5/18/2008

“No Soliciting or Proselytizing Please”



That’s the sign I have had in my front lawn to try and make it clear I’m not interested. I’ve had it there for two years. But, I might as well take it down with all the effect it has had. In fact, I am starting to believe it is bringing in more sales people and church people to my front door. I had three sales people and two little old ladies from the Jehovah Witnesses knock on my door yesterday…before noon. That’s right, before noon.

I have made it abundantly clear to each salesperson that if I need insurance, my carpet vacuumed, kitchenware, home improvements, etc., I will pick up the phone and call. I explain to the Jehovah Witnesses and a couple of other religious faiths, I have my own beliefs, my own church and do not wish to be converted to their way of thinking. I am always polite when I do this. I tell them I am actually doing them a favor since they would spend less time with me and more with someone who might be interested. That, likewise, seems to have zero effect on them. Saturday seems to bring them out in droves. So, I still had three more sales people come by (again, ignoring the sign…in fact, one sales person confessed he didn’t know what “soliciting or proselytizing” even meant) before 5PM.



In exasperation, I asked the one sales lady trying to sale me a year’s subscription to TV Guide (does anyone even use that any longer??? Are they still in business?), why do all sales people ignore my sign? She got all huffy and stated “we are just people trying to make a living, that’s all.” And I told her I sympathized with her and perfectly understood that. But, what I wanted to really know, why do sales persons just totally ignore my sign. She seemed to empathize with my plight of constantly answering my door (I just have never been the type to not go to the door, I don’t know why) on a Saturday.

She told me that while she was in training, she was taught to always ignore the “no sales, no soliciting” signs for one basic reason; it was those people with signs that made up the largest volume of sales by all data available! She said if a door to door sales person, such as herself, is having a tough time meeting her sales quota, she will go out roaming neighborhoods just looking for those signs. She confirmed she makes sales on at least 7 out of every 10 “signed houses.” The sales lady said that her regional rep calls it the “guilt factor.” The guilt factor is a sales person going to a signed house (knowing the owner is probably going to be antagonistic because of the sign), putting themselves at the mercy of the homeowner, and trying to convince the person answering the door their product would help them. She said you would be amazed how many homeowners hand over the money. I was astonished by this. I don’t know if she was just blowing smoke or if there is any amount of truth to it.

After she left, I took the sign and put it in the trash. I don’t know if what she told me is true. But, at least on the surface, it seems plausible. I’m at the point where I’m ready to try anything. The sign is certainly not working. As I said, it seems to attract people to my home.

And, no, she didn’t make a sale with me.







4 comments:

Hehehehe, i love this entry! It is really true how intimidating sometimes that people,like the Jehovah's witnesses will go to your house and talk about religion,etc...My father(who is a very closed Roman Catholic) used to raise his voices to them. After that, they didn't come back! Oh well, i don't believe what the salesperson is saying that she got good sales going to houses with "no soliciting sign". She'd probably just saying stories... blah..blah..blah... But it was good you hadn't been convinced!

The sales lady was just doing what she was taught to do; engage the customer and make him feel empathy toward you. Thing is, I'm a little too savvy for that now in my advanced years. I just let her talk and wished her luck. Thanks for stopping by with your comment.

I used to do door-to-door sales when I was younger.

I haven't checked where you are from but this was while I was still living in South Africa.

I can honestly tell you that it is true what this woman told you. It's almost funny, looking at it now from another point of view.

Cheeky, I was very skeptical after hearing it from the sales lady. But, it did sound plausible. That is why I took my sign and put it in the trash. They'll have to look elsewhere for a "signed house" from now on. Thanks for the comment.

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