Nobody wants to admit to being in door to door sales.
There. I said it. Nobody wants to claim that job title. It’s okay. Those of us in direct sales have all been through it. It’s nothing new in our industry.
There’s a stigma involved in door to door sales. People think of an encyclopedia salesman, or a vacuum cleaner salesman. They think of smarmy guys from the 50s with cheap suits and even cheaper cologne, trying to sweet-talk their grandmothers out of their hard-earned retirement money.
Who would want to be associated with that?
But let’s be real for a second: that perception? That isn’t what direct sales is about. 9 times out of 10, direct salespeople are out there in the community, providing real products and services to real people who could really use them.
So how does a good direct sales rep get out in the field and help serve the needs of their customers, while combatting this stigma?
There Are Bad Guys Out There
The first step in dealing with the stigma? Understanding where it comes from. Why do people think that all direct sales reps are the bad guys?
Well, frankly, there have been a lot of bad door to door sales reps.
Like with other types of sales, (the stereotypical used car salesman comes to mind,) a bad reputation tends to be earned. There have been people out there making a bad name for every other salesperson who comes along after them.
It’s a lousy thing, but it’s reality. So that’s why it’s important to acknowledge it, to determine what unprofessional things the bad guys did, and to stick to a professional sales approach that doesn’t trigger any red flags with your customers.
Unprofessional Door To Door Sales Reps
If you want to really make a difference and help people, (while closing sales for you and your company,) it’s important to recognize the unprofessional habits that lead to all the bad feelings about door to door sales in the first place.
So what unprofessional traits and habits should you avoid?
Unprofessionals Have Gimmicks
Unprofessional direct sales reps show up with a briefcase full of gimmicks.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime offer…”
“Today, and today only, I’ve been authorized to give you this deal…”
When a salesperson leans into super-sales-mode and starts asking for the sale with big crazy gimmicks and promotions before they’ve earned it, it raises a big red flag for the customer.
And it should. If you need a gimmick, it sends a message that what you’re selling doesn’t have any value.
Unprofessionals Work For Shady Companies
Unprofessional door to door salesmen may be cagey about who they’re really representing. And there’s usually a good reason for that.
Maybe it’s a fly-by-night outfit that has gotten into trouble before.
Maybe they aren’t a BBB rated business.
Maybe they don’t even have a website.
If a door to door salesperson isn’t wearing any sort of branded clothing or offer any information about the organization they represent, they seem like they’re hiding something. (And maybe they are!)
Unprofessionals Are Pushy
“Just sign here.”
“What do I have to do to get you to agree to…”
If you have to push, you’re not helping a customer with a need. You’re just pressuring them so that you can close a deal.
Unprofessionals have to push and shove and pressure in order to get sales. Professionals don’t have to resort to that… they’ve got a better approach.
Professional Door To Door Sales Reps
Real professionals help. It sets them apart from the sour stereotype right away.
Professional door to door salespeople get invited in. They get cookies baked for them. Why? Because they exhibit traits and habits that show respect for their customers.
Professionals Are Personal
A professional direct sales rep is direct, friendly, and personal. They can easily find common ground with customers, listen to their needs, and help communicate great solutions that actually help.
They take an interest in their customer and offer the solutions that make sense for them, not push whatever they can.
They don’t pressure like unprofessionals, they can confidently offer a product without seeming desperate.
Professionals Are Backed By Reputable Companies
If you’re a professional direct sales agent, you’re backed by a legit sales firm.
You offer well-established branded products. You have established names behind you.
And you are very transparent about who you represent. Because you have nothing to hide.
You can tell a customer exactly who you’re selling for, why you’re visiting them, and why the product you’ve demonstrated is a great solution. And you can do it with confidence, having listened to their needs and knowing your organization can back up what you offer.
How To Find The Good Guys
If nobody wants to be a door to door salesperson, then how can a good direct sales firm recruit good people? And how do you motivate good, honest direct sales reps to keep knocking on doors in spite of the stigma?
Well, be honest.
If the negative stigma stems from dishonest tactics in the past, stand firm against that dishonesty and be super clear about the approach of direct sales.
Because as anyone in direct sales knows, there is a ton of value in this channel. You’re directly taking a product to the people who need it… and they may never be offered that solution in any other channel!
When recruiting new prospects to be your good honest direct sales reps, make sure to communicate this value. Hire people with open minds who can see the potential and won’t be discouraged easily by people with a mistaken view of what they do.
When approaching someone who holds that stigma, just be real. Be professional. Just because the experience is coming direct to the client doesn’t make it any less legitmate or professional than any other channel.
In fact, if you do it right, there may be a cookie in it for you.
If you’re ready to make a good name for door-to-door sales, Solcomm wants to talk to you. Whether you’re looking to further your career or open your own direct sales office in the Telecom industry, Solcomm can give you the support you need to succeed.