When I was younger and saw signs that said “no solicitors” I had to ask what the word “solicitor” meant. And my mom explained it was people selling things. As a kid, I could only think of how kids go door to door selling candy for fundraisers, or Girl Scouts selling cookies. Who WOULDN’T want door-to-door candy service? As an adult, I wish I got more of this. More candies and more cookies right at my doorstep.
As an adult and an office manager, “solicitor” has taken on a whole new hellish annoyance to me. NEWSFLASH: no one ever comes around selling candy. Ever.
Sometimes on the subway there are “youths” (which are generally waaaaaay too old to even be in school probably, and I am smart enough to know they are not raising funds for their rec center. They went to Costco and are trying to turn a profit) selling candy for a ridiculous price and this is not helpful nor useful. Yes, I want candy. No, I am not paying $5 for a fucking fun-size Snickers.
I will announce right here and now a little tidbit into my working-life. I use Staples. I love it. You will not ever sway me from Staples. I have their card, their online ordering is great, their customer service is awesome and no, this isn’t a sponsored post.
So many people come into my office and try to get me to switch to their business or service. Verizon, get out of here. WB Mason, hit the road. The most recent company to try their luck with me… I don’t even KNOW who they are, but they ain’t getting far. I see right through them.
Two guys came in last Thursday trying to get me to switch to their office supplies. Told me they’re a subsidiary of Staples, offer lower prices, really tried to get me on board. I open with “Thank you for your time but I am with another company and do not plan on switching.” That is my hello and goodbye, don’t waste my time, I got work to do. I shut these two guys down pretty fast and then they’re all heeeey I like your shirt. What? Thanks…….? Go away.
Monday afternoon, another sales rep from this same company comes in but is harder to shut down. Not because she is a tenacious sales leader, but I really think she was slow and was not understanding what I was telling her. The following convo actually happened…..
“Hey, nice shirt! What a lovely pink color” Heeeeey the two guys last week said the same thing to me. Do they train you to say that?!
“But we have lower prices.” I don’t care. I like Staples.
“No obligation, let me set you up with a user ID for ordering” No, I don’t want to do that at all.
“Let me show you our price comparison sheet and-” I don’t have time for this, I have work to do. I’m not switching.
“Ordering is easy, you just call and talk to me and I do everything for you” I don’t want to talk to anyone, I like Staples because I can do everything online and not speak to a single person.
After a few more blank stares, back and forth, and me pointing at my computer and grunting “ME WORK BUSY, MUCH BUSY.” She got the hint and left.
The next day I saw her stalking the hallways in this building again… this time she had someone with her that I overheard giving her a pep talk before entering another company’s office.
“You got this on lock, you can do this, you are a WINNER.”
I feel bad for her. I know sales is a hard job, and it’s hard to purposely have to interrupt and annoy people in the middle of their day, but I try to say no as nice as possible at first. After that, you gotta get a clue.