How to Master Door-to-Door Sales in 2018

How to Master Door-to-Door Sales in 2018 (2)

Door-to-door sales isn’t what it used to be… or is it?

In the past 25 years, technology has changed (to say the least). We have the internet. We communicate via Facebook, LinkedIn, email, and web forms. But before all this, we relied on good ol’ conversation. Back in the day, you didn’t get the best deal out of the phone book, so you needed relationships.

Now that we have more virtual storefronts and fewer brick-and-mortar stores, is door-to-door sales still a viable strategy?

Absolutely! But you’ll need to look at your industry to determine how prevalent its role should be in your marketing approach.

Selling Products Vs. Services

What you sell determines how effective the door-to-door strategy can be for you. Door-to-door marketing has value for everyone — but how much value depends on your industry.

Actual products tend to sell better door-to-door than services. Here’s why. The people you meet when you stop by — the receptionist or the office manager — make decisions about commodities. If you’re selling a commodity, you’ll likely meet the decision-maker if you drop by. They can look at the price you offer compared to what they’re paying and make the choice.

However, if you’re dealing with a principle-led sale, you need to talk to the CFO — who usually isn’t available without an appointment. When you drop by unannounced, you won’t get far with the office manager on these decisions. They just don’t have the authority to make the purchase.

Top Industries for Door-to-Door Sales

Door-to-door sales also works well in places that haven’t changed much with the times. It’s not that they’re resistant to change; it’s that the industry relies on traditional customer relationships. They’re used to face-to-face communication and place great value in it.

Medical Equipment

Purchases in a doctor’s office rely on consistent interaction. Doctors are used to lunch-and-learns. Vendors bring in lunch and teach them about new products, treatments, or pharmaceuticals. Doctors and their staff are used to talking to people in person about potential purchases.

Plus, most doctor’s offices don’t rely on email the same way other industries do. Why? Because spam filters filter out lots of clinical content. There are also liabilities involved in sending medical information electronically. So, if you’re trying to sell medical equipment, they still expect you to show up in person.

Are you a pharmacy rep? Check out “Why Pharmacy Reps Should Use a Sales Tracking App” for more ways to use door-to-door sales in your industry.

Car Dealerships

All business at a car dealership is client-facing. A car salesperson’s schedule is built for interruptions. If you handle auto financing, auto restyling, or another service for dealerships, stop by so you can talk to them in person. They’re used to it, and it works with their daily structure.

Grocery Stores

Grocery stores are another great market for the door-to-door approach. Click here for more info on selling food products to grocery stores (without competing on price).

Practical Tips for Marketing Door-to-Door

Whether you’re in an industry that thrives on door-to-door sales or you just use it occasionally, these five tips will help you make the most of your time.

1. Decide if it’s worth the effort

Think about what you’re selling. Will you see the decision-maker if you drop by? If you’re selling to the receptionist or the office manager, go for it! You’ll see them every time you stop in — that’s a 100% contact rate. But, if you need to speak to the CEO, you’re likely wasting your time.

2. Set a goal for each prospect

Each drop-in should help you reach a goal. This isn’t busy work.

  • Is your goal to get a name? If so, could you get that more quickly online or by phone?
  • Do you need to find out more about the gatekeeper? That may require a visit. Is there someone there you can speak with?

Have a clear objective before you walk in.

3. Work the numbers

How many people do you need to see for door-to-door marketing to be worth your time? Make sure the numbers add up before you make a visit.

4. Capitalize on proximity

How can you see multiple people in the shortest amount of time? Use your location to your advantage. You need a solution that shows you what’s near you so you can maximize your time. If you have an appointment on the West side of town, you need an app like CallProof to sort customers and prospects geographically. Then you can search for who’s nearby and drop by while you’re out.

5. Follow up

No drop-in is worthwhile if you don’t follow up. If you get a business card and enter it into your database, but don’t do anything else with it, you’ve wasted your time. You MUST follow up — and don’t let anything stop you from it. You have to close the loop for new contacts. Otherwise, it’s useless.

Door-to-door sales may still be around, but the days of going back to the office to update your CRM form with your notes are gone. With CallProof, you can speak your notes into your app as soon as you leave a business. Then you can click on a follow-up reminder so that you’ll actually do something with that information. This keeps your notes more accurate and your follow-up timely.

Sure, door-to-door sales is old-school, but when you use it well, it still works!

3 Tips For Tracking Door To Door Sales

tracking door to door sales

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.