red flag

With the inevitability of summer right around the corner, so too is the inescapable decision you must make concerning who you will knock doors for once you’ve completed your final exams.

Nowadays there are an overabundance of companies that hire door-to-door salespeople…which makes your decision on choosing which one to work for all the more difficult.

For 16 years I’ve observed trends of companies employing door-to-door salespeople which indicate if a sales rep is likely to have a bad experience and possibly not get paid for what they have earned. The following are red-flags that you should be aware of when determining what company to knock doors for this summer.

  • Red-Flag #1: How many sales reps are being hired per office? I recently met with a couple of prospective salesman for my own company and explained the differences between the opportunity to work for me versus another reputable company. As it turned out, the other company was hiring 30 sales reps in a city versus my company only hiring 15 sales reps for a city of comparable size. Many times companies that hire large sales teams are planning on a number of those they hire to quit. Kind of like the Hunger Games of door-to-door salespeople. If a company is overstaffing a market they are planning on attrition which means your decision to quit is playing right into their business model. Find a company where every sales rep is valued.
  •  Red-Flag #2: More sales reps generally equals less quality training. In direct relation to Red-Flag #1, company’s that hire large sales teams typically don’t have the infrastructure to provide quality training to each of its sales reps. Being that I’m the best option for training in my company, we never hire more sales reps than I have time to personally train before the summer and on the doors during the summer. The company you choose to work for should provide you with excellent trainers and training. Don’t settle for a watered-down version of training, your success as a sales rep should matter to your company as much as it matters to you.
  • Red-Flag #3: Who’s recruiting you? Be leery of companies that hire recruiters who have no ties to you once the summer begins. If your recruiter isn’t your manager or an owner in the company, they may only be interested in getting your signature and not your overall experience or success. Recruiters are notorious for painting the perfect picture of what your summer will consist of…lots of fun, sun and money. However, their omission of explaining the challenges and struggles of the job will not be appreciated once you realize these difficulties on your own. Recruiters get paid to recruit, managers and owners get paid when you perform.
  • Red-Flag #4: Was the hiring process too easy? Similar to Red-Flag #3, if a company hires you without a formal interview then they are probably just looking for warm bodies to fill positions. This mindset is common for company’s that hire large sales teams and plan on a certain percentage of sales reps quitting either before or during the summer. Company’s that are truly invested in your success will carefully and thoroughly interview you before offering you a job.
  • Red-Flag #5: Is the pay plan transparent? Before making your final decision on who you will work for, you must have a complete understanding of how the pay plan/commission structure works and specifically how chargebacks work. Chargebacks are commissions charged backed to sales reps if their customers cancel their agreement or refuse to pay for service. Some companies charge back a sales rep’s entire commissions, others only charge back a portion of commissions and some don’t charge back any commissions. Companies use their own discretion to determine if a customer is unlikely to pay for services depending on how delinquent they are on their payment. One company may chargeback accounts that are 30 days delinquent, while another company may only chargeback accounts that are 90 days or more delinquent. These numbers are subjective for each company so it is vital that you know exactly how chargebacks are determined. You should also pay close attention to the average contract value listed on the compensation plan. This number is often inflated and shows unlikely earnings based on selling a certain number of accounts.
  • Red-Flag #6: The sexy pick. To stand out and make themselves known in an industry, some companies use pomp and swag to make them appear to be the best option. Sales reps should realize that the dollars spent on this type of advertising is taking away from commission dollars that they will be earning. Sometimes it’s the sexy picks that end up not paying its sales reps because they’ve went over budget on their marketing ploys.

There is no question that you have a difficult decision to make…so don’t make it without doing your homework. You should know how long a company has been hiring door-to-door sales teams and talk with former salespeople of that company. Google reviews can also help you to decide whether or not the company you are considering will be a good fit for you.

If you have specific questions or comments you are welcome to click, ‘Contact Me’ at the top of this page and I’d be happy to respond. Best of luck in finding the right company for you and in your success this summer!

December 2013


Earlier this month, Bill Porter, a legendary door-to-door salesman passed away at the age of 81. ABC’s 20/20, the prime time news magazine program, put together a feature story on Bill Porter in the late 90’s that changed my attitude and determination to becoming a successful door-to-door salesman.

