The Need for No Solicitation Signs

Ok, so I recently moved to Arizona, out of the gated community of Coto De Caza, CA (yep where the Real Housewives of Orange County lowered my property values every time they opened their excruciatingly vapid mouths on TV) to a fairly rural area of fast-growing desert just outside of Phoenix. It’s a new neighborhood and almost as fast as the homes go up here, something interesting appears.

Little signs that stay “No Solicitation” or “No Solicitors” are everywhere. Everyone has seen these signs, but you have to ask WHY would these even be necessary? And then the answer comes. Because enterprising small business owners (landscapers, house cleaners, contractors, etc) will just walk right up to your front door and either knock on it or slip their card into the door.

So it got me thinking — what RIGHT does any marketer EVER have to invade someone’s privacy? You are literally trespassing on someone’s property and doing so in an attempt to convince them to do business with you. To me, that sounds like a really bad idea. But marketers do it every single day with unsolicited emails, text messages, phone calls, direct messages on social media. No one asked you to be there and yet there you are with no right to be—and zero permission. 

This is because most marketing is totally devoid of empathy of any kind. “Oh it’s harmless” some might say. “People have to make a living, right?” Yes, but, what if I told you there was a better way. A way to win business and capture leads without bothering anyone who doesn’t want to hear about it? And I’m going to tell you how to do it right here…for free.  (Yeah, you can almost hear my company’s financial advisor freaking out somewhere, right?) 🙂

  1. Care about it — If you just want to sell and don’t care about building relationships, my way isn’t for you. And you will NOT form relationships and probably will face fines and penalties for invading your customers’ privacy without consent. Most marketing efforts look at people as “targets” and “conversions.” Don’t do that.  We start by caring about the audience.  
  2. Make sure everything you send and everything you do is ABOUT THEM — are you telling your hero story or inviting them into theirs where YOUR company or brand serves as the guide. No one cares about your story. They only really care about their own.
  3. Do a lot less, but do it BETTER — When I review the marketing mix of most companies, there are a million tactics on there (ads, posts, emails, texts, phone calls,) often hitting the same audience) because marketers like adding things and don’t seem to know how to take things away. Bad idea — assume your audience wants to hear less from you, but when they hear from you they want it to be GREAT (not just good, GREAT). And yeah, I don’t care what the marketing automation software says to do. Irresponsible use of these powerful tech tools is a big part of this problem.  

There you go, three simple steps to go from solicitor to trusted guide and friend. None of it is easy, but in a world increasingly lacking in empathy, it’s gonna be worth it.