No Means No – How to Deal with Over-Eager Customers

We’ve all been there. There is always that one promo sampling event where the giveaway is a bit too good, and the customers keep coming back for more. As a sampler, you are more than happy to give away your free swag, but as a professional you also know that it shouldn’t go to just one person. How do you turn away over-eager customers without insulting them? It just takes a little bit of finesse.


Explain That You Have a Limited Amount

For some people, common decency may work well enough. You could try asking them only to take a few samples. The emphasis is on the word ‘ask’. You don’t want to offend people, and you want to make them feel like it is their decision. Keeping it simple, such as:

“Could you only take one or two so that we will have some left for everyone else to try?”

This may work if the customer actually cares about other people. Then again, depending on the crowd, it may mean absolutely nothing.


Keep a Limited Amount on Hand

There is a reason why you don’t leave your entire box of samples out for the public to see. It is because most people will jump at the opportunity to snatch up a huge box of free stuff! Instead of making it easy for them, carry a small bag of samples and keep enough on you to keep yourself busy for about 30 min. When people see that you don’t have a lot, it will discourage them from taking a handful.


Keep Moving

If you are working at a mobile sampling event where you can move around (rather than being tied to a booth) do that! Customers are less likely to follow you for free stuff – especially if they already have a sample. When you are stationed in one place, on the other hand, it is very easy for them to walk up to you and grab more and more.

Now, this isn’t to say you should run away from customers – use some judgment. However, there’s nothing wrong with casually relocating away from the customer that is stocking up on your samples.


Blame Your Boss

If you’re working as a promotional model or brand ambassador, chances are – people naturally like you. They don’t want to see you get in trouble. Use that to your advantage and put the blame on someone else… such as the marketing company.

“I would, but I’d get in trouble if I hand out too many to one person…”

Even if it isn’t true, most customers want you to be happy, or at least they don’t want to feel guilty over costing someone their job over a freebie.

Pushy customers come with the territory when it comes to promotions. With a little skill, a lot of friendliness, and the willingness to tell someone no, you can take control of your event even when customers are getting a bit out of hand.

So reach in that swag bag and get ready to sample. The customers are coming – it’s time to promo!