Why is it that nearly every business has a sign to warn off solicitors? And since when has solicitation really been the problem it’s made out to be with the ba-gillion signs warning against it? There is a culture that believes the only acceptable means of promoting a noun is buying an ad someplace. I think it comes down to peoples perception of solicitors.
Solicitors are known as people who knock on your door at eight pm trying to pitch the latest print newspaper to you. Or they’re the assholes that threw a bag of rocks at your door with a coupon inside.
Here’s the definition.
solicitor – so⋅lic⋅i⋅tor [suh-lis-i-ter]
1. a person who solicits.
2. a person whose business it is to solicit business, trade, etc.
The guy walking up to your door is a canvasser, his job sucks but supposedly it’s effective. The bag of rocks on your driveway is litter, it’s not really the flyers fault some asshole threw it on your driveway. In these situations I think we’d be better off hating the player not the game. Solicitation done ethically is no dirty word. Face to face human interaction is not the problem the playing field just needs to be more clearly defined.
When you at your home no one should bother you. When your out in public you run the immediate risk of encountering something or someone unexpected. If you work in a business with an open door to the public people may attempt to come inside and talk to you. Do not be alarmed! Not everyone is pitching snake oil! Identify who, what, where, and then make a decision!
Getting information to people exactly when they’re looking for it is a holy grail of marketing. The problem with solicitors going door to door, or passing out flyers on the street is that you never know if someone is ready to accept the information you have to offer. Most people it seems, would rather digest the information on their own terms. When, where, and how they want to via the Internet, friends etc. However as a solicitor we believe we have some information someone doesn’t know they want. So as well meaning solicitors we should all brainstorm on how to change our collective image. And find new words for Rockthrowers, Canvassers, and Telemarketers because professional well meaning solicitors they are not.
So in closing not all solicitors are bad. And I believe that businesses should help each other succeed. Instead of shutting doors and posting signs that attempt to spell out such reclusive attitudes in a professional manner. “We don’t want it, no matter what, we know everything, have everything, and don’t want any new friends”.
What if ads were illegal and the only form of communication between product and consumer acceptable was human interaction?