Sales people can be annoying, pushy, and downright rude. In order to avoid the invasion and the interruption we post the infamous “No Soliciting” sign and believe it will be like insect repellent for those pesky, blood sucking sales people.
The biggest problem is, they don’t work. The sales person walks right past the sign, and that’s when the destruction happens.
Here are 3 reasons why the “No Soliciting” sign is secretly destroying your business.
1 – Attitude
The sign is saying “we request to not be bothered with sales calls”. Since that is too long for a door sticker, No Soliciting will have to do. A sales person who ignores the sign shows disregard for your request is perceived as rude and is met with aggressive behavior by the “gate keeper” (as you may call yourself, but sales people have much more descriptive words for you).
The interruption is an inconvenience and changes the attitude of everyone involved. The sales person asks a ton of questions, increasing the level of annoyance, until finally a co-worker emerges from elsewhere in the office and shows the sales person to the door. Multiple people have been taken off task, and they are likely now in a bad mood because of the verbal exchange.
The funny part is all 3 people were just trying to do their job, and now all 3 of them will have a hard time focusing on their job for the next few minutes. Happy employees work harder, that is a fact. Want the attitude to change, change the procedure. You can get rid of the visitor quickly but still be helpful. Download the anti-solicitor efficiency tool and make everyone happy!
2 – Hypocrisy
The no soliciting sign posted directly under the “Buy Local” sign is the biggest indicator that your company is doomed! If you support “Buy Local” why are you turning away solicitors? Guess where they live? Yep, you got it… LOCAL!!! They are consumers in your local market. How likely are you to shop for services where people were rude to you? I will give you a hint, NEVER!!!
The biggest opportunity you miss by forcefully turning away a solicitor is the ability to reach your target audience (better known as your customer) through them. Sales people meet 30-50 people per day (common goals set by sales managers). Of those contacts, 1 or 2 might be actual prospects for them, but the rest of them are still connections. Think of it as the original social network before the internet took over.
Sales people are free advertising for you! If you rudely throw them out, it is the equivalent of putting up a 100’ billboard that says “we only care about ourselves”. More on that in the next section.
3 – Missed Opportunities
Most sales people have a service that can help your company in some way. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t have a job. If you can get something better, faster, and cheaper, why wouldn’t you be interested in finding out more? If you are a “gate keeper” your job is to reduce the amount of distractions that make it to the boss. It is doubtful that your job is to make financial decisions for the company. Weeding out every solicitor that walks in the door is costing your company money. If your idea is the reason they save a few hundred or a few thousand dollars a year, you can confidently ask for a raise.
In many cases, the “No Soliciting” sign was left on the door from the previous tenant. Would you let their management staff make decisions for your company, or do you want to decide what’s best for you? If the sales person is respectful, introduces him or herself and the company they represent, give them enough information to be helpful, and send them on their way. The cold call is no different than a phone call. If done correctly, it takes less than 1 minute.
Best practice for your employees when dealing with solicitors:
1 – Be kind (in many cases their boss requires cold calls and my desire to feed my family far surpasses your desire to not talk to me).
2 – Download the “Anti-Solicitor Efficiency Tool”, fill it out with the appropriate information, and keep it at the front desk for solicitors (they will thank you).
3 – Let the solicitor know your company policy. Most of the time the person they want or need to talk to is not available (even if they are, they aren’t likely to be interested). Make the sales person work for it. Tell them to follow up via phone and set an appointment the right way.
Follow these three steps and you will be amazed how fast you don’t have to worry about solicitors any more.