"Door to door (D2D) sales is one of the hardest ways to make a living". "Why would you want to go into that"? "Aren't you afraid of walking up to a stranger's home and try to sell them? That's annoying as hell". These are some of the things I was told or heard when I decided to take a job selling internet services D2D. I did it for a month but in the month I learned a TON. It's true that there is a negative stigma around D2D sales. Most people think it's a waste of time/irrelevant in today's society with the amount of sophisticated tech that we have in our hands (Internet, social media, etc.). Still, I chose to pursue it because I wanted to experience it 1st hand. YOU won't know for sure if you like something until you try it. Here are 10 things I learned while selling D2D!! You will find them helpful if you are considering a career in D2D sales.
#1: D2D Sales & Marketing is still a relevant way to build your brand/business!
Most people think that D2D is no longer relevant in our world today. However, to most people's surprise, it still packs a punch. Here's why:
It's tough to beat face to face interaction. The act of having someone come to your front door and interact is so rare, that it makes it much more memorable in today's world. You certainly retain more info than passively scrolling through a social media feed or browsing through the internet.
Even if you don't get an answer, you can leave some marketing material or contact info at their front door. When they get home they'll see it and say "WTH is this? Someone left this here at my front door"? It throws some people off that it stimulates their interest.
A lot of the older generations and retired folks grew up with D2D salesmen coming to their homes on a relatively regular basis. They are more open to this kind of selling. They also may not be very tech savvy, so online sales & marketing may miss this enormous population.
If what you are offering is legit and has real value, people will buy or agree to help.
#2: It doesn't take long to develop thick skin!
The amount of rejection is like the amount of crap people produce in one year lol. Seriously though, it's a lot. You may encounter people who view it as a sin to come to their home and try to sell them without an invitation. You may here some vocabulary that you'll think you enlisted in the Navy (Sailor's mouth haha). Rejection is a HUGE part of D2D sales so you quickly learn to not take it personal and know that people are less upset with you/who you are and more upset with the situation (Being sold to, without invitation, and at their home.) I personally had a man tell me to get off his property and shooed me away to leave.
#3: Most people are automatically on Guard!
A person's home is like a huge castle with imaginary guards that are supposed to keep D2D salesmen away. A person's home is their safe haven. It's a place where they can relax. It's a place where they should not have to worry about strangers coming over to bother them or worse, try to sell them. When you are considered an intruder, not everyone is welcoming and most people are on guard. En Garde!! The 1st things people are asking themselves ( Which YOU MUST answer right off the bat) are:
Who are you?
Why are you here?
How long will you be here?
What do you want?
#4: If your offering (Product or Service) is crap, its gonna be a tough time selling!
Your offering must provide real value. If is does not, good luck. It's hard enough to sell, but now you have to add that selling people at their homes when you are not expected or invited. If you do not believe in your offering, people will see through that. If you are an honest person, you will feel bad trying to sell them something that is not in their best interest. Here are a couple of red flags (Which I experienced) that will let you know your offering in NOT valuable:
If you yourself wouldn't buy your offering
If your coworkers don't use/own what you are selling
If you or your coworkers use/own/prefer a competitor's offering
If your company's reputation is in the dirt (Tarnished)
#5: You will encounter all kinds of people!
You'll encounter all kinds of people from all ends of the spectrum such as: strange to normal, mean to nice, and anti-social to chatter boxes. To put it one way, you'll encounter the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. For example, I had one person talk about every conspiracy theory in the book of conspiracies, one told me about how their mother murdered their father in front of them, and another one tell me about how they were tired of their new puppy chewing on their furniture lol. You see and hear some wild things. You see and hear it all.
#6: I learned to check the weather regularly!
If you are going to be outside driving and walking, it is important to check the weather. You have to prepare for what's coming. Depending on the day, the weather may be burning hot or freezing cold. Also, it may be pouring with rain or snowing like a blizzard. Make sure to check the weather forecast. I did not enjoy having to knock on a rainy day.
#7: If you see a "Beware of Dog" or "No Trespassing" Sign... DO NOT KNOCK!
This one should be pretty easy, but you would be surprised how many people have knocked without noticing the sign. It should be one of the first things you look for before you decide to knock on a door. Like I mentioned before, not all people are friendly or welcoming to strangers. D2D salesmen have had residents call the police on them and others have been attacked by dogs because they failed to respect people's preferences. Still you never know because I was chased by multiple dogs and was bit by one (Small Chihuahua but hey it still hurt lol) who were "friendly".
#8: You become a better communicator!
After knocking on hundreds of doors and have had a ton of interactions with people, you start to see certain trends. You also become better at reading body language. You'll notice facial expressions, movements, and the tones of voice people use. People tell you more with their body language than they do with their spoken words. You'll be able to see whose lying, nervous, or at ease. You also start to see how your own body language and communication affects an interaction. It can make or break the sale. I am grateful for all the interaction I had and the improvement in my communication skills.
#9: People will do or say anything to get you to go away!
Some people just don't like being sold to. You could even offer them something valuable, but because they don't like being sold to, they won't give you the time of day and want you gone as soon as you knock. They will do some clever yet pretty ridiculous things (Lies a lot of the time) like have their kid call them so they "have to take this important call" or say "I'm happy with my current service/price" even if they haven't given themselves the opportunity to hear a possibly better option. At the end of the day, it's understandable. If they are not interested, then move on to the next house and thank them for their time.
#10: If your offering is legit, then you can sell successfully!
When I say legit, I mean that your offering must provide real value. As I mentioned before, selling is already hard, but selling D2D is even harder because your are intruding to a certain extent. If your offering can help your customer solve a problem they have (or solve one they may not know they have), help them save money on an existing service, or helps them contribute to a worthwhile cause, then you'll do great. Here are some offerings that decently (Still difficult but easier to sell than others) sell D2D are:
Home Security Systems
Pest Control Services
Foods, tools, or other items that are convenient and saves people time from having to go to the store
Well there you have it. 10 things I learned as a D2D salesman. Again, these things are based on my personal experience selling internet services D2D. I only did it for a month as I did not believe in my offering, got chased by dogs (Got bit by one), and my family also were fearful for my safety. It's not for everyone and that's a fact. However, you won't be for sure unless you try it. I tried it and found that there were some things I loved (Still love) about the job and others that I disliked. The experience itself is life altering and I encourage you to try it (Unless some of these things I mentioned are non-negotiable for you). There are some people who despise D2D sales as well as people who make over $100,000/year selling D2D. At the end of the day, we are all different and have different tastes in our work preferences. Hope this helps you decide if you are on the fence whether or not D2D sales is for you!