Door-to-door sales is a demanding profession, but it’s also extremely rewarding when done well. A lot of sales and canvassing mastery comes from practice and experience, but these 10 tips will give you a strong foundation.
- Always be learning about sales
- Maintain your confidence
- Become a trusted advisor
- Stay organized
- Build strong habits
- Embrace the discomfort of sales
- Establish (and constantly improve) a sales process
- Don’t be scared to ditch the script
- Remember: honesty is the best policy
- Evolve with the times
1. Always be learning about sales
It doesn’t matter if you’re a canvassing rookie, a vet, a manager, or a CEO—there’s always something to improve on, and door-to-door sales is one of the industries that MOST rewards you for mastering your craft. If you make it a habit to regularly spend time learning from sales masters and teachers, you’ll dominate the porches and grow as a rep and as a leader.
Quality resources are cheaper and more accessible than ever. Sign up on free apps like Google Play and Apple Podcasts and listen to The Top 5 Podcasts in 2020 to help with your industry knowledge. If you’re looking for book recommendations, check out our list of the Top 8 Books for Door-to-Door Sales.
2. Maintain your confidence
If you’re dealing with self doubt, you’re going to project that doubt to the people you speak with. Your prospect interprets that as doubt in the product and company.
That’s why you need to have enough confidence to let every prospect interact with the most optimistic version of you. It can be hard to give the hundredth door the same level of optimism as the first door, so here are some tricks to keep a level-headed, positive attitude:
- Stay grateful. If you’re in a rut, take a few minutes and take your mind off your problems and focus on being grateful for what you have. Write out a short list. Take a moment and meditate on it. Then get back to work with a sense of peace and a positive presence.
- Set long term goals to overcome temporary setbacks. You’re going to have rough doors, rough days, and maybe a rough week or two. But don’t cash out. Instead, set a long term goal and stay persistent.
- Bring a reminder of something positive. Once you’ve set your goal, make sure that you always keep an external reminder. When you’re having a difficult time, it can be hard to create positivity in yourself out of nothing. But if you keep an external reminder of your goal, it can transport you to a more optimistic state of mind.
3. Become a Trusted Advisor
People actually like to find trusted advisors in life. Interviews of Warren Buffett garner millions of views on YouTube, because people trust his financial advice. Some will pay thousands to attend a Tony Robbins seminar because they hope he’ll help them improve their lives.
As long as people trust that someone cares about their well-being, they’ll be open to their advice. Become an advisor by: knowing the product, actively listening, challenging preconceptions, and building relationships.
4. Stay Organized
When it comes to door-to-door sales, there are a lot of negative consequences for not getting organized. So you need to get organized. We’ve built our app around this mindset, and you’ll find that we make your team much more organized and efficient. But no matter where you’re at, you can find ways to be smarter with your time.
- Reduce travel time: Every smartphone has mapping capabilities, so take advantage of them. We’ve recently built a route planner directly into our app so you can travel quickly between appointments and leads.
- Schedule wisely: Be sure to plan around your appointments. If you know you have to be in a certain area at some point during the day, plan around that area. You don’t want to commit tons of time to an appointment that cancels and not have a game plan.
- Canvass intelligently: A lot of opportunities are lost when canvassers don’t track their progress through their area or use that data strategically. Here are a few different approaches that work:
- Label every house you knock on in the morning and then revisit that same area at a later evening and knock every house that didn’t answer. So every house is knocked at different times of day, increasing the chance of a conversation.
- Start working around current customers and move outward. Ask them for referrals and use their names in conversation with their neighbors.
- Use DataGrid AI to identify ideal customers by income, credit score, renting/buying, time in house, and more. Prioritize areas that are most likely to buy.
5. Build strong habits
Everyone has big dreams, but they think they have to do huge things to accomplish those dreams. They get so overwhelmed by their own aspirations that they get analysis paralysis. They forget that everything great is accomplished through consistent daily effort. In other words, greatness is a habit.
Every habit is centered around 3 things: a cue, a routine, and a reward.
