A New Field for You?
1 Would you like to work in territory that may not have been covered in years? Would you have an increased desire to work it if you knew that quite likely it was several times more productive than the area you are now working, and the people you would meet would generally be far more responsive and friendly? Suppose you knew that the presentations that would be used in this territory could be very brief and easy to deliver? Would that appeal to you also? In all probability you have such a field for cultivation within your own congregation’s assignment. What is it? The business and shopping areas.
2 Is this field really productive? One circuit servant who regularly works business areas wrote: “The comment of one brother after working business territory for the first time well sums up the reaction of many that have come with us. He stated: ‘I have found it to be like working unassigned territory.’” Another stated: “I was able to get well over 100 subscriptions during the last Watchtower campaign by working only one morning a week for about two hours.”
3 What is your initial reaction to working business territory? It may well be similar to that of a publisher who said: “My initial feeling was uneasy, nervous; I felt inadequate to talk to business people. Then I realized, after talking to merchants, that I was missing out on blessings in this field.” Generally, business people are very friendly when you call, since you may be a potential customer. Also, they are well informed about world conditions, community problems, etc., as their businesses are directly affected by these things, and, being knowledgeable, they are often very interesting to talk to.
4 It is best to call at times when the stores and offices are not so crowded, such as midweek or the earlier hours of the morning on Saturday. A brief, simple approach is often best when contacting business people since a customer may enter the place of business and interrupt your conversation at any time. As you approach the business place determine whether it is a good time to go inside. If there are too many customers, then make a note to call back in a few minutes or later that morning. Once inside, you may ask for the manager. Having contacted the one in charge, it is good to have the following thoughts in mind:
5 In working the territory one time you might initially offer a handbill (the next time you might use the Bible-study folder), mentioning that you are one of Jehovah’s witnesses. If you receive an unfavorable reaction it may be best to terminate the visit at that point. If the handbill is accepted reluctantly but you do not observe any opposition or annoyance, then you may choose to offer only the magazines. In the majority of instances, however, the acceptance of the handbill will be warm, with no annoyance, and the current offer can be made briefly.
6 Your presentation might be something like this: “We’re making visits today on the business and professional people in the community to alert them to . . . [offer handbill]. The reason we’ve come to your place of business is that it’s very hard to find businessmen at home. [This usually brings a smile.] However, we do have a very important message, one that affects you personally, or we wouldn’t attempt to contact you like this. In view of this, we would like to ask you at least to look into our message. So that you may do this, we are offering . . . on a contribution of only . . . ”
7 Before sharing in this work you may want to practice the foregoing or a similar presentation with someone who acts the part of the various types of businessmen and who portrays the situations you will meet in the field. Such practice sessions will build confidence and increase effectiveness. When persons show interest it may be possible to get their home address and an appointment for a return visit. If the businessman lives in the territory of another congregation, the name and address can be forwarded to the appropriate congregation servant.