Digital marketing and social media outreach are all well and good… But nothing beats the personal touch.
Interpersonal interaction is where most sales professionals truly shine.
Door-to-door sales is a noble art. It allows you to make a personal connection with your customers and take 100% accountability for building value into your product and your brand…and it all starts from the moment your prospect opens the door.
While the upside can be great, door-to-door sales has its own unique set of challenges. Success in door-to-door sales requires a certain disposition and set of skills. It also brings with it a number of important considerations. Even a superb salesman can falter in setting up a door-to-door business if they go the wrong way about building their operation.
Here we’ll look at some important questions you’ll need to ask yourself before you propel yourself into setting up a door-to-door business.
Question 1: Will you go it alone, or will you have a team?
Will you be a sole practitioner or will you have a team working under you? Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Going solo, you have complete control over your operation and your methodology. If a particular strategy isn’t working, you can change it on the fly without having to notify anyone.
Of course, sole practitioners are also limited in the amount of ground they can cover.
You’ll need to become very proficient at managing your time and limit the time you spend chasing down prospects who are just never going to convert.
Working with a team can be helpful, because a great direct sales company will already have best practices codified into a great sales training system. They’ll also be able to support your efforts in recruiting and retaining talent, allowing you to scale much bigger.
The downside? For you lone wolf mavericks, working with a team often means just that – having to collaborate and compromise to use a system. It may mean more accountability than you’re comfortable with. Just remember – the processes are there because they’re time-tested avenues to success. And that’s the ultimate goal.
Question 2: What’s your product and what’s your pitch?
Needless to say, you can’t pound pavement until you have a product in your hand that you can be proud to sell. Door-to-door is all about the personal touch. And if you don’t genuinely believe in your product you can’t hope to build that kind of genuine connection your prospects are looking for.
Ultimately, though, no matter how great your product is, your pitch needs to be mindful of the customer rather than the product. Try to empathize with them. Consider the challenges and hardships that they encounter everyday. Then position your product as the solution to their problems. Too many pitches start out from a “product first” perspective. And no matter how many bells and whistles your product has, they simply won’t engage with it unless you start out by building value in it for them.
Question 3: Do you know how to sow the seeds?
In your zeal and enthusiasm to get started, you may be itching to get out there and start knocking on doors. Nonetheless, before you set out you’ll need a strategy to guide your day. You’ll need to know the average amount of effort it’ll take to generate a sale.
How many doors will you need to knock on in any given day? How many presentations should you expect to give? Or how much revenue can you expect to make from your daily activities? Or, another way to look at it is, how much revenue do you need to generate in a day and how much legwork will you need to put in to get that revenue?
You need to establish a repeatable process that stands you (and your team) in good stead to make money. You may need to go through some trial and error in refining it, but when you have a structured process, your operations will become more professional and time efficient.
Question 4: How will you recruit, train and motivate your team?
Building a team is a core part of a successful door-to-door sales business. Our industry is known for high turnover and, if you don’t have a thoughtful plan for how to approach this problem, you’ll find yourself knocking on a lot of doors.
Finally, retention requires consistency – in opportunity, compensation, and advancement. Having a great sales culture also helps. All of this takes time, energy, and money to build, so you want to make sure you think through it before you launch.
Question 5: What is your support system?
Everyone needs a support system, even stalwarts like you. Whether you lead a team or not, it’s important to know where to go when you need guidance, coaching, and inspiration.
If you’re a franchisee or sub-dealer for an established group, this is made easier. These organizations have an infrastructure of franchisee training and support. However, if you’re going it alone, you’ll need to keep yourself motivated. (Our free door-to-door e-book is a great resource for keeping yourself motivated and inspired with actionable tips to improve your revenue).
Of course, any kind of support is only useful if you’re sure to avail yourself of it.
Question 6: Could local regulations inhibit your activities?
Finally, it’s important to make sure that there are no local restrictions on door-to-door sales in your area. Door-to-door canvassing is protected by the first amendment, but there may be restrictions and regulations that vary from one area to the next. You want to be associated with a successful business, not a nuisance! Be sure to spend your time prospecting only where there is gold to be mined.
Now that you’ve asked yourself all these questions, are you still ready to start a successful door-to-door business?