “Maybe if don’t I look at her, she won’t notice me. Look straight ahead…oh golly…lower your eyes to the ground…I think I can still see her in my peripheral vision…ouch!” She accidentally trips because she wasn’t watching where she was going. And yes, I always see you, even if you try to use lack of eye contact to become invisible.
Fake Cell Phone Call
I highly doubt so many people suddenly get a phone call the moment they step in the door and see me. Don’t worry, bro. I won’t tell anybody that you’re chatting with your imaginary friend via cell. You might want to see a doctor about that though…
“Oh no,” says a gentleman who only wants to buy a single, pint of cheap whiskey. “I don’t have time to listen to that beer chick…Ooh!” He exclaims as a couple of women are ensnared in my marketing trap. “This is my chance!” He tiptoes around the conversation and darts to the mini bottles.
Sneak a Peek From Afar
Moneybags McCheaperson wants to know what I have to offer without talking to me. Understandable. So this person will go into creeper mode and Pedobear my table, peeking from afar. If the swag, samples or coupons look worthwhile, McCheaperson will come out of hiding and approach me, usually from behind a display, and say “Hey little girl. What do you have for me?” Creepy.
This is a smart move. The average, power walker will likely be faster than a girl in stilettos who is stuck behind a table, so unless I decide to jump my station hurdle-style and sprint toward customers like a zombie stripper, this is a solid choice. Kudos.
Be a Dick
Honesty is the best policy, and being mean just makes it all the more satisfying and effective. This is the Dame Dodger that makes cashiers cringe and ask the question at the top of this post. Some customers can be honest without being dicks (“I’m sorry, Sweetie, but I’m in a hurry,” or “Not today, thanks.”), but lots of these people snap, bark, growl and give the stank eye. I honestly don’t mind because A) It saves my breath, and B) It makes other customers feel sorry for me.