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No Soliciting Posted 9:47 AM on 01/08/09 - Reply to this post

Are you *calling* before you enter? If not, try calling for permission to come in.

James D Mitchell

no soliciting - no problem Posted 8:43 AM on 01/13/09 - Reply to this post

Rich, I disagree. I did outside sales for 7 years and had to build my pipeline by door to door cold calling. I can tell you that in 7 years, literally thousands of doors walked through, and about 80% had that sign, it was a joke. In all that time, I had one company, a single, very large retail chain's small local office ask me to leave (and they did it very politely, pointing out it was company policy-- no harm no foul). Considering I made hundreds of sales with countless of commission dollars, and made a lot of clients friends by walking in with no agenda other than to let them know what I do, and if they are interested I can meet with them and see if I can help; it was well worth it. All of that for one polite "no thanks" seemed like one heck of a tradeoff to me. I truly believe that the sign comes on the door and no business owners ever take it off. I found those signs at strip-malls most of the time, and there is a lot of turnover in those areas... just how many companies last at the same door for more than 5 years. Even before that, I never felt it applied to me. I wasn't hawking girl scout cookies or selling coupon magazines, I really wasn't selling anything. Just introducing myself and asking if they are interested in my help. If you're not trying to sell them right then and there, you truly aren't soliciting. Don't let that silly sign stop you. If the "no soliciting" sign prevents you from meeting other small business owners like yourself, you're capping your chance to introduce yourself and your community of what you (and your company) have to offer.


No Soliciting Posted 4:07 PM on 02/07/09 - Reply to this post

Thanks everyone for your well said/put advice and comments.

Chip Rose

No Soliciting Posted 3:37 PM on 10/13/09 - Reply to this post

A majority of the time, the receptionist isn't even aware there is a sign in the window. I have landed most of my sales and customers ignoring those signs. I had a customer tell me that it is meant to deter all but the most persistant... and that was how I made them into a customer. Keep this in mind, do you really thing that "their" sales people respect those signs? As a matter of fact, how many sales managers of theirs would be delighted to find that their sales person was able to make a successful contact in the forbidden zone? Don't let the others on this board scare you about the signs... you are in business to make business and so are the prospects you call on... good luck Brah!


Management Posted 9:27 AM on 12/23/08 - 

Managers! If you take good care of your employees, make them feel like they are truly needed, then they will take great care of the customers, and you will make more money and get more referals!! This has always worked for me in Management. If your employees have a vested intrest in the business and feel needed and important you will alwayse be sucessfull!


Management Posted 12:52 PM on 12/29/08 - Reply to this post

I cannot agree more with this. I just wish my Manager would understand this and use this to his advantage. People want to work for winner and by keeping upbeat and happy employs they will be ready for the battle and WIN. You will see large improvement in sales and happy workers. How would you suggest positioning this to a manager that thinks by making his employs fear him and talking down to them, he will get the results?

Tom Rutter

Coffee Stains Posted 8:41 AM on 12/22/08 - 

Got Coffee Stains? Take a look around your office, and you'll surely find some. Not actual coffee stains, but things that jump out at you and take the focus off other great things in your office - things that will be remembered more than anything else. Ever walk into an office and the receptionist has a half-eaten sandwich on her desk, or a shelf is noticably dusty, or the picture is obviously crooked, or the carpet isn't vacuumed (and on and on). Those little "coffee stains" may seem trivial to you - you notice them all the time and think nothing of it. But they are memories for your customer - memories that could show a lack of attention to detail, caring, respect, or just plain sloppiness. Next time you go into an office, you'll find this to be true - you'll notice things that are out of place. If your office is immaculate, they won't necessarily remember that, but they certainly won't have anything negative (even the slightest detail) to associate with you. Clean up the coffee stains.


