Because of digitalization, many businesses have turned to technology to promote their products or services. However, being a part of the trend, jumping on the bandwagon is not entirely or always the most effective way. With so many companies, selling the same products on the market, a lot of profit is lost. It has become such a saturated world that, so, many companies focus more on convincing the customer to buy from them (sale) than actually catering to the customer’s true needs.
And, add to that the indirectness of companies’ marketing aspect and strategies nowadays. No matter how personal you think of online marketing, there are too many options for customers that prevent the aspired results and effects.
Which is why old school way never fails in any department, industry and is constantly being used or recycled. Though, door to door selling may have been abandoned by most companies, it still has potential and remains an important and effective way to attract prospects to your business.
Finally, why should adopt door to door selling?
What is door-to-door selling?
Used in sales, door to door selling is a direct way, meaning a face-to face way of selling products or services to prospects. It typically involves a salesperson from a company walking door-to-door to people’s houses to promote their products or services by describing to them the features and benefits of their products and services.
As it is direct contact with customers or prospects, the salesperson can get true feedback about their products or services. The customer or even prospects would appreciate the effort made and taken out of your day to listen to them and get to know them on a personal level, especially if it involves a big company. It helps target the right customers.
Is door-to-door selling effective?
Even with the best marketing strategy, sometimes a company’s ads can get lost in the sauce. And door-to-door selling can be effective if used in a good way. There are many benefits:
- It increases sales & competition: It helps you reach people, prospects that have been non-interested in technology or those that just believe all companies just look to sell without thinking about their needs. But with a different approach and outreach, this can show the customers or even prospects that you actually care. You can both put a face to who is behind the screen and brand.
- Ads turn to personal ads: With so many ads, it is easy to just turn the other way. People see so many that they don’t see them at all, and that makes you waste money. So going door-to-door helps with bringing it to their attention, letting them know that you exist.
- Door-to-door is adaptable: You don’t have for each word or adapted phrase that comes out of the sales rep mouth, but you do for campaigns. Campaigns can’t individually adapt to everyone, unlike the sales rep.
- Successful market research: Even though surveys are efficient, people, customers, prospects only answer the questions that you have put out there and there is no full conversation but, door-to-door allows that, and you can react and read their emotions. They can ask you back questions.
- Personal marketing: As it has been said, the sales rep adapts to the person he is addressing and can find it easier to answer to their needs. The sales rep will know what to say and what not to say.
- Schedule appointments: You can leave your business cards with them, if you see they are interested but don’t quite have the means at the moment to reschedule an appointment with you.
- You can measure your success: Unlike advertisements that are on billboards, you can’t track how many have viewed them, but you can track how many people the sales rep has seen and how many deals he has closed.
How do you master it?
When you are to sell your product or service, before going door-to-door, you must consider your presentation and pitch, what you are going to say, when to say certain things and how to say them. Remember, though it is friendly, it is still a professional conversation. It is not for anyone, as you can’t send someone who is unprofessional to do the job. It requires patience, genuineness and a somewhat outgoing person to convince prospects to buy.
These are pieces of advice you can use while going door-to-door:
- Have good knowledge of the product or service you are promoting: You need to know your products inside and out. You need to speak of the benefits and also should be prepared for any questions as well as objections, for which, you can find answers to their needs. If the customers or prospects are not pleased, you can directly ask them what they would appreciate in a product. Of course, words can only be so convincing, as someone would need proof of what that product does for them. So, if you can, have practical demonstrations. For example, if it is a beauty product, you will need to show what the product can truly do.
- Create your avatar of the customer, walking around neighbourhoods without a purpose won’t get you anywhere. Determine their age, their sex, the industry they work in, which way of contact they prefer (email, phone etc.)?
- Set an objective, with SMART strategy, which is to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. What turnover do you wish to achieve? When? Think of which sector you are most likely to engage with prospects?
- Stay updated with the trends of your company and products’ domain. Be prepared for when they say that they saw this product can do this or do that, you would be able to compare yours and say why it is better because you will have known about your competition.
- Don’t invade their personal space: Take a few steps back after you knock on the door. You do not want your prospects or new customers to feel intimidated.
- Provide value: Information is so easily accessible that when you show up at their doorstep, bring forth information that will be news to their ears. Yes, some may not know the brand, but they will want something unique. You can even tweak your offers for them. Negotiate easy payments, something that would’ve been hard to do online. It is proof of “I don’t just want to sell or your money, I just want you to try the product”.
- Be assertive and show them you know how to answer their questions and solve their problems. You know what your job is to a T.
