How many times have you seen that sign on the door of an office building or business?
When I see one I just grin. It seems no office building is complete without a no soliciting sign. What is the purpose of this sign and who does it deter?
It’s interesting to me that many of the businesses that sport the sign have coldcalling salespeople themselves. It’s somewhat hypocritical to see no soliciting on the door of a copier business, insurance broker, or temporary help agency.
What do salespeople think of the signs? I polled the “Early Risers Lead Club,” the largest pure sales lead association in the city, made up of entrepreneurs and salespeople. I asked how they felt and what they did when they encountered the dreaded sign.
“I go in the buildings so fast I don’t see the signs;” says Cindi Ballard of El El Interior Plantscapes. “I’ve been cold calling since 1976 and I’ve never had a problem.”
“Once I was told no soliciting by a company,” says Earl Coggins of Pony Express. “I said I’m just trying to save you some money. They said come right in.”
“Most buildings are built with that sign on the door,” says Richard Herd of Continental Advertising. “I feel like it’s meant for other kinds of salesmen, not me. I ignore it and have never had a problem.”
“I’ve made thousands of cold calls in the face of no soliciting signs and never had one problem,” says Martha Ferrell of Sonitrol Security Systems.
“Everyone’s got one; it doesn’t affect me,” says Ward Norris of Crown Cellular. “If they tell me no soliciting, I say I was so focused on meeting you and learning your name, I must have missed the sign.”
“I take my glasses off just before entering so I can’t see the sign,” says Matt Keeble of Carolina Container Corporation.
“I got tossed out once,” says Hunt Allen of PC Sales, “but one out of thousands isn’t bad odds.”
Out of 32 people polled in the Early Risers Lead Club leads group, only two said they would respect the sign; two said they have fear but enter anyway; 28 (87.5%) said they ignore it. It is also interesting to note that the same salespeople think it’s ok to ban the doortodoor solicitors selling candy, perfume, and pictures.
It’s seems that salespeople from legitimate businesses believe that the sign is not aimed at them. I agree.
I was having a discussion with a company president and his sales manager. They have adopted a new policy NOT to screen cold sales calls. They feel that too many opportunities are missed by not listening to what a salesperson has to offer or say. What a great way to think. Of course as sales warriors, we’ve known that all along. The sign on the front door of our offices reads “Solicitors Welcome!” I encourage you to do the same.
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“No Soliciting” signs are ignored by most sales people.