These canvassers really need to read up on approachability

I give props to anyone who canvasses. That’s a tough racket! And I’d say it’s as difficult – if not more so – than door to door sales. Not to mention it takes some understanding of approachability to do it.

Or so I thought…

Today I was filling up the tank (for no less than $2.77 a gallon, mind you), when I saw a guy standing by the door holding a clipboard.

Canvasser, I thought.

I inserted the nozzle into my tank and sat back down in the driver’s seat. Out of my front window I saw three other men with clipboards surrounding an old man in a red Mustang. Whoa, there’s more!

This guy didn’t look happy. And although it was hard to tell what he was saying over the sound of The Strokes, he looked mildly annoyed.

And then it occured to me: a gas station is a great place to canvass.

Think about it: you’ve got a diverse group of people over the age of 16 who have to stay put for at least 5 minutes. Which means they can’t walk away from you! It’s a canvasser’s dream! That is, as long as the canvasser approaches people in a friendly, non-invasive manner.

When my nozzle clicked, I walked out to get my credit card receipt. I kept my eye on the closest of the three canvassers, waiting to see if he’d approach me. Not yet. Maybe he doesn’t see me.

I sat down, closed the door and turned on the car. And before I could drive away, the canvasser walked towards my car and said, “Yo my man…!”

My window was open. He stuck his head inside and flashed the clipboard in front of my face.

“Hey why doncha sign this petition right quick?”

Hmmm. Interesting approach. So much for “personal space.”

“What’s it for?” I asked.

“It’s to help raise money for kids.”

“Oh, no thanks,” I said.


Dude…did this guy just yell at me? I thought.

But instead of getting upset like Mr. Mustang, I just decided to take the friendly way out. “Good luck to you guys!” I smiled.

“Hmmph…thanks,” he said as he rolled his eyes.

I drove out of the lot thinking, “Good luck getting signatures with that attitude.”


How could canvassers be more approachable?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag


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