Having been in the door-to-door sales industry since 1998, I’ve come to understand there are several guarantees in the world of door-to-door sales.
One guarantee is that more often than not, sales reps will claim to be hard workers.
Last week one of my sales reps started knocking doors and sold 4 accounts his first 3 days knocking, which isn’t too bad. He seemed to incorporate the preseason training and was likely headed for a successful summer.
Eight months earlier, when being interviewed for the job, this sales rep, as with most others, claimed to be incredibly hard working and would be willing to do whatever it took to be successful.
Then Saturday happened.
After knocking for 7 hours and not getting a sale, this rep called it quits. Not for the day, for the forever!
He claimed that people were rude to him and that he didn’t like the job, so he bought a plane ticket and flew home.
Granted, this isn’t the first sales rep (nor will it be the last) that claims to be a hard worker, and then tucks tail and goes home when the going gets tough.
In my nearly 20 years of experience interviewing door-to-door sales reps, I suspect well over 80% claim to be hard working. So how do you determine a true hard worker from a faux one?
- Work Experience: if the depth of the sales rep’s work experience has been taking out the garbage once a day, it’s likely the hard work required as a door-to-door sales rep will be a rude awakening.
- Competitive Background: has the potential sales rep been involved in sports or other competitive environments that will lead them to pushing harder when those around them are working hard? It’s typical for former athletes to push themselves to be better than their competition.
- Future Aspirations: if a sales rep wants to be a computer programmer (no offense to programmers) the work experience as a door-to-door sales rep may not be too appealing. Face-to-face interaction may not be a skill set they will need to develop for their career. Thus, look to hire sales reps that will benefit from learning sales and communication skills for their future endeavors.
At the end of the day, door-to-door sales is tough! It requires hard work and thick skin to be successful. As you interview potential candidates for the position, be sure to offer positions to those that will turn out to truly be hard workers.
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