After training 4 rookie door-to-door sales reps last week, I was reminded of 4 powerful sales techniques that often go unused.
For door-to-door summer sales reps, June is a big money-making month! You should start to reap the rewards of all of your hard work and capitalize on the lessons you’ve learned thus far. And if applied, these 4 suggestions will contribute significantly to your success.
It seems as though human nature drives us to avoid the uncomfortable. In fact, corporations spend thousands of dollars creating and analyzing survey results that query customer experiences in order to provide them an experience of total satisfaction.
Are customer surveys making us soft? If things don’t go perfectly are we inclined to complain and demand retribution?
For door-to-door sales reps, our days rarely go as planned. Appointments fall through. Days we feel energized and motivated are bursting with torrential downpours. Customers change their minds and cancel. We work the entire day without a single sale to show for it. It’s almost a certainty that every day our plans don’t play out perfectly.
A friend of mine served in the Marines and related several unfavorable conditions he had to endure while spending time in the Middle East. His squad adopted a saying to help them tolerate the miserable conditions:
EMBRACE THE SUCK
Successful door-to-door sales reps learn to embrace the suck. Appointments will fall through, rain will pour, customers will cancel, people will be rude and days without sales are almost certain. Nevertheless, each of us can choose how to respond to these events. Will we learn from them and use them to better ourselves, or will we let these experiences erode our confidence and make us feel sorry for ourselves?
Being uncomfortable isn’t a bad thing…it allows us the opportunity to adapt and problem solve. The essence of door-to-door sales is learning from each sales opportunity and incorporating what was learned at the next door.
In my 17 years of experience, I know as well as anybody that the door-to-door sales experience can suck. However, I also know that learning how to embrace the suck has helped me to outlast adverse events on and off the doors. Life isn’t about learning how to avoid problems, it’s about learning how to deal with them.
Why do some door-to-door sales reps have a knack for getting the cops called on them while others rarely happen upon law enforcement officials?
Last week a team of 4 door-to-door sales reps began working in the same city and after the first day one of the sales reps prompted a person he spoke with to write a negative review about the company he represented because door-to-door solicitation was prohibited in the city. Then, just a few days later this same sales rep was escorted out of a neighborhood by a police officer after one of his contacts called the police about a solicitor in the area. Conversely, in the same time frame and same area, the other 3 members of the team hadn’t experienced any complaints and in fact, had been consistently making sales.
I was able to observe this team in action and noticed quickly the difference in approaches by the 3 who were making sales versus the 1 who was getting bombarded with bad experiences. Most of the homes in the city were adorned with ‘No Soliciting’ signs which made it blatantly obvious that door-to-door solicitors had worn out the welcome mat of these residents. Thus, it became imperative to come across as a messenger of good news rather than a solicitor of goods.
I was impressed with one of the sales reps who, after introducing himself, name dropping and explaining why he was there, said, “I really like this neighborhood, everybody is so friendly here.” This statement almost forced his contacts to be friendly and join the bandwagon of neighbors who were welcoming him to their homes.
In Chapter 9 of Door-to-Door Millionaire a section titled “No Soliciting Signs” shares 4 suggestions for approaching potential customers in areas where door-to-door solicitation is frowned upon. In fact, sales reps can’t go wrong by using these techniques in any area. These steps are critical in order to lessen the likelihood of irritating residents to the point of them calling the police and/or posting negative reviews about the company you represent.
As I have indicated in my book, “You can be asked to leave a neighborhood several times, but you can only be kicked out once.” By following my suggestions you will come across less of a salesperson and more of a messenger, which in turn will keep you in neighborhoods longer and minimize your encounters with the police.
No matter if you are an experienced door-to-door salesperson or are preparing to knock doors for the first time, important door-to-door sales techniques can be learned from a transcendent scene in the movie Napoleon Dynamite.
The scene I’m referring to can be viewed here:
It’s easy to notice the contrasting sales styles of Deb and Rex. Deb is overtly timid in her speech, her eye contact is minimal and she gives up quickly when Napoleon offers an objection. Rex on the other hand is loud, maintains constant eye contact and comes across as supremely confident.
Effective door-to-door salespeople fall somewhere between the spectrum of these two styles. Too much confidence can come across as cockiness and too little confidence comes across as weakness. You should be confident in what you are selling and believe that your product or service is capable of helping every person you approach.
Each potential customer you attempt to sell will have objections…therefore it’s critical that you don’t give up once an objection surfaces. Expect objections but handle them as though you’ve heard them over and over again.
Finally, make sure your nonverbal communication is comfortable for the people you are trying to sell. Your eye contact, body position and hand movements should aid the sales process…not hinder it.
One final observation to note about Deb and Rex’s sales approaches is that they both offer discounts for their goods and services. Which, as I have indicated in Door-to-Door Millionaire, is one of the four points of an effective initial approach. For more on effective initial approaches, review Chapter 6, Forty-Five Seconds.
Best of luck in your ‘flippin’ door-to-door adventures!
Are you about to go and make thousands of dollars this summer knocking doors? The last thing you want to do after a long drive to your summer sales destination is make an emergency trip to the nearest Wal-Mart at 2am and spend a couple hundred bucks on items you should have packed. Worse than that, forgetting to pack some things may in fact stifle your opportunity to make big bucks selling door to door. Being comfortable and prepared will increase your earnings and make your whole experience better. Here are a few essentials you don’t want to overlook.
First, bring appropriate clothing for all types of weather. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t always respect the “summer” in “summer sales.” I’ve literally knocked doors in blizzards in May. Many parts of the country will experience inches of rain, where knocking in the rain is critical to success. Packing a warm jacket, rain resistant wind breaker and an umbrella will be beneficial. I’d recommend a few long sleeve shirts, pants and if the city you are knocking in calls for it, gloves and a beanie. There’s nothing worse than having to quit knocking doors because you’re not dressed properly. Most of the summer will be spent in polo shirts and shorts, but there will be days when you’ll be glad you packed clothing for precipitation and cooler temperatures. Also, make sure you take care of your feet with appropriate footwear. You’ll also want to throw in a can of bug spray and a bottle of sunscreen – you’ll use both.
Second, ask your manager about your summer living arrangements. You will most likely be living in an apartment, and if so I’d highly recommend bringing dishes/silverware, pots/pans, iron/ironing board, bedding, toilet paper, a trash can and a shower curtain. Don’t forget to bring kitchen items you use like toasters and blenders, though microwaves and other appliances are usually there. Packing light is tempting, and you can always get by without some of these things, but believe me, it gets old. You’ll enjoy life more if you are more comfortable, and that will lead to more sales! Of course you can buy all of these things when you arrive at your destination, but that costs you more money, takes more time, and leaves you less comfortable…ever tried showering without a shower curtain? Also, check your route and be prepared with some small bills and change for toll roads.
Here’s to hoping this will help you as you pack; but most importantly, help you to focus on doing your job and being successful…good luck this summer!