You're an innkeeper

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...and a target

I do not like to say what I do, what happens when I do? The phone calls, the selling. I met a woman today (wife of someone DH knows) who could think of nothing else but grand plans for our B&B once she found out we own an inn.  She sells marykay and can come over and do parties here for my guests. I could join her women's group since I have no clue what the heck I am doing, and then I could network with other women who want to sell me stuff, or my guests.

In 5 minutes she had it all worked out for me.

 

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 Guest who creates "unique, affordable, and yummy lollipop gifts" - this is what it says on her card she gave me. 

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 I had someone suggest the Mary Kaye thing to me two years ago.

She wanted me to hold guests up here during breakfast and after so she could do her demonstration and try to sell to them and me.     Ha!

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Victoria wrote:

 I had someone suggest the Mary Kaye thing to me two years ago.

She wanted me to hold guests up here during breakfast and after so she could do her demonstration and try to sell to them and me.     Ha!

I did mention that they are trained. They can also be annoying in their persistence and 'seeming' unawareness of how unlikely it is that someone wants to spend their vacation buying cosmetics at the breakfast table.

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Madeleine wrote:

Victoria wrote:

 I had someone suggest the Mary Kaye thing to me two years ago.

She wanted me to hold guests up here during breakfast and after so she could do her demonstration and try to sell to them and me.     Ha!

I did mention that they are trained. They can also be annoying in their persistence and 'seeming' unawareness of how unlikely it is that someone wants to spend their vacation buying cosmetics at the breakfast table.

I went to a local thrift store yesterday and browsed the book section and saw a book by Mary Kay, I think it was even called Mary Kay.

Sorry to everyone who buys into the pyramid schemes (if they haven't put me on ignore already). The worst, of course, vs a local trying to get their leg in my door, are guests who try to push it on you. Oh yeah, all sorts of candles "Because your guests would love them in their rooms!" and oils, soaps, and this that and the other.            Anyone who has anything to sell will try it here, and put you in the awkard position. Going on a mission trip, would you like to sponsor us?   I say "thank you" and that is it, and they stand baffled waiting for the yes, or the no. I just say "thank you." like I did to this lady who looked at me like a target vs her husband's friend's wife.  

DH was a bit perturbed, I said "It is always the way. You can get on well with one, then the other is like this." I won't, and this is where I say I am old and cranky now, I won't be put in that position again to go anywhere with someone who is just trying to sell to me. See that is what it was like where I grew up, noone was genuine, they were all out to make a buck. Sell their soul to do it!

This person was not from "here" I will add. Sure their are plenty of those same things here, but she was from out of the area.  I used to reply when I lived in the PacNW for 12 years "I will give you $25 to not invite me to a home party every again. Will that match what you are saving, or the free gift you get for hosting it?"  I said this numerous times as the fads raged on throughout the community.

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I got invited to a lingerie party once upon a time. I never got invited again when there was a question about how much one of the teddies cost and I guessed something like $20 and it was $75.

One Tupperware party. One Pampered Chef party. One Avon party. After one invite I was never asked again! Then again, around here these parties aren't a big deal. I rarely hear anything about them.

To think that a business owner would risk her own livelihood to let a salesperson come into her business and sell to her guests while they are trying to have a relaxing vacation is behavior beyond rude. But they are all taught to sell, sell, sell and there is no such thing as 'no'.

 

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I can't imagine anything more infuriating than someone trying to sell me things I don't want whilst staying at an Inn. My attitude would be that the sales person is just trying to earn a living, but it is the Inn keeper who has allowed them in is the person at fault.

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We also donate gift baskets.  I look for the actual baskets and things to put in then throughout the year, then add a home baked pie or two, or home baked loaf of bread.  There are many local organizations we like to support.  Local is the key.

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''Business is SO bad you can't afford $25?''

that has got to be the RUDEST way to try to get someone to donate!  are you kidding me?! 

 

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seashanty wrote:

''Business is SO bad you can't afford $25?''

that has got to be the RUDEST way to try to get someone to donate!  are you kidding me?! 

 

I've had a couple of callers say something along those lines. They think they're being cute. Otherwise it is a general attitude you hear in their voice as they go from the $300 ad to a smaller ad to a smaller still ad to a donation and by the time they get to the $25 donation they are fed up with me.

