In just 1 week, these four headlines and subsequent stories appeared online…and you thought Hillary Clinton was having a bad week!

By the looks of it, door-to-door sales reps don’t appear to be winning over the hearts of homeowners and communities.

Why?

I suggest 2 primary reasons.

First is the teaching and implementing of aggressive sales techniques. Companies that teach scare tactics typically lack confidence in their sales reps’ abilities to make sales based on technical sales skills and also in the quality of their products and services. Likewise, sales reps using fear as a primary motivator to buy, lack the basic communication skills necessary to convince potential customers of the benefits of their products and services.

At the end of the day, it’s a matter of inferior sales reps and a company’s substandard products and services that drive aggressive door-to-door sales behaviors.

Second, history has proven there are corrupt people in the world who go door to door with no intention of selling anything. These con artists sole purpose for initiating contact with unsuspecting homeowners is to scam them into parting ways with their money for nothing in return. Unfortunately, some of these impostors are very convincing and have succeeded in swindling homeowners, which in turn has muddied the waters for them being able to identify legitimate and counterfeit door-to-door sales reps.

On a grand scale, I would argue that the latter of these reasons is virtually impossible to control. Policing every person who knocks doors seems unreasonable at best. However, the former is certainly controllable if companies take the initiative to teach their sales teams true sales principles and then be willing to discipline sales reps who defy these principles. Easier written than done I suppose, but if the door-to-door sales industry is going to continue to thrive, a conscientious effort must be made by both companies employing door-to-door sales teams and individual door-to-door sales reps. You can succeed on the doors without being aggressive.

 
 LennyGray
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August 2015
 
 

Why am I the only company in my industry without door-to-door sales reps?

How can my company benefit from a door-to-door sales program?

How is a door-to-door sales team recruited, compensated and trained?

The answers to these questions and many more will be revealed at next month’s D2D Millionaire Conference (September 23rd & 24th).

Come find out what all the fuss is about.

The next person to Register will receive a 50% discount.

Opportunity is Knocking…Answer the Door!

 
 LennyGray
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TommyAfter two months of knocking doors selling pest control contracts he was at 19 accounts, and quite frankly I was ready to give up on him. His manager had thrown in the towel and told me because he couldn’t figure out how to help him, he was going to quit training him.

On July 1, I spent an hour on the doors with this rep hoping to figure out what it would take to help him. After watching him attempt to sell three potential customers I was appalled at the basic mistakes he was making.

First of all, every one of his initial approaches was identical. “Hi, I’m ______ with Rove Pest Control, how are you doing today?” Then he’d continue, “That’s great…the reason I’m in your area today is we’re letting people know that we’re going to have a truck in the area tomorrow to service homes for some of those ants and spiders…”

He suffered from the classic case of ‘The Robot’ as I’ve identified as one of the ‘Three Deadly Sins of Sales’ in my book, Door-to-Door Millionaire.

Second, which is a product of ‘The Robot,’ he made no attempt to break the ice with any potential customer even when the perfect opportunity presented itself. A woman was pulling weeds in her yard and instead of approaching her by saying something like, “I’m going to make a deal with you, I’ll finish your yardwork if you’ll finish my job for me…” he proceeded as he had done at the other doors, “Hi, I’m ______ with Rove Pest Control, how are you doing today?”

The worst part…after we stopped knocking doors and I asked him why he kept using the same initial approach he said, “I thought all of our approaches were supposed to be the same.” And then when I asked him why he wasn’t breaking the ice with people he said, “I am! I asked everybody I talk to how they were doing.”

I responded, “You’re kidding me right? Haven’t you been listening to anything I’ve been teaching?” I then coached him for about 20 minutes and told him he had two weeks to start selling consistently or he’d be going home. In his own words, here’s what happened when I left:

“I’m not going to lie, I cried. It was hard because I thought I had swagger and then you came in and told me how I was wrong. So I used your advice for the next few houses and focused on just talking with people, not pitching them and BAM I got a sale!”

And he’s had many more sales since our time together. In fact, yesterday he sold 4 accounts…his all-time best, and he will finish this month with over 20 accounts serviced. His confidence is sky-high!

Here are three important lessons from this experience:

  1. The sales rep deserves most of the credit for being humble enough to take my advice and use it as motivation.
  2. Every sales rep learns at different speeds. Trainers and managers need to exercise patience when training their reps.
  3. With the proper training, anybody who works hard and wants to improve can sell.

This is exactly what my consulting company, D2D Millionaire is all about. We teach owners and managers how to maximize the potential of every one of their sales reps.

To find out more about D2D Millionaire, visit our website at d2dmillionaire.com and Register for our next D2D Millionaire Conference in September.

You can also visit my website HERE.

Opportunity is Knocking…Answer the Door!

 
 LennyGray
 0
 880
 
June 2015
 
 

Calendar%20Image-1524x975To schedule, or not to schedule, that is the question.

