This past Sunday I took a bike ride, a really long bike ride. Ordinarily, I ride around the neighborhood just to try and work off a few pounds before the holidays. But for some reason this past weekend I got on the bike and I couldn’t stop pedaling. There was a cold snap in the air, and the sun was shining brightly. Perfect conditions for a longer than usual bike ride across Long island.
About 15 miles north of where I started out is an office park in Plainview hosting a wide array of businesses. As I rode my bike through the development I saw something very interesting that each and every business had posted on their door. I saw NO SOLICITORS signs everywhere. I wondered why…
My guess is that roaming salespeople from all sorts of businesses like to converge on office parks to cold call door-to-door, and sell all sorts of stuff like business phone systems, communications services, advertising, office supplies, office space. You name it – there’s somebody out there ‘hawking’ it….
After having been set upon by a myriad of salesmen and salesladies, it must have become an annoyance for the companies in this office park, and the best way to deal with it was to put up a STOP sign that told the salesman up front not even to bother coming in to pitch a product. In other words, “Don’t Even Think About Trying to Sell Anything Here”!
Then I got to wondering about how many salespeople went in anyway.
When I first broke into sales as a profession, my sales manager told me to disregard the No Solicitors sign and walk in anyway. That was back in the early eighties, and people were a bit nicer. Today, I bet salespeople are met with more disdain because of the No Solicitors sign. Receptionists bark, “Can’t you read”???? The sign says No Solicitors!
People have changed. There’s much less tolerance for the poor ol’ door-to-door salesperson these days.
Today, seeing a No Solicitors sign today gives me pause. The only valid reason I can think of for disregarding the No Soliciting sign, and going in anyway is to find out why they have a No Soliciting sign in the first place. I’m more curious than your average cat so given the chance I’d ask the receptionist why the need for the sign, and then chat it up about the flock of salespeople that still come in anyway. I’d ask whether I was the only one that is courageous enough to walk in anyway despite the No Solicitors sign, or do others feel bold like myself, and walk in anyway. After schmoozing the receptionist for a bit I would then smoothly segue into asking to meet with the decision-maker. I wonder whether my schmoozing would get me in the door in spite of the sign. Then I got to thinking along the lines of something else. Maybe the sign is posted there for good reason – To keep out the amateurs!


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One Response to “NO SOLICITORS!!!”

  1. Chris Swiser Says:

    Totally agree with the amateurs comment. I am primarily a consultant who asks questions to see if the prospect (cold or warm) has a need that the services I offer can fill. If it’s a fit, only then will I work at selling them something.

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