They also tell me how many people will receive the program and ALL of them will want to stay at, um, your place. They don't even know where they've called!

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We picked a charity (in our case, the breakfast club for kids) and that's who gets the donation. When they call, we say that is our chosen charity. If they push, we say "are you suggesting we take away meals from hungry poor children?" Haven't had one person say yes, yet.

And we NEVER donate nights. It's people who don't want to be here and people I don't want here and there is no tax deductable receipt.

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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:
And we NEVER donate nights. It's people who don't want to be here and people I don't want here and there is no tax deductable receipt.

Me neither. I donate a basket with a little cookbook, a pound of my private label coffee, and a small jug of maple syrup.  Sometimes I throw in a pack of microwave popcorn, too.

My first (and last) room night donation was for my nephew's baseball fundraiser, basically because my sister asked me to and she's done a lot (i.e., shelled out money) to promote me so the least I could do was support my nephew.  Well, my room night was the most expensive item in the auction by far.  The big basket from WM didn't retail for as much.  Ever since I've given the baskets, which have been well received, look cute, and cost me less than $10.

=)
Kk.

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I keep on getting these requests from a group for animals... I'm not pet friendly. It just sends the wrong message.

The basket sounds lovely. I do have to work on a cookbook, though. I don't even have all my recipes organized. It's on my project list. Guests keep on asking me about it. I wonder if they actually try to make the recipes or just like having them? Smiling

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Oooh...great idea

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'What a wonderful idea! Let me know when you meet.' You'll find out 'suddenly' that you can't meet when they meet whenever it is. But, you've done your neighborly job by appearing interested. Those Mary Kay people are taught how to work a room. I'm sure she had a million ideas for everyone she met that night.

It's not personal. It's the way she's earning that pink cadillac, or whatever they're doing these days.

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Ah, if only I were so gracious...my blunt reply would be 'no, I don't think that interests me at this time'.  While I get my point across, think a little Madeline inspired honey would do me good

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We had something similar try and do it with us - however 70% of my customers are either here for business ie conference or builders which means are not the slightest bit interested in buying anything while they are here

the other 30% of weekend people - i have local produced stuff that has sat in a cupboard for 2 years not moving.

Did do Avon for a while (like mary kay) because you got 40% off anything you had for yourself and its not expensive in the first place - (actually it was DH's baby but i ended up doing the donkey work) ended up spending more myself to make the miniumums so it wasn't worth it. Also have a whole ton of sample stuff I need to get rid off and no idea what to do with it.

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gillumhouse's picture
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When hit up for a donation, make a basket of the stuff you want rid of and make that your donation.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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I find that we're the target for everyone to hit up for a donated gift certificate. Drives me batty! I especially resent it when it comes from a guest who stayed with us 1 night a couple years prior "oh...we just had such a wonderful time, I thought of you immediately for our kids' fundraiser".  Ohhhhh, give me a break!!!

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We're very lucky that most who hit us up for GC's are from out of state rather than just out of their minds. I use the back of the letter for scrap paper.

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Madeleine wrote:

We're very lucky that most who hit us up for GC's are from out of state rather than just out of their minds. I use the back of the letter for scrap paper.

A lot of times they call to ask. I hate it. I then have to tell them we don't get any tax benefit and then I give them my usual speel about how we have our personal charities we give to and we keep it to our little local community.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

We're very lucky that most who hit us up for GC's are from out of state rather than just out of their minds. I use the back of the letter for scrap paper.

A lot of times they call to ask. I hate it. I then have to tell them we don't get any tax benefit and then I give them my usual speel about how we have our personal charities we give to and we keep it to our little local community.

We had a call last week from the county sheriff wanting a donation. Really? And what are my taxes for? It's the same guy who calls every year. He is completely bored and boring. If HE'S not excited why should I be? Once we get it clear that I don't want to buy an ad in the program he starts in on, 'How about $25? Can you come up with $25?'

And you know the attitude I'm getting at this point- What? Business is SO bad you can't afford $25?

Or the ones with the TX callerid who tell me all the money they collect goes to my local group. Yeah, right.

