Stop Trying to Sell Alarm Systems to Dogs

guard dog onThere are “no solicitation” signs posted in my neighborhood; apparently, they are merely decoration.

Yesterday, I had a young man knock on my door, clipboard in hand.  After battling through three rambunctious and very noisy dogs, I squeezed through the door while holding back the troops with my foot.

They immediately went to the front window on full alert and sound.

After introducing himself, the young man asked me if I had a security system.

Without a word, I turned around and looked at my front window, complete with the boys, a Lab mix and a Pit mix standing on their back legs, now as tall as me, and Puggle sounding off on full volume and returned my look to him.

“Yes.” I answered.

I do not think he heard me or missed the subtlety of my gesture.  He then proceeded to tell me that his company was doing a promotion of installing high tech alarm systems complete with electronic key pads on the doors, electronic thermostat and video cameras that could all be controlled by my smart phone.

My smart phone is already smarter than me, I do not need to give it control of my home, too.

I politely told him that I was quite satisfied with my current alarm system.

His next selling point was that I could check in on my dogs any time throughout the day to see what they are doing when I am not home.

I know what they are doing when I am not home.  I see the remnants of it when I return.  I also know the mischief and mayhem happen in the first few minutes after I walk out the door, as I have forgotten something and come back within a minute to find utter chaos.  The remaining time of my departure is followed by naps.  Lots and lots of naps.

I do not need a video camera to watch my dogs sleep.  They afford me this opportunity while I am home.

Tried as he might, I just was not biting on the new alarm system.  Not even getting me interested by letting me know that it would make my home more energy efficient.  Unfortunately for him, two days prior I just received my energy report from the utility company and this homeowner is rated lower than an energy efficient home. 

Yay me, no sale.

I will say one thing about this young man, he was confident.  Confident that I was going to buy this.  Confident I needed it.  Confidence did not lead to a sale.

I realized after the exchange, and giving the pups treats for being such good guard dogs, that many job seekers approach interviewing and job searching the same way.

They are so completely focused on what they have to offer that they miss an important part: listening to what is needed.  It is like telling a prospective employer that you are really, really good at xyz.  The prospective employer then tells you that they don’t do xyz and you respond, “but you should hire me anyway because I am really, really good at it.”

Not going to happen.

Demonstrate adaptability.  How? Know your strengths, be comfortable in explaining them as a benefit to a prospective employer; however, make sure you are listening in order to change your pitch to match their need.

Personally, I thought it was comical that for every benefit he brought up, I already had a solution and yet he kept going.  After a few minutes of this, I went from being amused to being insulted. 

What made the switch?  The fact that he was not listening.

Listening is the key here.  By listening to what the prospective employer wants, needs and expects you can demonstrate respect, adaptability and present yourself as a solution to their problem.  Without listening, you are merely holding a one sided conversation with no positive result on the horizon.


Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Brand Strategist & Career Coach

Certified Professional Resume Writer


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