Coffee Stains Posted 12:38 AM on 01/02/09 - Reply to this post

Hi, Nice Article.It's really very meaningful article. People should take care of these small things in the office which really matters to the customers.

jan plas

beat the i-net Posted 4:09 AM on 12/14/08 - 

I have a challenge for sales people. How can i beat internet? I am a pharmacist and upcoming firms are trying to sell medication at low prices on the i-net. But how can I beat them? Fight them with equal weapens and open a web-shop or just advice them for personnal information and medication-fit at my local pharmacy? Other suggestions? e-mail me :


Beat the i-net Posted 8:17 PM on 12/16/08 - Reply to this post

Hi, the difference between you and the internet is YOU ! By that I mean your someone who can help the customer PERSONALLY. It is the one on one assistance and advice that you offer that creates your value. Don't fight a price war, because you will loose. Fight the fights that you have the advantage. Shift your energy and focus in the shop, all your marketing signage to we are hear to serve you so just ask. Set up a " its Free" Question counter. "It's Free" Help counter. After that people will not look at the price they will buy from you because you give them more than the internet.


Beat the i-net Posted 11:22 AM on 12/18/08 - Reply to this post

From another perspective... Use the internet to your advantage. Look for ways that you can leverage free utilities like Facebook, Twitter, etc. to build your own brand awareness and personal following. You don't have to do this on a worldwide scale either, it's actually rather easy to geotarget to your local area. Won't it be nice when that first customer walks in and says "Hi, I'm Wayne from your Facebook group". Agreed with Craig 100% though, don't fight a price war, don't try and sell your products directly on the internet at "internet prices". Personalize it where and how you can, build your own brand.

James D Mitchell

beat the i-net??? Why? They're helping you! Posted 8:58 AM on 01/13/09 - Reply to this post

Jan, what is more important than your health? Now, before I go further, understand that some people will ONLY buy on price -- the lowest. I've found that those clients are the most hassle, have the most customer service requests, and are the biggest drain of my time. Now, besides that, getting back to my point, if you are buying Heart Medication that is vital for you to live... would YOU buy it from the cheapest vendor on the internet, not knowing who is filling your prescription? Or, would you pay a bit more (or hell, even a lot more), knowing the local pharmacist and knowing your health is in good hands? Now, stretch that, if you'd do it for heart medication, wouldn't you do it when your children need ear infection medication? Or, even if you just have a cold? Of course, I'd pay a bit more for the security. That doesn't even get into the fact that you are local and can provide them much faster delivery. In my book, the internet is doing you a favor by getting rid of the lowest common consumer... the lowest-price-wins consumer, and if you leverage it right you can get all the good business while they deal with the people you'd hate to have to deal with!


Distribution Sales Posted 11:08 AM on 12/11/08 - 

I am newer to distribution sales and working on expanding my customer base. I do have an existing customer base that I was given when I started and am doing great with those accounts. I usually go on a few cold calls when I'm at my other accounts and will leave my business card or line card in exchange for the business card/information on the decision maker. My problem lies in cold call follow up - I don't know the best way to stand out and get the attention of the prospect when I follow up a few days later. My co-workers who have been in the industry for years do their cold calling in the same manner, which is why I am following this process. I am in the packaging distribution field working with industrial customers. There have recently been big price decreases in the market, should I lead with something about how I can help decrease their costs on X product?


Cold Calling Posted 5:07 PM on 12/24/08 - Reply to this post

A few suggestions...When you get the business card from the "door keeper" ask him or her a few questions about the decision maker. You may want to ask "what is the best time to call for an appt?" or "what other responsibilities does this person have." You may want to ask the "door keeper" any of the "research" questions that you may normally ask during the beginning of a sales call with the decision maker or ask the "door keeper" to clarify any general questions that may have surfaced during your pre-cold call research. This way, you are more informed and more prepared and you can ask the decision maker better questions than your competition. Another trick I use...I will always ask the door keeper's name when making a cold call...I will use it when calling the decision maker when asking for an appointment...I feel that doing this makes my request for an appointment more personalized and professional.


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