Door-to-door sales sometimes gets a bad reputation due to pushy salespeople and thoughts surrounding how it could interrupt everyday life. Aside from the few bad apples out there, these strategies have brought major success for hundreds of years. Even nowadays, selling door to door is still a beneficial way to get new leads, develop a customer base, and boost your company’s bottom line.
After Forbes claimed in 2011 that door-to-door sales was one of the top 10 dying career paths, it has since skyrocketed and remained a huge industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it has seen as much as 34% year-over-year growth in the past decade.
What is door-to-door sales (D2D sales)?
Door-to-door sales, also known as D2D, is a common tactic for sales, advertising, and marketing, where representatives approach a target audience in their own homes/offices. These D2D reps promote and educate people about the products and services they have to offer in an effort to achieve direct sales.
In some cases, a door-to-door salesperson will also provide the option to schedule a follow-up appointment that is convenient for the potential customer. This allows them to return at a convenient time when they can discuss the sales offering in more detail.
What is a door-to-door salesman?
Anyone who practices any type of D2D sales is considered a door-to-door salesman or saleswoman. These individuals are knowledgeable of the systems, services, or products they sell, ensuring they can answer any questions or concerns that a potential client may have. This is accomplished through clear education and successful on-the-job training.
While the phrase “door-to-door” may sound fairly specific to knocking on doors in local neighborhoods, recent years have seen other strategies like telemarketing fall under this general term as well.
Advantages of door-to-door selling
The benefits of selling door to door range from perks of market research to making the process simpler for the potential customer. Building relationships has become a crucial part of selling and advertising, which can be much easier when a salesperson speaks to someone face-to-face.
When you show a prospect your product or details about your service in person, they’ll be able to see its functionality and get a clear idea of the benefits it offers. They’ll be more likely to become a paying customer if they can better understand how it will help them.
Even if they choose not to buy it during the first visit, they can be added to a customer base and follow-up with at a later date.
The major advantages of door-to-door marketing also extend to the personal touch it provides. D2D salespeople can adapt their approach to the individual they’re speaking with as they underline the selling points that person cares about. This will set a company apart from the competition as it gives the potential customer a firsthand experience they will remember.
Types of door to door sales
As the industry has grown, door-to-door sales techniques have shifted with the changing times. New strategies and tactics are always being integrated into pitches, making representatives more likely to see success and make sales.
Examples of B2C and B2B industries that use D2D sales
- Solar & energy
- Cable, internet, security & alarm systems
- Pest Control, landscaping & construction
- Roofing & storm damage
- Merchant services
- Medical & insurance sales
- Furniture & appliances
What is the success rate of door-to-door sales?
The average number of conversions from D2D sales is 2% of leads, though efficient sales reps will see much higher rates. While this may sound low, a quick look at how the numbers could stack up may help you get a better idea of how this looks.
As an example, you could hire five sales representatives and have each of them knock on a minimum of 200 doors per day. That equals an average of 1,000 doors and potential customers they’re speaking with on a daily basis.
5 sales reps x 200 doors x 2% conversion rate = 20 new customers per day
These are good numbers but there are also strategies a door-to-door salesperson can use to capture more of the remaining 98%.
Door to door sales tips
Develop strong product knowledge
When it comes to being a good door-to-door salesman, each representative must have a working knowledge of the product or service they are promoting. Without a clear picture of its impact, the rep won’t be able to answer questions or determine whether an individual could truly benefit from purchasing the product in the first place. While training is important to this tip, people going door to door in an attempt to sell something should stay up-to-date on current events with their company.
Knowing things about industry news or recent updates could provide opportunities for a salesperson to speak with a prospect about something they may have seen or heard about from the media. It will show the potential customer that they’re engaged and educated in the field but also an authority that knows the most recent information.
Research your leads
Depending on the details available for the leads you receive, looking into these individuals presents a tremendous opportunity to find a key to the sale. Tools like social media are hugely beneficial for D2D sales as they provide an inside look at who a person is and what they’re interested in.
Representatives can then discuss topics related to those interests and engage the prospect with information that they care about. This goes back to the need for a personal touch that so many consumers crave from companies and brands nowadays.
Create a persona profile of your best customers
Before selling door to door, it’s a good practice to understand as much as you can about the people you’re trying to reach. There are many great resources a business can turn to when developing its buyer personas. But the process can be as simple as answering a handful of questions about potential customers:
- What are their goals and aspirations?
- What problems do they have?
- Where do they turn for answers to their questions or problems?
- What publications do they read?
- What media do they listen to?
- What’s the best way to contact them?
- What type of media or promotional materials will appeal to them?
Getting answers to questions like these will allow a company to create clear personas that make it easier for sales reps to tell if an individual is likely to buy the product or service.
Understand your customer’s pain points
The word “pain” is considered one of the most essential terms when it comes to convincing a person that they should purchase a product or service. Their pain could be physical, mental, emotional, or even situational depending on the problem they’re facing.
Regardless of the issue, people will always be looking for solutions that will heal their pain and take away the discomfort they’re feeling one way or another. That means when doing D2D sales, there must be a set pain point and a visual answer to remedy that problem.
One of the best door-to-door sales strategies is to determine where your representatives’ time will be most efficient. Your schedulers and route planners will need to understand which prospects are most likely to become your customers. That will rarely include every residence or business office in your sales territory.
