When the “old college try” gets you the “old heave ho”! Or…asking for referrals respectfully.

My shop is only 2.2 miles from a major road in  NJ road (Route 38) yet feels like it’s in the proverbial “middle of nowhere.”  Out here on Ark Road where we sit, there are no buildings on the other side of the road.  Just open fields.  It looks remote;  it feels remote. 

So wouldn’t you think that salespeople MIGHT want to call ahead to make sure I’m in before they drive on over???  Have they not seen what they’re paying for gas these days?

But, alas, because our door is unlocked I am a sitting duck.  

So they enter (yes, there are always 2 from the major offender) and politely introduce themselves.  I EQUALLY politely explain that I’d be more than happy to listen to them if we could schedule an appointment.  Undaunted they explain that they won’t take more than 5 minutes.  Assuming that they have yet to grasp the subtlety of my message, I spell it out for them.  In detail.

I am really busy right now.  This is a bad time.  If we can set up an appointment, I’ll be glad to listen to your special offer.

From there it spirals downward.  They repeat how little time they need to save me some small fortune, I repeat that this is not a good time.  They say they were in the neighborhood (for what… bird watching???) and I say I’d appreciate a call first.  I even give them the courtesy of explaining that their company has done this several times a year for the 7 years I have been in that location.  My message has been the same every single time.  Then they give it one more try and I say no thank you and turn back to my computer being forced, once again, to be rude and just flat out ignore them.

I always DO make an appointment with my prospects.  My assumption is that they are busy, they have schedules, they have more to do than can fit into any given day and frankly, when I do meet with them I hope I have their attention…not their resentment!  Bottom line:  I respect people’s time and I need your help.

Who do you know who could benefit from our services?   Maybe right now they order from a routine on-line company and the customizing we provide would appeal to them.  Maybe they need to use their time for something other than handling gifts and would like how fast and easy it is to order from us.  Maybe they know how important it is to say thank you but don’t know where to go.

If they agree to see me for 10 minutes (and I mean a real, by the clock 10 minutes), I’ll bring them a FREE $50 basket for them to keep, sample and show to everyone else in their office.  The only time I stay longer is if they ask me to.  I promise.

2 Responses to When the “old college try” gets you the “old heave ho”! Or…asking for referrals respectfully.
  1. Jim Capanna
    May 9, 2012 | 9:39 am

    Excellent points Cheryl!

    I appreciate the comments more as they come from a professional who means what she says and says what she means. I have found you to be the consumate professional with regards to business 101 protocol and I agree with your “sales appointment” philosophy.

    Oh, and by the way, I thank Jest Notes for the great services provided to me over the years!

    Jim

    • Cheryl Pliskin
      May 14, 2012 | 6:26 pm

      Thanks so much, Jim! And speaking of appointments, aren’t we due to get together soon?