It was a long time since I saw the documentary Salesman. It is about four Bible sellers in America. It was recorded in January 1967 (maybe also late December 1966) and has the copyright date 1968.
For Catholics and Protestants, so this film is something of a must see, a classic that is always current and timeless. One must follow the four vendors as they travel around and go door to door and trying to peddle expensive Bibles to often very poor people on the installment plan.
Here you can see the vendors use all the tools available, and they take all the sales tricks to sell to those who are not really afford. They sell even to people who already have a lot of Bibles, and the protests will be muted with well-known tricks and lots of flattery and a little flirting.
Everything is going to sell the mortgage payments, although expensive Bibles that nobody needs. There is a large beautiful bible with many pictures and jättedyr. One hears sales jargon from the vendors, and they are very polished and aware of what they do when they manipulate the prospective customer.
The prospective customers find them, inter alia in the church when they go to church services and brings up names that they then seek out the next few days. The contact that they have with someone a Sunday has already cooled down on a Wednesday, so the first few days of the week is hectic for them.
Of course, the customer wakes up the following day and realize they are not at all afford the expensive Bible, and when the seller comes to deliver the Bible so they do not want it. It is then that they realize they have to pay because of the contract they signed with the seller.
The documentary especially follows the struggle that soldier Paul Brennan has, a middle-aged Irish-American from Jamaica Plain, Boston, who struggles to try to maintain the sales volume he has.
Bible salesman as these have been found among Catholics and Protestants very long time. In Sweden, as they were called colporteurs, and they sold except Bibles even other religious literature.
So when Mormon missionaries knock on doors, and among the first things they do is to take up the Book of Mormon, so even a child can understand that people draw a direct parallel to these Bible salesman and lay preachers.
People perceive it in general as Mormon missionaries want to sell anything they, too, Mormon, even if it is free. For everyone knows that things are still free despite everything costs something, the only question is what? So it's not for nothing that the Mormon missionaries are perceived as religious salesman.
Just look at the four Bible salesmen in the documentary. They look like a Mormon missionaries everyone, and the only thing missing is just a name badge on his chest. It's suit, white shirt, tie, cut short, talkative, confident in his message, and with customers in mind all the time.
So for readers who happen to be Mormons - it's like this does not mean mormons perceive the missionaries.