Through the Peep HoleIf your idea of salespeople is romantically derived from films like Chasm-é-Baddoor's Miss Chamko, then you are standing on the wrong side of the reality chasm. Most salespeople that market smallish goods have a tough job walking up and down, being looked at suspiciously and having to get past the defences of cynical householders.
Saleswomen can be thwarted if you maintain that there are no "ladies" (always in plural, like in rail compartments where TCs and the passenger travelling alone get the "it is a question of 'ladies', can you adjust" treatment) at home. Some sales guys are college kids from management schools with hopelessly impractical theories on salesmanship and communication. There are different theories on dealing with salespeople while retaining some sympathy and sensitivity towards them. Some maintain that it is best to shoo them away while others feel it is better to let them display their wares even if one has no intention of purchase. Some just melt when they see the plight of the salespeople. However, it takes just one bad experience to reverse this tactic.
But till so far, we've had the best experiences with the guys selling Calcutta sarees. They're always polite, they always understand if you aren't interested and let you speak as a representative of the household without insisting on being shown to the lady of the house (who sometimes has the uncanny habit of arriving when you've just convinced the door-seller that there indeed isn't any female presence in the house). The demeanour of the Calcutta sarees salesman is one of "That's perfectly fine. But are you really sure? You don't know what you are missing". I don't, of course.