Lying, sleazy, pushy and intimidating were adjectives used to describe home security door-to-door salesmen in a six-month ABC News investigation that aired last month and can be seen here:

ABC News Report

A few weeks ago I interviewed and hired a potential sales rep who had been exploring several options for a summer sales job. As we discussed his options, he told me about a recruiting meeting he attended from a well-known home security company. The meeting was led by an incredibly tan and muscular fellow that sounded like, “Bane from Batman” according to my interviewee. The recruiter came across extremely “arrogant” and “cocky.” My interviewee also said most of the corporate representation from the company was cut out of the same cloth #ProvoAllStar. My newly hired sales rep couldn’t imagine working for a company that portrayed such elitism.

Quite frankly, over the past 3 years, I’ve been hiring an increasing number of sales reps that are migrating from the home security industry based on this sense of narcissism and because of shady sales techniques being taught, implemented and accepted as necessary components of selling alarms.

In fact, one of my top sales reps who sold home security two years ago told me how much better he felt selling for my company. He said, “I slept better at night knowing that I didn’t have to stretch the truth or scare people into buying a home security system like the rest of my team was doing. You taught me the right way to sell door to door.”

As noted in my book, Door-to-Door Millionaire, I’ve sold home security systems and there are several reasons why my stint was short-lived. Some of these reasons are identified in the ABC News investigation.

My primary reason for writing Door-to-Door Millionaire is to expose effective door-to-door sales tactics that are devoid of fear, intimidation and half-truths. In Chapter 11, I reveal why some sales reps feel as though they need to use unethical sales tactics to be successful. The rest of the book teaches why these practices aren’t necessary.

So all of this begs the question:

Must home security companies teach and consent to unethical sales practices to be successful?

It might be helpful to outline a couple common knocking strategies employed by home security sales teams which could lead to unscrupulous sales practices:

  1. Large sales teams are sent to communities to ‘blitz’ areas in a short amount of time.
    1. Sales reps who know they will only be in an area temporarily have less fear of offending potential clients knowing they will never see them again.
    2. Some communities require licensing and/or background checks for door-to-door solicitors. Required licensing is rarely acquired by home security sales reps knowing their stay in a particular area will be brief.
    3. Home security companies have been characterized as ‘faceless’ because sales reps only have momentary interaction with customers. This facelessness makes it easier for sales reps to engage in corrupt sales techniques because they will likely never see their customers again.
  2. Sales teams target low income / high crime neighborhoods.
    1. Obviously the need for an alarm system is greater in areas of high crime. Thus, the use of scare tactics is inherently encouraged.
    2. The biggest problem with teaching sales tactics that instill fear is that sales reps will often rely on these techniques even when there is no justification for doing so. Thus, sowing the seeds of deceit amongst potential clients.

The number of negative reviews aimed at door-to-door sales reps of home security companies leads me to believe that because these sales tactics are working, despite being unethical, the love of the almighty dollar somehow justifies the continued teaching and accepting of these techniques. However, this does not have to be the case. Success and honesty can coexist, but oftentimes success makes it easier to dismiss and ignore unethical behavior.

Although I’ve focused on home security sales reps, (because of the ABC news report) all industries employing door-to-door sales reps could be guilty of teaching and approving unethical sales practices.

Business owners, recruiters, trainers and sales reps…it falls on your shoulders. The sales practices you teach and use when interacting with potential clients is up to you. If you happen to be caught on camera at a sales call, you’d better hope you aren’t choosing the path of deceit.

 
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December 2014
 
 

Need to freshen up your door-to-door sales program? Join me and my team for our 2-day conference guaranteed to jump-start your current d2d strategy.

We’ll chat about the weather, politics…oh, and these things too:

Do’s and Don’t of Recruiting

Effective Interviewing Techniques

Proper Preseason Training

Creating a Motivating Incentive Plan

Effectively Training your Team On-the-Doors

And a bunch of other neat-o things!

As a team we’ve had over 40 years of experience hiring, training and managing door-to-door sales teams…you won’t be sorry you attended!

Register before Jan. 1, 2015 and receive a 50% discount. Find out more at www.d2dmillionaire.com

 

 
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December 2014
 
 

Last month was extraordinary on several fronts. Namely, I received some inspiring messages from around the world regarding Door-to-Door Millionaire.

Absolutely fantastic book. This book is different from the usual sales book, here you can really find tactics and strategies to make money!

– Valerio G., Italy

 …got a copy of your Door2Door Millionaire book. Looking forward to your shared sales expertise.

– Bruno G., France

To keep things in perspective I also received this review:

Outdated material. Door to door is dead in my mind. Good luck but this is a tough business unless you have a really thick skin.

