Just this past week , I have learned about a thousand different ways to be rejected . I hear that they don't have the time, don't have the money, and simply just do not care about the reason at the door. For those of you who are confused right now, I'm not talking about my dating history, I'm talking about being a door to door salesman for the first time with PBS. In the past week, I've begun and finished my training as a door to door salesman for a non-profit organization. With the official term of my job being called "Canvasser", it is my job to knock on a countless number of homes in the Twin Cities area to look for support for PBS. My goal is to inform citizens about "why they are so important to PBS" and ask if they would be willing to pledge support to PBS through monthly donations.
Each time I go out, I have to carry a clipboard and kindle that contains information on all the houses I must hit, and I must fill out my response that I receive at each house. I am expected to do this for five to six hours per shift and knock on at least seventy houses a day, with the expectation being that at least twenty of these houses will grant me a conversation. If I'm lucky, there maybe one or two people out of the seventy houses I go to that are actually willing to sustain a monthly donation, along with those who are willing to receive a one-time donation. More often than not, I am greeted by annoyed families, adults, couples, dogs, and even children who are going to say no to me regardless of what I say. Because of the negative reputation that is often associated with door to door salesman, I receive rejections, both polite and impolite, about signing on as a member of PBS. While I don't expect anyone I'm selling to pledge anything to me, I feel like there are some things that people don't know about door-to-door salesman that would help them understand why we do what we do. While people get frustrated at more than just door-to-door salesmen in the economy, I feel they often are seen as more annoying than other salespeople or even people in stores. To get to my point however, here are few things that I didn't know about door-to-door salesman that I felt would have been helpful to know before I decided to become one.
1. Not all door-to-door salesman work for profit organizations
While a majority of salesman do operate for profit organizations, there are some non-profit organizations like PBS that also utilize a door-to-door campaign. While I assume that most people know the difference between the two, there is a difference between choosing to buy from a non-profit versus profit organization. Considering non-profit organizations are not going to maintain any excess profit for themselves, we still have the incentive to try to raise as much profit as possible from signing members. That being said, non-profit soliciters aren't generally trying to just take money from people so that our company can have luxuries. While non-profit solicitors do get more benefits from selling more memeberships than those who do not, there isn't really some over the top prize they get for selling the most profit. While non-profit organizations are working to cover their costs, profit organizations are working to cover more than their costs. While both non-profit organizations and profit organizations have competitoin, there is alot more pressure from profit organizations to outproduce their competition. This may be why some profitsolicitors tend to go over top in trying to get people to buy their products, as they feel pressure from competition and their job requirements to produce enough money for their program. While this does happen in non-profit organizations, at least you know that your money that you give to the organization will be spend on actual neccesities by the organization. While not all profit organizations use bad sales tactics, its important to understand that there are several different type of solicitors with different intentions. By gong online and learning about the intentions of different companies, it will give you a better insight into the intentions of the salesman who come to your door to sell things from time to time.
2. The law is on the buyer's side and not the seller's side
Ever since I started working with PBS, one thing that I really didn't understand about salesmen was that they have to obtain premision from local governments to sell things in their area. I had experience this process for the first time this past sunday as I watch my boss give out permit sheets for us to put on our clipboards, as we were expected to present these to the police in case they decide to give us any trouble. While police officers often times stop solicators in case the neighbors are annoyed and do not want them there, solicators are allowed to operate in neighborhoods so long as they maintain a permit that is granted to them by the local government. If the socliators do not have a permit however, the local police will kick them out of the neighborhoods and force them to stop selling early in order to obtain a permit. There is also a protection clause in many solicating permits that forbid solicators from going to house that specifically claim no soliciting, and will arrest solicators who try to sell to those people. Solicators are also expected to leave the property when the owners want them to leave, and will be prosecuted by due process law if they choose to do so otherwise. In other words, soclaitors are forced to act under strict limitations in order to be able to sell to people from door to door. While I have noticed some people during my canvassing round are very much aganist PBS due to the fact it recieves funding from the government, keep in mind that the government actually limits us from door to door sales in order to protect the rights of the people in their community. In other words, you shouldn't worry about soclisators acting out of line, as the law is designed to protect the people from socliators who might try to take advantage of them.
3. Door to door salesman are just doing their jobs, please put up a sign if you don't want to talk to us
To be honest, I don't understand why some people are giving door-to-door salesman such a bad rep. Sure, it is annoying that some random person you don't know is coming to your house to sell something that you most likely don't need, and is willing to argue with you on financial issues with it comes to providing for their product. While door-to-door salesmen may seem greedy and selfish, keep in mind that they are working towards promoting the goals of the company before promoting their own self-interest. Regular salesmen and store owners should be able to relate to some of the pains that door to door slaesmen experience, as their prices and products may receive just as much negativity as the products that door to door salesmen are. Keep in mind that like many people work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in many office spaces, door to door salesmen are like anyone else in that they have a job they need to execute and they do it in order to provide for themselves and others. While door-to-door salesmen tend to have a lot of variety of characters, many of them are actually friendly people who want to support their company as much as many employed people want to support their company. We have lives, families, career goals, and financial strains just like everyone else, and we need to do our job in order for us to provide the resources we need to survive on a daily basis While we may not seem like the nicest people at the door, we do try to sell our products in the best way we can in order to get people to invest. At PBS, we tend to ask people at their door if they would like to become eligible for PBS membership through becoming a monthly sustainer or donator. While we do not expect anyone to buy anything, we still do our job to find the people who are interested in donating, and are willing to be downright friendly to the people on the station of PBS. If you don't want us to sell at your house, please put up a "No soliciting" sign in front of our door so we can pass you. You will be saving us time and energy if you can determine whether you are okay with door-to-door salesmen coming to your house, and will appreciate your honesty much more than if you give us a rude response at the door and slam the door in our face. If you don't like door to door salesmen and you are honest about it, then you are doing us a much deserved favor in making sure your voice is heard by putting up no soliciting sign.