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.