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No Solicitation!


WillisNYC

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I do a fair amount of locating by walking in to businesses in my local business and warehouse parks.  Every day, I encounter a business or two with a no solicitation sign.  I have never paid them any mind since I am a legitimate business and not a charity candy vendor!  I had this experience today and just had to share!

Today, I walked into a business that had a 'No solicitation' sign on the door and started speaking to the receptionist.  I explained that I 'do soda and snack vending and don't know who I should talk to about that here.'  As she started to reply an ominous voice behind me said 'You are not soliciting here are you?'  I turned to see a middle aged 'management type' guy standing behind me.  I said ' Well I just want to know if you are happy with your soda and snack service here?  If you are happy with your current vendor then I will be on my way.  If not, let me take a look at their selections and I will see if I can't help you out.'  He said, 'Let me show you our current soda and snack selection."  I followed him into a break room and he pointed to a garbage can.  "That is our soda and snack selection.'  I looked at the garbage can and the rest of the room...no machines.  I said,' How many employees do you employ here?' 

We spent the next few minutes discussing his lack of vending and how he was actually looking for someone to provide it.  He happened to be the senior guy there who had been put in charge of finding vending for their office.  They had about 40 employees working in this engineering office.  I agreed to email him some references and provide him with photos of machines that would fit in his break room.  After emailing him, he replied with a request for my 'contract' and a survey to send his employees.  He then wrote at the end of the email    ' Interesting how things work out...'

Interesting indeed!  And yes I will continue to ignore the no solicitation signs in my business parks!

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Yep it's interesting how things work out.

A suggestion to handle the situation: When I have gone into a location with a sign on the door I simply ask the receptionist if I might get a business card of whoever the decision maker is about their vending services so that I can call to set up an appointment. Sometimes I get the card, sometimes I get to talk to the POC and the card but I have never had anyone get confrontational about me coming in the door. I am looking for information, not soliciting.  ;)  ;D

Good Job.

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Willis, congrats. Hopefully the location will work out.

That being said, I take exception with 2 points you've made. First, implying that charity candy vendors are not legit businesses. I am a candy charity vendor, and I can assure you my business is 100% legit. There have been many arguments about this, just like there have been arguments about commission vendors "cheating" the owners of their proper share.

Second, regardless of what you think about the first point, you *are* soliciting. Don't fool yourself, or others, into thinking that you aren't.

I think you had a good post here, with an underlying message of "be persistent"/"don't take no for an answer". Don't let your personal feelings about other things cloud the issue :)

Kevin

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Yes Allysama,

I agree fully that I am soliciting and am not trying to deny it when talking to the locations.  I am just ignoring the implication of the sign that the business does not need the service I am offering.  I also chose my example poorly and did not mean this post to be a knock on charity vendors.  I respect what they do and know they work just as hard to get a location as I do.  I may have chosen a poor example since I was really thinking of true charity solicitors who are requesting to get sponsored for bike or walk a thons.  (As a kid I did just that for a Cancer society bike-a-thon for3 years running and placed first or second in funds raised every year....Yes I won three bicycles doing that.)  However in my mind, THAT was true solicitation.  I first found out what no solicitation meant when McDonalds threw my 13 y/o butt out the door for soliciting there for my bike a thon.  Now, whether I am selling advertising as I used to do, or now selling snacks and sodas, I am selling a legitimate service that these businesses need.  So even though I am still soliciting, I have something to offer and it results in a difference of attitude that carries the day.  To have the right attitude during sales calls is the point of my post.

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a business does not really need you, this is why they put the sign on the door, and

the sign is there for a reason..if a business needs something, then they will

call on who-ever they need, you ignored their sign, and trespassed on their

property, its just mere luck they were in need of what you was pushing...you seen

the sign on the door, you ignored it, and you are putting yourself in an awkward situation.

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The entire sales process is completely fraught with being in an 'awkward situation'.  Ignoring this sign is just another bit of 'uncomfortableness' to ignore.  After all, what is this guy going to do to me?  Ask me to leave?  Ok, I am all about asking for forgiveness rather than permission.

One of my best sales moments in my life occurred many years ago.  I was training two new sales reps back on Wall Street.  They wanted to see my 'pitch' in action.  So I had them dial the phones and hand them to me if they got a live body on the other line.  The very first 'live body' was saying, 'I don't care what you are selling boy, I am not buying!', loud enough for all of us to hear as he handed me the phone.  30 minutes later, this guy was buying a $5000 foreign exchange trading account from me, to the stark amazement of my two trainees.  Something about a challenge thrown down so openly like that appeals to my psyche and brings out my best to close the deal.  (And if you think locating is tough, I can tell you about how tough selling foreign exchange trading accounts is!  THIS is why I say locating is by far the easiest sale I have ever been involved in. )

PS to dperry-  I used to tell sales reps that they could pitch me only if they listened to my sales pitch first.  That usually got them off the phone pretty quickly.  I love the insurance guys sign!

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