I have spent more time than door-to-door in the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area. Besides the oppressive heat, arid conditions and permanent sunburn, I learned a few tips on how to survive in the world of sales.
In particular, I learned why the usual methods to get rid of us don’t work and how far a seller should be willing to go to make a sale.
Featured image credit: yorkregion.com
10. No solicitation? No problem…
There is no doubt that when a salesperson knocks or rings the doorbell of a residence, the quickest way to anger the prospect who answers the door is to blatantly ignore his sign “No solicitation”. This is an instant card – “Don’t worry. ” But there’s a problem: we don’t care.
Even though I hated ringing the doorbell of the 50th house with the little sign saying that the owners were not interested in what I had to offer, I knew two things: first, the teams had already explored these neighborhoods, usually a few months ago. So if I saw a poster, there was a good chance that most houses would have one.
Then, if I politely walked away from every door with this little warning, I would soon run out of houses and I probably wouldn’t be able to sell that day. I knew I would probably receive a hostile greeting, but I had no choice. But to understand why you have to realize something else…
9. We are not technically sellers
In the purest sense, we go door to door using the shotgun approach to make sales. But we ignored these “non-solicitation” signs for the same reason that we never had any problems with the law or even with the local authorities when they spotted us on their otherwise quiet and untouched sidewalks. A few others will curse you,
But we ignored these “non-solicitation” signs for the same reason that we never had any problems with the law or even with the local authorities when they spotted us on their otherwise quiet and untouched sidewalks. Each member of my team was an official “account manager” sent to the field to “check” the well-being of the client of the company for which we were working that month.
If you bought a premium upgrade pack that we mentioned immediately after you asked if you were satisfied with your service, then this is your chance, isn’t it? Since we only went to the homes of existing customers, it was not a cold sale and, therefore, no solicitation.
8. We’ll be back
One of the frustrations of the door-to-door circuit is to rework a territory that has already been searched. Worse, you can go to a neighborhood without knowing that someone else showed up last week pretending to be the “account manager” of the area.
“I told you that last week… ” and “Why don’t you leave us alone?” escapes from all the mouths you meet. Every time you turn around, you get the impression that a new guy with a clipboard is trying to sell you an upgrade at the door because each region is divided into territories and handed over to “agents” for them to work on.
When sales are low or new territories have not been opened for a long time, agents are sent back to get support from customers who were not previously enthusiastic about making a change. We are frustrated by owners who are tired of being harassed. Worse still, some clients have not received what they have signed up for or want to change accommodation. You see, we are not accounted for managers in the purest sense of the word. Worse still, some clients have not received what they have committed to or want to change accommodation.
You see, we are not accounted for managers in the purest sense of the word. When a customer wants to spend an hour on the long process of decommissioning services or canceling outright, we are stuck waiting with the same 1-800 number as you.
But we claim to be useful in the process because appearances make all the difference. “So yes, Mr. Harrison, I’ll be happy to call the helpline and help you solve this problem now.” “So yes, Mr. Harrison, I’ll be happy to call you to help you solve this problem right now.
7. It’s our job to change your mind
The first skill every salesperson learns? “No” means “keep trying.”
“Closing the door does not mean “no” if there is a window or a mosquito net. Saying “no” only indicates that I have not convinced you of the value of what is proposed to you. If you shortly to ask us to leave your lawn, we will probably leave. But your house is marked, and we will be back, probably when another car is in the driveway.
Every morning in my company, we spent at least an hour practicing the art of turning the “no” into “yes” through role-playing games, carefully practiced speeches and an arsenal of techniques to break down barriers and plant “Yes” seeds. It was enough to water them carefully for them to flourish in all their glory, an art form that persuaded people to buy things they didn’t need. It’s a verbal sleight of hand. Those who are good at this field will give you the impression that you have done you a favor.
6. Selling is a subculture
Many things that the customer never sees happen in sales. It’s probably better that way. If you were aware of the hype sessions, mandatory meetings and guidelines to stay in touch at all times, you would start to wonder if the office was no less like a business place than a religious group. And you’d be right.