There are several opinions concerning the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of setting up tentative appointments. Some companies vigorously train their sales teams to schedule appointments with every potential client, while other companies prefer their sales reps to solidify each sale before reserving an appointment. From my perspective as a door-to-door salesman, here are the pros and cons for scheduling tentative appointments:

PROS

  • Teaching sales reps to reserve tentative appointments helps them to become better closers. Rather than needing the red carpet rolled out to complete a sale, sales reps who are always looking to close will inherently improve their closing skills. They become more confident in the process of closing customers under less than ideal circumstances.
  • Sales reps who set up tentative appointments get more practice completing service agreements which helps them to more efficiently complete a sale. Similarly, completing service agreements for tentative appointments can help to free up the mental block of only using the service agreement when a customer is 100% solid.
  • There are certainly a good number of tentative appointments that become long-term, solid customers.

CONS

  • Tentative appointments involve sales reps removing themselves from solidifying the account, thus leaving it up to others (spouse, roommate, etc.) to make the sale. In most cases it would prove to be more effective to set up a return appointment so that the sales rep is the most influential individual in the decision making process.
  • Reserving tentative appointments from the daily route (especially prime spots such as morning and evening times) that cancel their appointment may cause solid accounts (sold by the sales rep or other sales reps) to be scheduled for another day or time.
  • Technicians that are paid per service can become frustrated if tentative appointments consistently cancel. Granted, in some industries, same-day opportunities may become available, but oftentimes these go unused, especially if they are appointments made during the morning hours. And we all know that frustrated technicians can oftentimes lead to unsatisfactory services.

Ultimately, each sales rep and office must determine if setting tentative appointments is an effective tactic based on weighing the pros and cons. There may even be a happy medium that could satisfy both options.

 
 LennyGray
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Mark5For door-to-door sales reps, every second is critical when introducing a service or product. For me, from my initial approach to the time I get a signature on the agreement, everything I say has the intended purpose of helping me to sell or solidify the sale.

Although a conversational closing question after my initial approach such as, “How long have you lived in the area?” seems casual and possibly irrelevant to some, to me the answer to this question holds extremely valuable information. Once I know how long somebody has lived in their home I can customize the benefits of my service or product based on this information.

Even succinct and relevant ice breakers can assist in getting closer to making and solidifying a sale.

Thus, time spent asking questions or talking about anything other than items that will increase your odds of making the sale are like wasted movements jump shooters use to put up their shot. The longer it takes for the ball to leave the hand, the odds of that shot being blocked increase, thus a quicker, more streamlined shot that eliminates any wasted movement has a higher probability of scoring points.

As I’ve been on the doors training sales reps I often see wasted movements in the form of questions being asked to potential customers. If a question doesn’t get you closer to making the sale or help to solidify the sale it shouldn’t be asked.

The top five most meaningless questions I hear while training sales reps are the following:

  1. Is this something you are interested in buying?
  2. Have you ever thought about buying ____?
  3. Have you seen our trucks in the area?
  4. Have you heard of our company before?
  5. If I could save you some money would you be interested in talking to me?

You probably noticed that all of these questions are of the Yes/No variety, and for those that have read Door-to-Door Millionaire, you understand that these types of questions are the least effective types of questions because they are typically answered in the way you hope they aren’t answered.

No I haven’t ever thought about buying that.”

No I haven’t seen your trucks in the area.”

No I haven’t heard of your company before.”

Not only are these five questions ineffective because they are Yes/No questions, they also don’t get you any closer to making or solidifying the sale.

Let’s examine each question:

Question 1: If you are closing properly and assuming the sale, you don’t need to ask if they are interested in buying…you should already assume that they are.

Question 2: What does it matter if they’ve ever thought about buying what you are selling? That’s what your job is…convince them they need it!

Question 3: This isn’t a horrible question but I would suspect that most people aren’t observant enough to recognize a particular service vehicle in their neighborhood. Thus, when the potential customer answers with a “No” what has this question accomplished…absolutely nothing! An improvement would be to make an assumptive statement such as, “I’m sure you have noticed our trucks in the area as we’ve been taking care of the Larson’s and Sorensen’s…”

Question 4: Whether you are selling for a brand new start-up or the most recognizably named company in the world, this question does not get you closer to making or solidifying a sale. The reputation of a company isn’t in its name…it’s in the quality of its products or services and it’s your job to convince potential customers that your company’s products and services are superior.

Question 5: Aren’t most people interested in saving money? This should be an assumed premise and not something needing to be asked. A more effective way to make this point would be to say, “I’m sure like everybody else you would love to save a little money…” And besides, if you are confident and engaging, you shouldn’t need to ask permission to talk with anybody.

Everything you say throughout the sales process should have an intended purpose and meaning. Eliminating wasted movements by streamlining your questions and only asking those that get you closer to making and solidifying sales will prove to save you time and increase your closing ratio.

 
 LennyGray
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