Nothing like a little criticism to keep you grounded.

Last month also marked the 3rd highest selling month of Door-to-Door Millionaire…not bad for November!

I am tremendously appreciative for the support, encouragement and even critique…it’s these things that continue to drive me.

Thank you again for a fantastic month!

 
 LennyGray
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November 2014
 
 

Black FridayUnderstanding Black Friday can help you to become a better salesperson. So much so that the first chapter in my book, Door-to-Door Millionaire is titled, Black Friday.

I thought it would be appropriate to share part of this chapter considering Black Friday is only a few days away…Happy Thanksgiving!

On Thanksgiving Day, before their turkey is digested and the football games kick off, bargain-thirsty shoppers begin forming lines outside store entrances, with some retailers even opening their doors on Thanksgiving to capture more of the rabid consumers. Quickly the spirit of thanks and appreciation is replaced by threats and altercation.

In 2012, a police report was filed in California against a woman who doused her fellow shoppers with pepper spray in a bid to snag a discounted video game console.

In New York, a thirty-four-year-old Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death after an out-of-control mob of frenzied shoppers smashed through the front doors of the Long Island department store on Black Friday in 2008.

The insanity of Black Friday compelled one first-time shopper to exclaim, “I’ll never forget what I saw. You see sides of people that they themselves didn’t even know existed.”

So what is it that possesses these frenzied consumers to a state of madness and mayhem? Bottom line…they crave the acquisition of the limited supplies of merchandise that retailers offer for a limited time at a discounted price. These three components (limited supply, limited time and discount) create the perfect storm known as Black Friday and when bargain buyers get their hands on these elusive goods, they laud themselves as shopping archaeologists, who very well could have beaten Indian Jones to the Canyon of the Crescent Moon to discover the Holy Grail.

Black Friday is a perfect example of why I’m convinced human nature drives us to attaining the exclusive, winning and saving money. Thus, when communicating with potential customers, sales reps who are able to replicate the spirit of Black Friday will capitalize on the innate desires of mankind.

For this to occur, the following must be expressed. First, there has to be a discount offered that is limited to a certain number of people. This compels the potential customer into buying the product or service before somebody else does.

Second, there has to be a time line given for when the discount expires. The time line can be determined by supply or the time frame that the sales rep will be in the area.

If the potential customer believes they can buy a product or service anytime they want to at the same price that is being offered, they will purchase the item on their terms, not the sales rep’s. Therefore, a line in the sand must be drawn as to the amount of products or services being offered at a discount and the length of time until the discount expires.

Download the rest of Door-to-Door Millionaire on Kindle or buy the paperback on Amazon. Prefer audiobooks? Purchase Door-to-Door Millionaire on Audible.

 
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How-to-ask-a-girl-out-in-high-schoolHaving spent most of the morning with several high school students at Career Day, I’m not surprised that many of them are having a hard time getting dates.

To preface my discussion on effective questioning techniques, I had a male volunteer ask a female volunteer out on a date. After minimal small-talk, the volunteers asked similar questions:

“Do you want to go to the concert with me on Friday?”
“Do you want to go out this Saturday?”
“I was wondering if you’d like to go out with me this weekend?”
And my personal favorite, “We should go out this Saturday…you down?”

Although the female volunteers responded in the affirmative, it’s generally not that easy to secure plans for the weekend.

Most of the time (especially in a sales setting), asking yes/no questions yield the answers we don’t want to hear.

Asking effective find-out questions is a much better way to start the process of getting what you want.

For example, before asking somebody on a date you could ask:

“So what plans do you have this weekend?”
“Have you tried the new Italian restaurant that just opened?”
“When was the last time you saw a good movie?”

Find-out questions such as these allow you to gather valuable information before extending an invitation.

Unfortunately, after asking great find-out questions, most people revert back to a yes/no question as their close. For example:

“Since you don’t have any plans, do you want to go out?”
“Do you want to go try the new restaurant with me?”
“It’s been a while since you’ve been to the movies, how would you like to go see a move with me on Friday?”

A better close would be an assumptive close which I have detailed in Door-to-Door Millionaire. Assumptive closes give your date (or potential client) at least two options to consider, both of which give you a desired result. For example:

“I’d like to take you out this weekend, would you prefer going to a movie or bowling?”
“Let’s hang out on Saturday…would you rather eat at the new Italian restaurant or get some sushi?”
“Should we get dinner before or after the concert on Friday?”

When assuming a close instead of asking for it, you will be much more likely to achieve your desired result. Which in turn, equates to more sales or possibly better, more dates.

 
 LennyGray
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