The reason is that selling is a very demanding and challenging field. “Outside sales” – the kind of things that actually happen outside – are even worse. The rate of burnout is high. Maintaining the morale and motivation of the agents is a constant battle. Therefore, all employees must be subject to strict supervision to detect any signs of loss of enthusiasm. In addition, a rapid response system must inject a new dose of “entrepreneurship” when it is most needed.
Our company has maintained crazy schedules, with employees working from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. five days a week with a “non-compulsory” schedule but totally mandatory on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We also had “team-building” exercises twice a week after work. This meant that we all went to the local bars and got hammered with our new family, the sales team. They’re the only people you’ll ever see. Don’t worry, they will take care of you, except that…
5. Home sales are ruthless
At first, it seemed that our group was focused on camaraderie. Everyone was ready to help you learn, but here’s the most valuable lesson: everything is wrong, and everything is a bonus. In the power structure where I worked, our already eccentric office suddenly began to resemble a three-sided geometric object-shaped pattern.
The atmosphere was extremely competitive, as you had to hurry up for dinner every night. Each new member was assigned to a director who was looking for underlings. When the manager had enough staff, he moved to a nearby town to open a new office. There, the team became manager and… you see the picture. It was a power struggle and the heat was always there. If you were slow to understand or risk exhausted quickly, you discovered another rule of the salesman’s trade…
4. It’s a numbers game
Door-to-door sales are based on the law of averages. A common motto is: “Every “no” is one step closer to a “yes” one step. “You’re supposed to celebrate a “no” because you’ll end up getting a “yes” according to the law of averages. Everything in this area is based on numbers, including sales averages, commission points, houses per day and conversations you have at the door.
If a customer wants to get new Internet service, it’s a “yes. ” So they have our full attention, but the Internet is a low-margin commission. The prospect next door can buy a full package or a coveted bundle. If the current prospect is not interested in an upgrade to this super expensive package, he should expect cut conversations and hasty farewells. We have numbers to reach, attrition is high.
In addition, agents who fail to reach their numbers on a regular basis may see the quality of their territory decline until they “choose” to leave on their own.
3 We can get you good deals
But we probably won’t. Yes, it is true that field agents have access to dedicated call numbers and can make adjustments to your account if absolutely necessary. We have access to the best deals or even the ones you may not be aware of.
But as you may have guessed, we are in no hurry to talk to you about it. What for? Because everything is a set of numbers and sellers earn money through commissions, which are a percentage of everything we can charge you when we are at your doorstep.
If you get 50% off, so do we. But if it’s about making a sale and we don’t think we can tempt you with a good dose of FOMO, then we sometimes take the risk of a sure thing.
2. We judge you
As you may have guessed, we monitor everything you do. Your posture, facial expressions, and tone of voice are the only clues we have of your willingness to accept what we are trying to sell, but this goes further.
From the second a salesperson lands in front of you to the second he hangs up the phone and hands you a new contract, he reads signs. Is the grass mowed? Are toys anywhere? Are the gutters clean? All of this leads to decisions about who you are, what you prioritize and what will make the best icebreaker.
Thus, we can spend the time of the “foreigner at your door” and move as quickly as possible to the stage of “old friends”. As it happens, we love the same NFL team, we can’t believe they’ve been played in the play-offs, and wouldn’t it be better to have a Sunday Ticket to be able to watch outside teams without having to go to a noisy bar? This brings us back to the fundamental lesson of being a home seller…
1. Everything is an angle
Prospects don’t like sales, they don’t like sellers, and they hate that peddlers show up at their door to try to sell them things in the only place they can retreat to avoid commercialism.
It’s a perfectly human answer, but sellers don’t make money by being human. They make money by making sales. Of course, if you can help someone, so much the better.
But you’ll pay a specific financial price if you spend too much time worrying about morality. Some sellers are more honest than others, and some are extremely ethical. I always have been. But you can be sure that everything we say and do is aimed at making you say “yes”. That is because our livelihoods depend on it.
Are You ready for the Deadly Selfie? remember to SHARE with your friends on Facebook