Ah, insurance agents and multi-level marketing (MLM) devotees. Some of them are your friends. But others can get terribly annoying – especially if they are not upfront with their true intentions.
Here's what usually happens: They meet up with you under the pretext of rekindling a long-lost friendship. Then both of you abruptly transit into an awkward 73-minute conversation on insurance plans or how you can create "passive income" for yourself.
That's when you feel betrayed. And realise that people only meet you when they want things from you. You swear it will never happen to you again.
Now, we will teach you how to suss these
slimy ex-friends people out and protect yourself from getting burned:
1. They contact you out of the blue
Always be suspicious of people who reach out to you after years of not bothering about you or your life. Be additionally on your guard if you were never that close.
Think about it: What would your primary school friend want to do with you after decades of silence? Reminisce the days of flipping erasers and block-catching? Please, don't be naïve.
2. They are extremely vague about what they do for a living
There are very few people out there who are willing to sit down with an insurance agent or MLM marketer, for fear of being sold goods and services they do not want. Of course, the people in question already know this.
Here's what you should do: ask them what they're doing for a living. Chances are you'll get something like: "I'm running my own business" (technically true), or "I'm working on something with a few friends." Probe further, and see how they worm their way out of admitting to being either of the above.
3. They want to meet you alone, but say that 'my friend might be joining'
Why? Selling one-to-one is generally easier. An extra person is one extra voice to put a dent into their sales pitch. They don't need that. But occasionally, especially if your friend is a novice in the business, he or she might call in some backup sales muscle to pressure you into buying stuff. You thought sitting down with one salesman is tiring? Now imagine two of them.
4. They are out of your league... and yet ask you out for dinner
This point can be summarised in the following short story:
Boy meets girl. Girl says no multiple times to going out. Years pass. Girl proposes meeting up. Boy says yes, thinking that everything is falling into place, and the stars are aligning. Boy is a fool – and ends up paying $800 a year for a policy he doesn't need.
5. They are suddenly very curious about your personal life
Do you smoke? How is your family doing? Are you single? How often do you exercise? Do you drive? Are you having kids soon? Did you buy a house? Are you looking for passive income? Do you travel often? How is your job? Does it pay well?
Your friend doesn't care about these things. But the insurance/MLM companies they work for do.
6. They show up at the top of your Facebook sidebar frequently
That's because they are stalking you to find out as much information about you as possible.
As a wise salesman once said: "Know your enemy, know yourself, and the policy will sell itself."
7. They use any of these words
"Business"/ "Passive income" / "Financial Freedom"/ "Opportunity" / "Venture" / "Exciting" / "Work from home" / "Disposable income" / "On the side" / "Low involvement" / "Life-changing"
(Also, watch out if they use a lot of exclamation points!!!!)
8. They are overly excited to see you
Why are they smiling like that? Why are they shaking my hand for so long?
Something's not right: Only three types of people/beings – under very specific circumstances – should be this excited to see you.
1) Your hypothetical dog when you come home after a hard day's work
2) Your parents at the airport after you've been gone for months
3) Your MP when he/she is visiting your house during the General Election campaign period
9. They take out a name card and insist you take it
Run. While you still can.
Top photo via