Then there are the ones who think they are the first to come up with the free weekend at a B&B idea. I tell them that they are the 47th organization to contact me this year with that very same idea and a weekend at a B&B costs me over $375 to 'give away' so if I do it for everyone I'm looking at 'donating' over $10,000/year to someone who won't remember the name of the place when they need accommodations for their out of town guests. Thank you very much.

If I don't have time for all of that I ask where do their out of town guests stay when they visit? Oh, the Hilton? Give them a call for the donation in that case.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

A lot of times they call to ask. I hate it. I then have to tell them we don't get any tax benefit and then I give them my usual speel about how we have our personal charities we give to and we keep it to our little local community.

Why explain anything? You owe them nothing. I just say, "I am sorry but we have already given our budgeted quota." You do not need to say your budgeted quota is ZERO!

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 That is what we do, too.  "Sorry. Our advertising/marketing budget is already used up for the year."

Joey Camb's picture
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the amount you do for your community they have a ruddy cheek! Its why for Harrogate at Christmas its not a donation its a payment for advertising therefore you can class it as a business expense.

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I only explain when it's a previous guest. I'm hoping they don't feel insulted and will some day return.

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

I find that we're the target for everyone to hit up for a donated gift certificate. Drives me batty!

Yeah, drives me batty too, like it doesn't cost you anything to donate an overnight stay and breakfast. They don't bother the plumbing shop down the street for donations, nor do they hit up the doctors and nurses at the hospital. But because I have a certain kind of business I'm expected to give, time after time, when others don't have to. Not fair!

I wish everybody would just donate to the community chest or united way, then go to THEM when they need help.

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Generic's picture
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One advantage to being male... MK isn't interested in me. Neither are the Tuppers.

YellowSocks's picture
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Technically, I'm a Mary Kay rep... I bought the package last year because it was a deal. I order once a year to get the discount.  And yes, the lady up the chain looks at me with dollar signs in her eyes... I could do this or that or whatever... have some product in the gift shop, put the book out for guests to read, samples in the amenity baskets... actually, that last idea was a good one... the sample hand lotions were cheaper than the ones I was putting in the baskets and now there's mascara and eye liner samples in them, too.

And the Premier Designs jewelry lady tried hard (and almost succeeded) in having me sign up to sell those.  It was the first product I'd seen that I actually wanted to own most of what they sell (unlike Mary Kay, where I only use a few products), and will want their new jewelry in the future.  If it didn't cost so much to buy in, I probably would do it like I do for Mary Kay... personal use only, no sales.

What I have to tell them (and the PD lady more than once) is that I already own a business and that the time I would spend on their biz would be better spent marketing the biz I have. 

=)
Kk.

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 KK, I am technically a MK rep too for exactly the same reason - I don't want to pay full price and I have two daughters who got hooked on the stuff.

I also sold Premier Designs YEARS ago!  If you like any of their retired designs let me know as I may still have it!

It took me awhile to figure out what I really wanted to be when I grew up, but I learned that selling is not my thing!

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bbinnsitters wrote:

 KK, I am technically a MK rep too for exactly the same reason - I don't want to pay full price and I have two daughters who got hooked on the stuff.

I also sold Premier Designs YEARS ago!  If you like any of their retired designs let me know as I may still have it!

It took me awhile to figure out what I really wanted to be when I grew up, but I learned that selling is not my thing!

Selling is my thing... selling my B&B, that is.  Not party selling.  And I'm a single mom.  Who would watch the kids?  And most of these companies, I'm like, how much (or many) tupperware/ cookware/ purses/ candles do I need?  But I admit I like the jewelry a lot...

=)
Kk.

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 The orgainzations I don't "get" are the business networking clubs.  You meet once a week for breakfast, listen to a speil from one of the member businesses, then promise you will refer friends, associates and families to other member businesses with the implication that you will steer other people exclusively to these members.  The rest of breakfast time is devoted to a roll call with each member bragging about how many referrals he or she has personally made since the last meeting.  I've lived here too long to promise to send all my business to the realtor, accountant or plumber that they designate.

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Will marykay never die? just wondering? pamperedchef, and all the other pyramid schemes...

Don't talk to me if you are trying to sell me something.  They think they must be the only one who ever mentioned anything to me. Just because I don't talk about my business to you doesn't mean I want you to talk about it to me.

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Mary Kay did die - a few years ago as a matter of fact, but her company lives on.... 

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