Door to door sales have gotten a bad rap over the years. The reason is simple: because the salesperson is right there in front of you, it's a lot harder for most people to get rid of them than the easy impersonal act of hanging up the phone.
Door to door sales can be done in residential areas, or in business zones. I've walked through industrial condos and gone in to talk to the business owners about copy and technical writing work. Sometimes it's really surprising who and what is inside these blank walls. One time I found a stained glass window making machine and the owner wanted a user manual written for it. That's a project I would not have found by calling, because the company would not have passed my list screening requirements. You never know unless you get on the ground and look.
What (IMO) Good Door to Door Sales ISN'T
Now I've gotten into arguments before with people over what I believe good door to door selling is. This guy:
...for the record, is NOT what I believe good door to door sales is about.
Some people like it. Funny street hawkers. The product, you'll notice, hardly matters. Well they can go watch Ron Popeil sell another 100 rotisserie chicken cookers on the Home Shopping channel. That may be selling, but it's not MY kind of selling. Do you really want Jimmy Fallon using your stoop to deliver the opening monologue of the Tonight Show? Does that truly make you want to buy?
And What Great Door to Door Sales IS
For a fantastic example of door to door sales, and what it takes to make them, read this Inc. article on 48 Hours With the King of Cold Calls (a bit of a misnomer to me, since "cold calls" in my world means by phone, but we'll let it slide).
Chuck Piola is our door to door sales man this time around. He believes in the service his company offers. He solves a real need. And he has an effective means of getting conversations with decision makers about it: he puts himself out in front of them.
That's how effective door to door sales works.
You don't panic about the gatekeeper: you know they're here to help you. You make it easy for them to want to connect you with the decision maker. And you get out there in front of people. Over and over again.
If you're going to give up and go home because one business owner, the first person you tried to talk to, said they're not interested, you don't belong in sales. You shouldn't own your own business. Why? Because you don't believe enough in what you do. You don't truly know in your bones that what you offer will help people.
So What's the Big Secret to Door to Door Sales?
Persistence, just the same as when you pick up the phone to call, is the name of the game. All you want is the person who wants to talk to you. That's all prospecting is about. Door to door sales is another form of prospecting. Knock on the door of a home or go into an office. Use your first prospecting technique to get connected with the decision maker. Use your second technique to start filtering. Should I be talking to this person? Do they have a need for what I offer? Budget? Personality fit?
Since you're physically there with them, it's more difficult for prospects to be rude. If you're halfway decent on the phone you won't encounter many rude people anyway--and those you do instantly qualify themselves Out as someone you wouldn't want to work with. But it's even easier in person.
No half-measures, though. Don't say, "I'll do a couple cold walk-ins and see how it goes." No. That won't work. Make 20. Plan it out ahead of time. Map the visits out. Then go do them.
Note the value of chance in these meetings. If you weren't physically there, you wouldn't have met an unexpected prospect.
And sooner or later, you can begin putting together a leadgen funnel to start driving you prequalified prospects you ought to go visit in person.
Final thought: straight from Chuck Piola himself. He's talking about the fear of gatekeepers blocking salespeople. "It blows my mind," Piola says. "At 11 o'clock I was outside on the street. Five minutes later I'm in the sanctum sanctorum of one of the country's 20 biggest banks. It shows you that this interference thing is just a head trip." Head trash. There it is again.
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