Door-to-Door Sales Techniques (or lack thereof)
I’ve noticed an increase (as predicted) in door-to-door sales over the past six months. As a small business owner and a consultant that works with companies to improve sales performance, you’d think I’d be really supportive of these guys. Instead, I have recently posted a “No Solicitors” sign over my door (which every salesperson chooses to ignore). So, why am I not supporting door-to-door sales? Because somebody is failing to train these people before they hit the street. OR, they’re training them really badly. Here’s a typical interaction:
Comes through the door, looking hesitant and generally sweaty.
“Hello?” the salesperson yells out if no one is at the front of the office.
“May I help you?” somebody in the office says.
“Yes, um, this is Bob (points to his mutually sweaty and oddly mute partner) and we are, um, with the Yellow Pages and are just going into businesses to see if you’re interested in any advertising with us because we, um, we have a special this month.”
“No thank you. We already have an ad in the Yellow Pages.”
“Okay – I’ll leave my card . . . .” (stands there awkwardly as if waiting for permission to leave)
“Okay, we’ve got your card. Thank you.”
“Do you have a card?” he asks awkwardly.
“Sure, here you go. Thanks . . .”
He turns quickly leaving Bob who isn’t sure what to do and finally shakes my hand, smiles, and stumbles out after his partner.
Here’s what’s door-to-door salespeople need to know about Small Business owners:
1. We have pride in our companies and don’t want them to smell like sweat. Wipe off your sweat before you come in the door.
2. Small business owners are busy. Let us know, immediately, how much time this visit will take. Better yet, schedule an appointment on another day and come back. We don’t really appreciate the interruption.
3. Speak up for Heaven’s sake. A fumbling entry makes you want to push the salesperson right back out the door. Come in with patience, with a smile, with your card, and with an immediate benefit.
4. There’s no need to have a partner that just stands there. It makes us small business owners nervous.
Script: Hi, I’m John and this is my partner Bob. I know you’re busy, so let me quickly tell you why we’re here and see if there’s a good time to set up a 10 minute appointment. We’re with the Yellow Pages, and are saving current customers money with a discount that can apply to your current advertising. The meeting will take 10 minutes tops. Is there a time that’s more convenient for you?
Use this technique and I might let you in. Otherwise, I’m locking my doors and you only get in if you have a pizza in hand.