Is door to door selling dead? Not by a long shot. In fact, this sales tactic is growing. From 2013 to 2014, U.S. retail sales in the direct selling channel increased 5.5%, bringing in an estimated $34.47 billion, an industry record high. You may try to dismiss this tactic as dated and ineffective, but the fact remains: this is a $34 billion industry still on the rise.
Which Industries Should Use This Approach?
For some, door to door is clearly the best option. For instance, if a neighborhood experiences severe weather, salespeople can go door to door to address repair needs for the houses. For other industries, door to door sales are often overlooked. However, nothing works better than an actual person having a conversation with a potential customer.
Consumers are bombarded with marketing information, but a face to face encounter carries more weight than a media message. Most people will answer with a resounding, “NO!” if you ask whether they like someone coming to their house to sell them something. Yet, people buy from door to door sales people all the time. Think of all the Girl Scout cookies, solar panels, or alarm systems purchased this way.
What Skills Are Needed to Sell Door to Door?
For door-to-door sales to work to their potential, the salesperson must have strong conversational skills. Unfortunately, it’s becoming harder and harder to find someone with those skills. Millennials don’t have the conversation skills of previous generations. They’re great at communicating through a chat window or via text, but haven’t cultivated the ability to talk to a stranger and build rapport.
The good news is, anyone can learn the skills needed to be a salesperson. The obstacle lies in the practice. Inevitably, there will be uncomfortable days and unreceptive customers who make going to the next door just a little more difficult. Tracking adds a layer of accountability to this process, providing a little more motivation for overcoming those obstacles.
3 Ways to Use Tracking in Door to Door Sales
Tracking sales eliminates the frustrations involved in sales reports. It also boosts effectiveness of sales. These three main components go a long way in improving the success rate of direct selling.
1. Report GPS
If you have an app that reports GPS, you can accomplish two goals with one tool. First, the app tracks each location a salesperson visits, without having to enter data into a spreadsheet. Second, with the click of a button, the salesperson can report who they spoke with and if the prospect was interested or not.
2. Report Time
Whether you use commission or time as your pay structure, you need to track the hours involved with the sales. The old method, paper, lacks validity, but if you have a GPS-stamped app that reports time, there’s no longer a question of reliability.
Some may argue that it doesn’t matter if a salesperson falsifies their time in a commission only structure. If they don’t sell anything, you don’t pay. However, if you have the facts, you can coach your team towards success. You can use the data of top salespersons to teach those with lower numbers, and in the process, raise the success of the whole team.
3. Use Automated Tools for Follow-Up
In the reality of door to door sales, sometimes people just aren’t home. When that happens, an app like CallProof enables you to follow up with those you missed with the click of a button. You can create custom connections between the app and your fulfillment house for follow-up. So if you miss a face-to-face sale, you can make contact with them in a different form, like a mail out.
We understand door to door selling is old-school. It’s not that attractive at first look, but it’s effective. Tracking through an app like CallProof enhances this effectiveness and gives you a bigger piece of that 34 billion dollar pie.