The door to door salesman from hell

The door to door salesman from hell

Yesterday, an office supplies salesperson from Quill darkened our doorstep at Outsource Marketing.

It wasn’t pretty, and I asked my colleague to recap her experience for you.

Here it is:

He walked into an office building that says “No Soliciting” posted on the door.

I walking out of Mary Kate’s office and Renee was following me. Clearly we were on our way somewhere, but he cornered me at the desk and would not let me pass.

He did not smile and had an aggressive approach.

His body language and his eyes were strange. He kept squinting them as one does when you’re trying to figure out if someone understands what you’re talking about. I felt talked down to.

He tried to confirm 4 or 5 times that I could make buying decisions in our office. After I agreed to talk with him about it, he persisted as if he doubted that he should be talking to me. That was annoying—if I’m willing to talk to you, then don’t treat me like I’m nothing unless you can get something from me.

Still, I gave him a couple of options to leave info with me: a card, some other info (I was thinking a brochure) to look at later. I actually asked for it, and his response was “no, we don’t leave anything behind.” Then he continued his sales pitch to educate me on what they do. He wasn’t receptive to me at all—he just wanted to bulldoze through his pitch.

When I finally told him that I had a meeting and couldn’t talk to him any longer, he had the opportunity to once again leave something behind, ask for one of my business cards or at least tell me their website address. He did none of the above.

I consider his cold call a complete bust. It’s like he was trying to do his thing in steps as he was trained, and when it didn’t go his way, he gave up.

Bad sales guy.

It’s about respect

I overheard most of this exchange, and wanted to isolate the main reasons why this sales call failed. Clearly, it wasn’t strategically responsible or message responsible.

Then I realized, it was the fact that this salesperson showed a lack of respect on a number of levels:

  • “No Soliciting” means “No Soliciting.” It doesn’t mean, “No Soliciting if you don’t have something good to sell, and I have something good to sell.” No means no. Period. This shows a disrespect for our wishes to have a workplace free of unwelcome interruptions.
  • By physically obstructing my colleague, he disrespected her space—in her space!
  • By definition, you are busy when you are at work. Unscheduled meetings—even short ones—show a disrespect for time.
  • He disrespected my colleague’s ability to make a decision about office supplies. She handles big budgets for some of our best clients every day. She didn’t need this.
  • His failure to simply listen showed a disrespect for what she had to say.

Apparently, Quill’s sales force is prohibited from handing out business cards or collecting them. And as you read above, the salesperson didn’t even offer their URL (though you can order everything online).

No, this sales call wasn’t about building a relationship. It was about getting an account set up on the spot.

When will Quill get our business after this sales call?

When hell freezes over.

So, can door to door salespeople market a product or service without disrespecting the people they are selling to?

Under what circumstances?

Comment below to weigh in.

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