Mall Cop Confessions: Dealing with salesman and other solicitors

For entertainment purposes:

Shopping centers draw all kinds of people. These are individuals who are not there to shop. They are there for everything from selling their own stuff, to building a following, to simply being an agent of chaos.

Most non employees need permission from management to do outside business. Always check with the client if they’re expecting anyone.

Let’s not waste anytime. Let’s break down the different kinds of salesman and solicitors.

Salespeople: “Sir, I appreciate you’re trying to work but you need to get cleared by our office first.”

Fundraisers: “Sir, while I appreciate what you’re trying to do, you need to get permission from our office to fundraise first.”

Street preachers or church volunteers: “Sir, I respect your cause, but unfortunately you need to get permission from mall management first.”

Social media interviewers: “Sir, our customers are here to shop. Those activities aren’t authorized here. Please conduct your interviews elsewhere.”

Unauthorized Costumed Characters: “Sir, you’re going to have to remove your costume if you want to be here. You can’t continue your visit before you do so.”

The good news is that your store’s rules will usually already have language in place that will reinforce your actions. Simply bounce off any questions you get on those policies.

A sad truth is that many of these solicitors already know that they’re not supposed to be there. They should leave with little resistance. Anyone who is serious about doing business won’t have a problem calling up management to get permission.

Note the name of the organization on your report in case they show up again. If they leave literature lying around take it.

Hope that helps!

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