In the digital age, you could be forgiven for thinking that door-to-door sales is a dying art. But in an age where most of us interact mostly (or even entirely!) in the digital realm, real-life interactions as door-to-door sales professionals can make for more meaningful transactions with potentially higher customer retention.
One of the most important skills you’ll need to master for door-to-door success is how to set appointments. This is intrinsically tied to time and opportunity management. The better you can manage your time and opportunities, the more often you’ll close good deals.
So, let’s look at some fundamentals when it comes to setting appointments.
Work harder, not smarter
First of all, if you’re finding that you need to knock on more than 10 doors to close a sale or set a follow-up appointment, the answer is rarely “Just knock on more doors”. This is likely to do little more than make you exhausted and dispirited. What you need to do is refine your process to be more time efficient.
Know What to Say
Know exactly what you will say. Word for word. Starting with a solid ice-breaker, you want to make sure your script hits the right triggers…without sounding forced or awkward.
The best way to do that is with practice.
Then continue by addressing the kinds of problems that your prospects are likely to have and how your product can address them. People don’t like having their time wasted, so make your initial pitch fast, engaging and to the point. Pre-empt their objections and have plans in place for them.
But be Mindful of the Signs
That’s not to say that you should be so much inside your own head that you can’t read the signs. If a prospect is broadcasting through their facial expression and body language that they are not interested but the door is still open…
Get to “No” Quickly
The prospect’s time is precious.
So is yours.
Many door-to-door neophytes make the mistake of assuming that a prospect’s time is more valuable than theirs. This can cost them time chasing low-value prospects when there are greener pastures elsewhere.
If you’re getting nowhere, try to steer your prospect to a “no” quickly. They’ll either give you the gift of more time or pleasantly surprise you with their interest. Either way, you’re making progress down a definitive path. Remember, you have something valuable to offer, too.
Reinforce Your Business Stature
Inevitably you’ll have a prospect say something along the lines of “This is interesting, but I don’t have time right now”.
The absolute worst thing you can say in this scenario is “That’s okay, I’ll stop by sometime tomorrow afternoon”.
The prospect will likely be agreeable to this… But if you think they’re going to wait around for you all tomorrow afternoon you’re sadly mistaken.
Lock them down. Let them know that your time is valuable too. “Hmmm, I have an appointment at 2:30. Will you be free at 3pm?”. This will demonstrate:
- You are a professional
- Your time is valuable
- You need to know that they’re interested
- You have garnered a degree of commitment to them
Get their number
If they’re prepared to give you their number, there’s a good chance that their interest is serious. When you have their number, tell them you’ll call them 15 minutes before to confirm the appointment. If you can do this, your odds go from a 40-50% chance they follow through to an 80% chance (roughly).
If they show reticence of vagueness at this point it may be a time that your efforts are better spent elsewhere.
Keep your appointments out of prime time
Prime time is for prospecting! It’s when you stand the best chance of catching prospects while they’re at home. Set appointments outside of this window and you’ll waste less time knocking on the doors of empty homes.
In a way, the term door-to-door sales is almost misleading. Your best selling won’t be done on the doorstep. What will be done on the doorstep is appointment setting. When you’re able to engage prospects and separate the wheat from the chaff, you stand an excellent chance of boosting your conversion rates and closing more deals.
Looking to up your door-to-door game? Download our playbook and learn how we motivate and train direct sales reps to drive more sales!