Your priorities should focus on a much smaller group of people who are open to and looking for the kinds of services and solutions that your company provides. Also known as a target market, this will include considering the demographics of the people you want to reach. That means everything from age range and income level to their education and employment.
Practice & perfect your sales pitch
Consumers are smarter than they’ve ever been before. They aren’t going to fall for a routine sales pitch that was made to be a one-size-fits-all approach. While a pitch should be practiced and rehearsed, it should also include adaptations to specific scenarios as they arise. An effective door-to-door sales technique is switching things up when there is a realization that the usual routine isn’t working.
Salespeople need to break down their pitches into various parts and phrases they can turn to throughout the conversation with a potential client. If someone has a question or is hesitant about something, there should be an answer ready and waiting to overcome that speed bump.
Practice with a co-worker
While there has long been a saying of “practice makes perfect”, a better way of looking at it is that “practice makes progress”. And progress can be made when working closely with a co-worker who is already experienced and finding success in door-to-door sales.
Most companies will allow their employees to shadow salespeople who are getting good numbers on a consistent basis. As newcomers take notes and learn the tactics that work, they’re more likely to recreate the same results. At the same time, training with a fellow D2D salesperson could help someone learn what not to do and situations to avoid as they transition into their own routine.
The world seems to be moving faster every day and people are consistently becoming more conscious of their time. When knocking on doors or speaking with someone at a business office, it is crucial to be brief and concise but also to get the message across.
Any steps someone can take to be more direct and share their pitch as quickly as possible will make the customer feel that the salesperson is aware and respectful of their time. Getting the words out, while also being genuine and kind, will win major points in the eyes of any prospect. It makes it easier for them to make a decision and determine whether there is value to buying the product or service that is being offered to them.
Connect with your prospect
We’ve already discussed the personal touch when it comes to sales, but truly connecting with someone is something else entirely. Having a pitch with a personal touch is directed to a general audience. Connecting with someone is focused on creating a one-on-one relationship with the prospect.
This extends to understanding who the potential client is aside from the details in the typical buyer person. Asking them questions and getting to know who they are as a person will give any sales meeting a renewed sense of humanity. Among the most effective door-to-door sales tips, the more connected a person feels to a salesman or saleswoman, the better the chances that they’ll sign on the dotted line.
Practice overcoming objections in the sales process
Any salesperson will tell you the most common word they hear is “no”. At the same time, one of their least favorite words is “but”.
“That sounds like a great deal … but …”
Many consumers are naturally inclined to refuse any sales-related pitch without giving it a second thought. However, the ones that will listen to a follow-up response are the ones that could be led to an alternate answer in the end.
Part of learning how to be a good door-to-door salesman is recognizing the excuses or objections and steering the conversation in a different direction to overcome them. This may be a long list of refusal topics that have already been created or could be one that is built over time as new responses are heard from day to day.
Plan your sales route
Getting more sales greatly depends on efficiency and proper planning ahead of time. That concept trickles all the way down to confirming representatives have clearly-defined routes that take them to the right prospects as quickly as possible. Getting these processes down will ensure sales reps spend more time with prospects rather than in the car driving all over the city.
The portatour® app is the right tool for this job as the top route planning software available on the web. Companies, salespeople, and beyond can use it to get an overview of their territory and schedule their plans each and every day.
Check out our free 30-day route planner trial today and find out how portatour® can impact your business.
Create impactful leave-behind materials
Getting a paper, flyer, business card, or another material into a potential customer’s hand is often one of the most important aspects of turning a cold lead into a warm one.
Even if they say no the first time, they’ll take the promotional information with them and might put it on their desk, counter, refrigerator, or somewhere else within view. That means they’re indirectly being reminded from time to time of something that they may find they need at a later date.
Create a webpage for door-to-door prospects
Many consumers like to research things themselves, rather than take a stranger’s word that a product or service is worthwhile. The best way to accomplish this is by having a website readily available where people can get a clear understanding of what is offered and what a brand is all about. Having this resource as part of door-to-door selling will have many long-term benefits.
Tailor to every stage of the buyer journey
There are numerous versions of the buyer journey that have been created and adapted to various industries over the years. One of the most popular examples has five separate stages:
Through each of these steps, consumers have specific requirements and processes that will lead them to the next. This all starts with the first point of contact and then progresses all the way until they become a loyal follower that advocates for the brand.
Whether a door-to-door salesperson is collaborating with a brand new lead or a long-time customer, they should understand how to emphasize and focus on their direct needs.
Follow up & nurture your leads
After visiting with a new lead, use a tool like portatour® to write a report for yourself to keep your notes organized. Our applications will allow the categorization of leads into A/B/C order.
Door-to-door salespeople can set a shorter visit interval for a follow-up visit for higher potential leads. With practice and expertise, reps will find the right timing for these second or third appointments. portatour® can set a one-time 7-day interval or a longer one and the customer will appear automatically on the calendar in a convenient slot.
Time to start selling
It’s clear that door-to-door sales takes a great deal of time, training, and energy. But when managed properly, it can be an immensely rewarding sales tactic that will promote business growth and a better bottom line.
portatour® is the top-rated option when it comes to state-of-the-art automatic route planning for D2D sales, consulting, service providers, and beyond.
Start your free 30-day trial today and see what portatour® can do for your organization.