I opened a gourmet shop 3 months ago. The same people come into my shop and offer various kinds of advertisement, and products that they think will fit into my store.
When they come for the first time, I take their offer into consideration and thank them. I like staying open to opportunities.
However, some come consistently every two weeks and offer the same service.
They are a part of the local community and I have to be polite with them.
How would you respond to these people to avoid their repeated offerings while keeping positive image of my business?
Spot them before they start to give you the same pitch again. Approach them and tell them your time is valuable and you will be happy to listen to their pitch provided they pay you for your time. Offer to listen once they have paid you for a 10 minute period, at a fee of $XX. Tell them you take credit cards or cash.
If they start their pitch, put your hand out for payment and ask again if they want to pay by credit card or cash.
(By the way- these people know they are wasting your time and there is no great reason to be polite to them.)
Use it as an opportunity to sell YOUR business to them. Explain why you don't want certain things in your shop, or why you turned them down last time. Make it so when they visit other businesses they talk about YOU.
Build rapport so you can ask them straight out if they have anything new when they come around next time.
Or jump ahead and call them on the phone to ask if they have anything new. On that call, tell them to email you if they have anything new.
There's no harm in turning people down, nobody should get offended if you're straight with them. Humour is good in these situations too, but it should come naturally.