Door to door sales is a challenging but potentially very rewarding career choice – but to make the most out of it, you need to know what you are doing.
When it comes to canvassing for business, you’re going to get a lot of knockbacks, but with our top tips you can maximise your success rate.
- Know the area
Be aware of the area you’re canvassing in – is it affluent? Are most of the breadwinners likely to be out at work? Is there a clear market for your product in the area.
Depending on what you are trying to sell, there are endless questions to ask yourself before you even knock on your first door, and especially if you’re selling double glazing or cavity wall insulation, you might be able to tell at a glance if certain houses have already had it installed.
- Set out your stall
It’s not always possible to spend any time in the area before your canvassing day, but if possible try to have some kind of a presence there.
For example, if you are working nearby, park your van where it can clearly be seen, especially if your company name is on the side; or put up banners and signs outside the house you are working on, if for example you are fitting solar panels or replacing plumbing inside.
All of these techniques get the neighbours peeking out to try and work out what’s happening at the house down the road, and eventually when you go door-to-door to try and pick up some more customers in the same area, many of them will be eager to talk to you about the work you are doing.
- Know your pitch
It’s important to adopt a conversational tone, in order to establish rapport with the person who answers the door to you, so try not to read out your script parrot-fashion.
That being said, you should at least know the details of what you are trying to sell, and be able to recall information in any order, as and when the person at the door asks you about it.
A more open-ended conversation has much better prospects of leading to a sale, as it gives the potential customer the chance to ask about the most relevant aspects of your product, and engages them in a discussion about the benefits of it too.
- Don’t waste time
Some salespeople try to establish rapport before even mentioning the product, by making small talk about the weather, the property or even what the person is wearing.
Humour and a friendly approach can help, but you shouldn’t waste the prospect’s time by spending too long before telling them why you are stood at their door.
Likewise, if they give you a firm no, walk away and move on to the next property. There’s no reason to take rejection personally when canvassing in this way, and no point wasting your time arguing with someone who just doesn’t want to buy anything from you.
- What happens next?
Be prepared for a yes or a no answer. If it’s a yes, know what information you want from the customer and whether you need to arrange an interview with them, get something in writing, take bank details and so on.
Even if it’s a no, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are hostile towards you or your company, so have business cards and leaflets to leave with anyone who’s genuinely interested, but just not ready to commit on the doorstep.
Remember, leaving a positive lasting impression can be as useful as making a sale right there and then, so don’t walk away too quickly if there’s a chance to leave some contact details with a possible future customer.