[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I told you some time ago about the sucky Humane Society salespeople who play the busy corners in Miami. I finally got to talk to some of them, and found out that corner dwellers worked for myriad companies.
One day recently I saw a couple of women camped out on a corner, trying to stop every passerby. Based on where I was situated, I knew I’d have to walk past them to get to where I was going. And, unless they were both already in conversation, someone would surely try to stop me. I decided ahead of time that I would stop to talk and ask some questions of my own.
The young woman who stopped me asked some of the same small-talk questions, this time about child hunger. Did I know that it existed? Did I know how widespread and bad it is?
She went on to give me some useless stats and I interrupted her: What is it you’re out here selling? The woman insisted that she “wasn’t selling anything” — she just wanted to make me aware of the situation.
She was working for Heifer International, a company that gives cows to starving families worldwide. The receiving family doesn’t kill the cow — they utilize the cow to make money, and, if I’m remembering accurately, pays it back or pays it forward in some way later down the line. Don’t quote me on those facts.
The woman continued her pitch with more needless info and small talk when I asked again: What are you selling? What’s the ask you’re making here?
She again insisted that she wasn’t selling anything! She just wanted to share some information with me.
I went on to ask why the young woman was even doing this job, standing outside and sweating the way that she was, with a 95% ignore rate from passing pedestrians. She answered this one, stating that she planned on starting her own agency in the future where she’d hire people to do what she was doing (while still coming out and doing the job herself sometimes, too).
Finally the woman got around to how their company works — they secure monthly commitments/donations from people like me. They use the same transaction platform as Amazon (info which I guess is designed to trigger the trust mechanism). She asked if I used Amazon, while at the same time picking up her iPad Mini.
This iPad is the start of the transaction.
I finally asked, for the third time, what the ask was. What did she want from me? She again dodged the question, only stating that Heifer works by getting monthly donations from people like myself to support the cow-gifting. Then she asked if I was male or female; it was a required question as part of her process. There was a blank order form displaying on her tablet, and her fingers were ready to type.
I told her that I wasn’t buying or signing up for anything.
As I turned to walk away, she said to her co-worker, he’s what you’d call an “information gatherer.”
For Your Game
- In case you’re confused, know this: Securing donations is sales, just as much as working at a Mercedes Benz dealership is sales. You’re selling people on giving something — money, in this case — in exchange for something else (good feelings, charitable tax deduction). She was selling tax deductions and positive vibes. And when you’re in sales…
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