Let’s face it, unless you are a man holding a ridiculously over-sized check with a camera crew anxiously waiting at follow, nobody will be pleased to see you, the stranger, walking up to their door. Regardless of your clean appearance and humble smile, you will be greeted with either impatience, reluctance, or a stare so fiercely livid it would send shivers down Medusa’s spine. By no means is this article designed to teach interpersonal skills or generic rebuttals, but rather enlighten the reader on the reality of what it is to be a door to door sales person ultimately leading to more thorough understanding on whether or not the buyer could be swayed for an indefinite sale.
1.) Know your product in and out, back to front. Whether you have just received a job that requires you to gain prospects and sell your company’s “top of the line” merchandise, or you just want to get some extra cash by seeing who is interested in the hand-sewn socks embroidered with weeping cats you made when you were lonely that one Valentine’s day, you need to be sure you know everything there is to know about what it is you are trying to display. You must realize that because of human nature, you are viewed as a polite intruder on their personal lives. This being said, the first thing your potential buyers will do is question you as an individual and then revert to questioning what exactly the product or clipboard that you hold. Be cautious while introducing the product. Do not dive right into the bullet point brochure-style aspects as this sounds robotic and choreographed. Instead, explain to them why your product will benefit them on a personal level. Be tactful while using this technique, for it could easily lead to an inadvertent insult on your half (i.e. if you are selling home improvement and the reason you stopped at their home was because the house “looked like a wine glass after it was stomped at a Jewish wedding”). Be mindful, collected, and wary as you approach how your product applies to the buyer while at the same time letting them know how urgent and beneficial it is.
2.) Have a very quick, precise introduction as to who you are and why you are there. As far as door to door sales go, the average amount of time you have before the buyer loses interest is, well, non-existent. Their “interest-o-meter”, if you will, not only is at a flat line zero, but may very well have gone into the negative just from the sight of you. The reason you must understand this is because you need to create and revive that potential curiosity, and the only way of doing so, is through your introduction. Forget introducing yourself with your name, they have pasta on the stove, they won’t care what your parents playfully disagreed over for the entire time you were in the womb. Instead, start with a simple greeting and say who you are representing or what you are wanting them to check out. Depending on the merchandise, going about it in a direct yet friendly manner cuts the fat immediately because the suspicions of why you are there are now blasted into oblivion. Remember, keep it casual, you’re not on a cheap television commercial for a mattress store with “blow-out prices” in a rundown strip mall, being overly animated comes off as annoying and pathetic in this line of work.
3.) Trust the product. It is at this point that the buyer decides whether or not he/she wants to consider hearing more about what you have in store. However, they will not have the opportunity to give an answer because you will be continuing on to the more personal aspects of your product. Think of it like this, every single person in the neighborhood not only wants your product, but they NEED it for their own good, they just don’t know it yet. It’s your job, as the mediator between company and prospect, to burn the fine thread of doubt that is heavily protected behind the steel bars of ignorance. Whatever it is you’re selling, you need to come up with a way to let them know that it is the most important thing they need at the present.
4.) Develop a thick skin. Obviously, the above advice is easier said than done. Everybody’s first, say, 50 houses will definitely be considered trial and error, focusing on how you could improve your introduction to capture the intrigue of at least 20% of your prospects instead of 4%. As with any type of job, or anything in life for that matter, the more practice you get, the more comfortable and natural selling door to door will become. Concentrate on tweaking the introduction from time to time so you can keep things fresh and personable. Nothing will give you more confidence and a feeling of self-accomplishment than the first sale you make, guaranteed. After a while, when you become notorious for being able to spark some sales life into the neighborhood, hopefully you do it in a way that leaves a good impression of how eager you are to share with these people this amazing product you hold. Ultimately, you have accomplished your goals when you leave the doorstep and the Girl Scouts are throwing up with envy on the sidewalk.
- Step away from the door after knocking. It’s less intimidating and respects personal space.
- Make sure to use a slow, pleasant tone that is loud enough for a potential customer to hear.
- Observe your surroundings when approaching the door and use whatever hints to the customers interests displayed to break the ice.
- Be a friend. The most important thing that you are selling is your friendship. No one cares if you are selling knives, vacuums, or even appliances. They are more likely to allow you in their house and purchase something once you are their friend.
- If you have the option, wear casual clothing, nothing exuberant and flashy. Over dressing is a huge no as well, it comes off as intimidating to a lot of home owners.
- Try to get phone numbers or ask if they will be around at a later time if they display interest but have a conflict at the present time you stopped by.
- If you are trying to sell your belongings and you have bountiful amounts, set up a garage sale. Use bright colored signs and post them at the main access points of your neighborhood.
- Don’t try and sell on the spot. Goal is to set an appointment.
- DO NOT enter fenced in houses. Animals hate soliciting more than people do.
- Always use the sidewalks while roaming about, if none, walk as far off the street as possible.
- Compliments on appearance of the opposite sex is inappropriate.