The Hard Sell

January 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Yesterday, my 5th grade daughter looked up from her homework and said “Mom, what’s a high pressure sell?”

I wasn’t exactly sure why she was asking me this but it immediately reminded me of several times in my life when I’ve been on the receiving end of a high pressure sell. 

Anyone who has ever bought a car can probably relate to this. 

It’s the main reason I went to Carmax when I recently purchased my Kia Minivan. 

Carmax has a system devoid of high pressure sales tactics making the environment much more comfortable for someone trying to buy a car without pressure. 

I decided to use this as an example.

“Remember when we had to replace the Suburban because it started smoking in rush hour traffic on 1604? And mommy had to pull the car over and run through smoke to get away from it before it caught on fire? And that was our only vehicle so we had absolutely no transportation at all?”

“Yes I remember that”

“Well since we had no car after that, we were kind of in a desperate situation. I mean we needed to get a new car as soon as possible, right? And that’s the perfect opportunity for someone who sells cars.  They know you need it so they have the upper hand. They are selling something you need right away. “

“Yeah I know.  But what’s a high pressure sell?”

“Well that’s what I’m getting at.  They try to pressure you into buying something before you’re comfortable.  Maybe they try to convince you that you need it when you don’t.  Or they try to pressure you into paying more than it’s worth. Or tell you that if you don’t buy it today then it will be gone tomorrow. Or say the price is only good for 24 hours.”

And since I was on the subject and my daughter is about ready for middle school, I decided to turn this into a life lesson.

“You know sometimes people try to sell you on other things.  And when you go to middle school, you’ll face a lot of those issues.  Like drinking or drugs or sex.  And that can be a high pressure sell too.  People trying to make you do something without thinking. Acting like you don’t have time to consider it.  You have to be strong and not do things without thinking them through.  You have to be prepared.  There is going to come a day when someone is going to offer you a cigarette or drugs and there’s going to be pressure.  The hard sell.  Are you ready for that?”

I looked over at my daughter who was packing up her books.

“Are you done with your homework already?”


“Then why are you packing your stuff up?”

“Well, Mom.  No offense but I really need help with my homework and all the stuff you’re telling me is good and all but it really doesn’t have anything to do with the weather.”

“The weather?”

“Yes–the weather…the question is–which city has a high pressure CELL? Bismarck or Phoenix? But don’t worry about it Mom. I’ll just ask the teacher” 


Apparently it was a high pressure CELL……

                                                              NOT a high pressure SELL.

There are times in life where we think we know exactly what someone is asking of us but we really don’t. 

We can spend a whole 20 minutes answering a question they never really asked.  

Chalk this up to one of those times.

But—getting to insert a lecture on alcohol, drugs, sex and resisting the high pressure sell in your social life?


Any chance a mom can get to throw that in there equals points for me. 

Although I’m pretty sure my daughter will never ask me for help on science homework again.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Turner January 12, 2012 at 6:34 pm

lol love it


Sheila January 14, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Oh my goodness that is way too funny!!! I would have answered the same way YOU did! LOL! BTW, I have a daughter in 5th grade, we just went to MS orientation last week…can't believe that is the next step! Ack!


Holly February 19, 2012 at 2:28 am

Our daughters are the same age! Mine is going to middle school as well next year. Scary! I have one older than her, however, who has made it through that phase and survived. So have hope! lol


Anonymous March 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm

That's too cute.


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