At age 11 everyone wants toys. When I was 11 the toy was an electric scooter, and I had to have it. The little league I was in had a competition running, whoever could sell the most chocolate eggs would get $100, just enough for an electric scooter. I had to win – over the course of a week I spent every evening going door-to-door selling chocolate eggs, finishing with over $500 in sales (and winning the $100)
I still use what I learned in that week today in my sales, and I have much more confidence going into meetings and cold calling because of that experience. Door to door sales are amazing for your business, here’s why.
Get real-time feedback: Sales processes can take months, or sometimes years – but door to door you have one shot to get it done. The excuses that potential customer make are genuine and unscripted, there’s no committee coming up with rebuttals to your propositions before responding.
By understanding what people’s objections are in real time, you’ll be able to better anticipate the objections your prospects will come up with and nail them before they ever arise.
Get real no’s: When people do say no, you’ll have a reason why. It’s much more difficult to lie when you’re face to face with someone, and the reasons for failure will most likely be real.
It’s more difficult to tell a person no when they are staring you in the face (literally). When someone gives you a reason for not buying in person, you can use the why technique to quickly reach the heart of the issue and discover why they really aren’t buying. When doing traditional sales, asking why can take weeks to get an answer, and you might get no answer at all, just a no without an explanation.
Get real yes’s: One of the most valuable assets to a salesperson is knowing why. When you make a sales pitch in person you can create a jovial conversation. Get to know the person and figure out what their difficulties are.
All you have to do is ask “What are you struggling with?” and hopefully your product can somehow fit into the picture of the buyers’ needs. When you walk away with a sale, you’ll know exactly what need your product filled and why the purchaser pulled the trigger.
That information can be used in future sales, both offline and off. Instead of going into a meeting blindly throwing out benefits and features, you’ll know what problems people are struggling with and exactly how your product can help.
Get real questions: Despite the growing influence of the internet, 60% of people still feel more comfortable engaging offline. What that means for sales is you’ll get a lot more questions from prospects when you talk with them in person.
Getting face to face will draw out the real questions people have without the inhibition of feeling uncomfortable asking tough questions over the phone or through email.
Get good at rejection: Not all of your sales will be successes. How you deal with rejection is absolutely key to being successful in the long term. If you can’t bounce back and get to the next sale after a tough rejection, you’ll waste a lot of time being sad.
When going door to door, if a sale doesn’t work out, you have very little time (the amount of time it takes to walk to the next house) to recoil and get ready for the next pitch. This teaches you to bounce back very quickly and waste no time fretting over rejection.
Learn body language: Former U.S. District Attorney Bill Simon once told me that presentation is 20% what you say and 80% how you say it. He put that theory to use and nearly won the election for Governor of California in 2002 – so I’d say it’s a pretty credible source.
When you talk with people face to face you’ll get a lot of body language feedback, and can use that information in further sales – even when they aren’t in person. For example, if you know how people react when you pitch your product as a way to save money, you can anticipate this in your phone calls and follow it up with another benefit accordingly.
The digital divide created by phones and the internet can be breached by going offline to chat with customers before dedicating time and resources to sales calls.
If you need any more proof that door to door sales can force you into a state of mind where you won’t take no for an answer yet still retain charm, check out this awesome video from Kenny Brooks who is perhaps the best door to door salesman ever.
Cold sales harden you up, they get you ready to answer questions, they help you understand your customer. Yes, they are daunting and difficult, but persist through and you’ll find that every future sale becomes just a bit easier.