- Be a good listener and ask both open-ended and closed questions: This would help the sales rep seek the prospect or customer pain points which will lead to answering their needs.
- Stay determined and be persistent: Rejections are no match for you. Stay positive and the results will show.
- You should be good at WIFM which stands for “what’s in it for me”, assuring yourself that the product you are selling the prospects or customers with are beneficial for them.
- Outline the purchasing process: Talk the customer through all the before, during and after purchase process, let the customer know you will be there to guide them and not be satisfied with sold (sale accomplished). As a sales rep, customers, prospects should be able to trust you.
- Manage your time: The key is to get as many interactions as possible, so, be attentive, don’t rush things but don’t lose too much time. There are more potential customers and people to cater to and sales to make. If people are closed-off, then, that clearly means, you are most likely not to make a sale (sell your product). It will not go anywhere.
- Know how to close the deal for each customer: It is pretty self-explanatory. Depending on the type of conversations you had with the potential customer that lead to the purchase is how you will end the conversation. Or, if you weren’t able to convince the prospect and convert into a customer, then there is nothing wrong with having hopes of a future purchase. And, you can end with something that speaks of a future sale.
- Use smart tools to prospect, it is to reduce the time of finding prospects, potential customers.
- Allocate sales territories, making sure that the salespeople do not do the same neighbourhoods or towns. It would be another waste of time. Of course, a CRM software can be used. They indicate which territories have been done, the success gained and of course, if there is any issue the sales manager, having direct data and information can easily fix the situation. They also keep records so as nothing gets lost.
- Notice subtle cues: A gesture you can directly get from door-to-door sales that you can’t get online nor from billboards ads. People have different personalities, by reading their emotions, you could be able to adapt your argument to what they want and need. Study their facial expressions and body language.
How do you stay motivated?
Don’t forget to tell yourself that you are still human and that bad days exist just as well as good days. The key is to accept that fact.
Don’t pressure yourself too much. As a sales person, you are human and nothing is perfect. To alleviate some of that load, these are what you should do:
- Make a list of what you hope to accomplish. Of course, it should be one that you can adjust. It can help you focus.
- Pay attention to the process, not the results: It’s about the climb. You won’t make a sale every time you knock on someone’s door, but you know you have made them aware of your product, which could one day lead to a sale.
- Take lessons from the big dogs and put your twist to it. It can show you how they have closed some of the biggest deals from their prospective customers. It can be a source of “if they did it then, so can I”. Furthermore, it can also be a way to re-motivate you.
- Surround yourself with motivated people: A lesson taught in school, you push yourself more when being around hard-working people. So align yourself with the best to be the best, which leads to;
- Removing yourself from the negative ones: eliminate negativity. Nothing breaks motivation more than that.
- Also listen and be a mentor to those that may find themselves in the same situation as you. You know that you are not alone. You’ll feel great talking to other people. Team work makes the dream work, so share things that can be useful to the other salespeople, as well as receive and accept tips that can benefit you in the end.
- Take mental breaks: Of course, a job should never take over your life. Step back and put everything into perspective as to see the issue from a different point of view.
- Integrate extra activities: Do not get to caught up in work. It is a quick to get burned out and lose focus. You do have a life outside of work, pulling back and recentring yourself can help you come back even more focused on the sales task to accomplish.
- Use support tools: If technology is in your business, then make use of it. It could be software that train you on sales or ones that identify potential customers and prospect territories, location. It can give a salesperson a clear view of most of his successes were, and hopefully have them refer your product to others.
Is it illegal?
In terms of trespassing
It depends on your location or the country you live in. For example, in the United States, it is legal because the salesperson is exercising his free speech. Only if it pertains to commercial purposes.
Of course, there are no soliciting signs that you can put up, and anyone choosing to ignore this sign can and will get in trouble with the law. You have a right to refuse unwanted guests at your home, on your property.
In terms of transactions
There are laws out there to protect the customers from fraudulent sales. So, rest assured that all salespeople are not hoaxes.
The door-to-door salesperson has the obligation :
- To give the buyer a written contract and a withdrawal form,
- To allow a period of 7 days to pass before receiving any payment,
- Not to approach the individual aggressively.
There are laws to protect you both, but door-to-door is still a legal job because the salesperson is legitimate and is paid and working to be out. If legal, he represents a legal company.
To conclude, door-to-door is still an effective way to gain new customers. It is beneficial for both the salesperson and prospect. You both get to put a face to the person you exchange with, creating a personal space and possibly, a good long-lasting, loyal relationship.