As it is we were confronted by a UNICEF fellow recently while on our way to get toiletries. We're a bit more apprehensive of them as compared to credit card promoters, because with credit card promoters they are rather direct in their approach ie "Mister, credit card free for life?", while UNICEF promoters mastered the art of finding some way to compliment you before hitting up their spiel.
Well most times we manage to avoid the promoters, we even remember in one case we were crossing from The Curve to Ikano via the bridge, and when heading back to The Curve via that same bridge we heard someone comment, "Wow! You're still reading while walking!"
Of course we only heard her peripherally, and we weren't intentionally reading as we walked past the UNICEF booth, it just so happens we were reading a rather engaging book and wasn't bothered with our surroundings.
Anyways, there we were stopped by a promoter commenting on our tie and all, and with no physical objects about us to indicate that we were too busy to spare some time and us being a nice guy and incapable of brusqueness, there we were sparing two minutes of our time, or so we were told by the promoter. Even though we have heard it before...twice, on different occasions.
Perhaps we should have just told him, "No thanks," smile and quickly run off. Or, "Sorry, heard it before but no thanks." Maybe lie (but such slander would show on our face!) and say, "Oh we're already donating!"
Maybe not lie. We recall how a WWF promoter followed up the question with a, "Oh that's great! How much are you donating?" Honest person we are, since we are donating to WWF we could answer her without hesitation and continue on our way unmolested.
But here's the thing. Since the promoters have the thankless job of trying to get random people to sign up and commit to a donation, and face quite a fair bit of rejections, and still have to think of nice things to say to get people's attention...would it be better if we nicely rejected them before they start their spiel, or midway after giving them some attention?