This is a continuation of my previous article regarding solicitors, what their role is and the general perception of solicitors. Here I’m expanding on how solicitation can be done effectively and ethically.
One of the unique things about hand to hand promotion is the element of surprise. Whether your soliciting door to door, or outside a club most people don’t necessarily expect you to be there. This is both a benefit of flyer distribution and one of the greatest challenges.
As stated in the previous article getting information to people at the exact moment they are looking for it is a much sought after strategy in marking and promotions. However as solicitors we are more often than not sneaking an advertisement directly to an individual at more or less a random time. One strategy to increase the chances of your messages falling into welcome hands is to deliver the message quickly. With as many annoying solicitors as there are out there are it’s important to distance yourself from their tactics. Whether your passing out flyers on the street or going door to door in an office building be brief and to the point. Leave a good impression and you’ll increase the chances of your message being welcomed.
One of the great benefits of this element of surprise is that you can cut through the advertising noise rather effectively. A print ad in a magazine or a giant billboard off the highway is much easier to forget or ignore. Also on a flyer the information is already written down so there is no need to hope your phone number was easy enough to remember for the prospect to contact you when the need arises. If interested, the prospect now knows about your service, and has your calling card.
There are only so many steps a solicitor can take to remain ethical. For the most part, I expect people to ignore “no soliciting” signs. With that said a solicitor can still be mindful of others valuable time and try to keep their pitch brief to the point, in addition to being relative to the business being solicited to. Examples of people selling baseball tickets to video duplication houses and religious wacko’s selling God to anyone come to mind as non-relative solicitors. Internet and search engine optimization however may be a good candidate to sling door to door. I think that most business to business marketing is more acceptable than the idea of business to consumer marketing if soliciting door to door. As the solicitor try to envision yourself as attempting to build a network of professionals instead of merely trying to make a buck. Even if someone has no need of your service, attempt to leave an acceptable impression so that they may mention your product or service to someone else. This does not mean hounding the prospect for more information or with more questions. As stated before, be brief, to the point, drop off a flyer and get out. Let the prospective customer digest the information on his or her own terms and you’ll see a much better return.