The story can be viewed here on YouTube:

My favorite Bill Porter quote in the piece was when he responded to Bob Brown’s statement of dealing with rejection. Bill said, “You realize it’s the job, it doesn’t bother me.” Wouldn’t it be great if everybody had a similar attitude…just because your offerings or ideas aren’t accepted, shouldn’t mean that you become offended or feel that what you have to offer is less significant.

Throughout my years as a door-to-door salesman I would watch this piece as a reminder of how fortunate I was to be knocking doors and providing for my family. No matter how difficult of a day I was having, I would reflect on Bill’s story which served as an inspiration of resolution despite restrictions.

Tom Hallman Jr., The Oregonian reporter who originally wrote Bill’s story, stated so perfectly, “I think all of us want to think we have a little bit of Bill Porter in us. That’s one of Bill’s great features, is he’s a man really unspoiled by the times. This is a man from a different era, working in a world that really didn’t need a man like Bill Porter but what the world needs is not what Bill Porter is selling but Bill Porter himself.”

Thanks Bill…Rest In Peace.

December 2013

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when a messenger delivered news that the receiving party was opposed to, the innocent messenger would frequently be tortured or put to death.

Shakespeare expressed the saying “Don’t shoot the messenger” in his plays Henry IV, Part 2 (1598) and Antony and Cleopatra (1623).

When a messenger tells Cleopatra that Antony has married another, she threatens to treat the messenger’s eyes as balls. Prior to that, Sophocles expressed a related sentiment in Antigone: “No one loves the messenger who brings bad news.”

On the contrary, messengers bringing good news are celebrated, but unfortunately door-to-door sales reps are stereotyped as being messengers of bad news. Thus, being identified as a messenger of good news, instead of a door-to-door salesperson increases the probability of being received favorably. In my experience as a door-to-door salesman, I’ve received the praises of many customers:

“You’re such a great salesman!”

“You really talked us into it.”

“I just can’t say no to you.”

Although great to hear, none of these compliments can compare to the compliment of all compliments, the ultimate compliment for door-to-door sales reps:

“I’m sure glad you weren’t one of those door-to-door salespeople.”

When a customer expresses this sentiment, the sales rep should be commended for comprehending the Secret Sauce of Success. Once customers don’t recognize you as a door-to-door salesperson, you have officially become a professional door-to-door salesperson. Strive to receive the ultimate compliment.

Find out how to become a model messenger and not a stereotypical salesperson in Chapter 3 of Door-to-Door Millionaire.

November 2013

Immediately after making eye contact with a potential customer, the forty-five-second clock begins. This is how much time you have as a sales rep to communicate, both verbally and nonverbally, a compelling statement that will earn you more time with a potential customer. These precious seconds, known as an initial approach, will either make or break the sale.

Forty-five seconds is long enough to prove that what you are selling can bring value to the person standing in front of you but short enough to keep their attention and not allow them enough time to think of a reason to reject your offer. By keeping the initial approach brief, you also show respect for the potential customer’s time, and you demonstrate how valuable your time is as well.

Sales reps must stay on task and only share the pertinent information that will assist them in determining whether their time is best spent with the person standing in front of them. There are four components to an effective initial approach…these components are identified and defined in Chapter 6 of Door-to-Door Millionaire.

October 2013


Several weeks ago I was contacted by a producer of a television program that airs on CBC, Canada’s largest national news network. Marketplace, a consumer protection program which has aired on CBC for 41 seasons, will be airing an episode on the psychology of persuasion used by door-to-door salespeople (Knock It Off) and called me in to be their ‘expert’ on the topic.

I’m not blind to the fact that there are many door-to-door salespeople who use deceitful and fraudulent tactics to generate sales. In fact, a few of these tactics will be revealed on the show. However, I not only hoped to expose these tactics, but to also help consumers realize that not all door-to-door salespeople are crooks.

As my book, Door-to-Door Millionaire describes in detail, there are a great deal of legitimate sales strategies, that if used correctly, can convince others into buying whatever it is you are selling. It boils down to what you say, how you say it, and even what you don’t say that makes all the difference.

I suspect that Marketplace will effectively and subjectively portray to its viewers how to accurately decipher the authentic door-to-door salespeople from the dishonest. I’m looking forward to watching!

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