Maybe you’d like to create a better morning routine. A lot of people wake up, hit snooze a few times, pick up their phones and then get ready for work. The reward is more sleep, a lazy and comfortable morning. But a comfortable morning is not a productive morning. So, if you can recognize the cue, you can alter the behavior, and change the reward. Lazy mornings usually happen because people keep their phone next to their bed and use it as their alarm. When you wake up, your phone is already in your hand. But if you change the cue by putting your phone across the room, you have to get up to turn off the alarm.
With the cue changed, it’s easier to change the routine of making you get out of bed faster. As a result you’ll be rewarded with a more productive morning. These rewards will cement the new behavior and over time these habits will make you stronger, wealthier, and wiser.
6. Embrace the discomfort of sales
Door-to-door sales, by its nature, pulls you out of your comfort zone—so you might not think that this applies to you. But there are a lot of ways that you can crawl back into that comfort zone, no matter your experience or success in the industry.
Here’s an anti-comfort battle plan:
- Identify comfortable areas of your life and set goals to make them uncomfortable. Make them small goals at first, so that you build momentum and confidence moving forward.
- Control your inner voice. Your brain might not want to welcome more discomfort into your life. The difference between a catastrophe and a catalyst is attitude. Learn to silence the voice that says “I’m not strong enough” and replace it with the one that says “This will make me stronger.”
- Seek balance. We’re not saying that you need to ruthlessly eliminate all forms of comfort in your life. Give everything you have to your work, but don’t hesitate to set aside to relax, meditate, and prepare to come back stronger.
7. Establish (and constantly improve) a Sales Process
No matter your industry, every company has a process that prospects go through in order to become a customer. But if you’re not thinking strategically about that process, you might be selling inefficiently.
Here’s a few quick steps for building a sales process:
- Outline the different steps of your sales process. What process does your prospect usually go through to become a customer? It could be as simple as: contact, qualification, presentation, close, onboarding.
- Track information about your performance on each step. This will give you actionable info about your sales teams and their performance. How many of your contacts are qualified? How many of your presentations turn into closes?
- Look for opportunities to improve each step. Once you’re tracking numbers, you can find weak spots based on your data. Then, you can start repairing them. Get better at canvassing in your target market. Making specific improvements is much more effective than making general, blind improvements.
8. Don’t be scared to ditch the script
Just because you have a sales process doesn’t mean that you can let yourself become a slave to it. Don’t get us wrong—it’s really important for a sales rep, especially a beginner, to find a groove and get confident with a structured pitch. But eventually, just like every professional, you’ve got to figure out your own stride.
A great way to start doing this is by riffing off your script. When you go to different houses, treat them like different houses. None of your conversations should be identical. Obviously your conversations are going to be similar, but if you treat every person the same, there won’t be much sincerity, and the prospect will be turned off by your approach.
There’s a few ways you can break this habit:
- Investigate the house as you approach. (Of course, don’t be creepy about it.) Just be observant. What’s in the yard? What kind of vehicle do they have? Any flags? Incorporate what you observe into the conversation. For example, you could say “I love the Warriors bumper sticker. Are you optimistic about next season?”
- We already mentioned this, but don’t be scared to listen to prospects and then change your approach based on what you’re hearing. Don’t give them a crappy solution to their problem just because it fits within your script.
- Do your research. Talk to the reps who are outperforming you. What do they do differently? What are they saying that you aren’t? Read books by the top salespeople and ask yourself the same questions. Then adapt based on what you learn.
9. Remember: honesty is the best policy
- Don’t over promise: If your company can’t do something, saying that it will is only going to guarantee a bad experience down the line. It might be tempting to just say whatever you need to in order to get a demo or close a deal, but don’t. That’s never going to result in a good customer experience.
- Don’t cut corners: It’s also tempting to leave a few problems unsolved and figure that the technician or customer service will handle it. This is a mistake. Chances are your techs or customer service reps won’t handle the problem any better than you. Plus, you don’t want the problem to fester over time. Resolve everything you can as soon as possible.
- Don’t force it: You’re going to interact with people who simply aren’t a good fit for your product. You may think you’re an awesome salesperson for closing these kinds of deals, but you’re doing more harm than good. These deals almost always churn down the line, costing you time and resources.
10. Evolve with the times
You wouldn’t believe what is becoming possible in this industry. In a tech-driven world, door-to-door sales feels old school. And that’s why we love it. We’re going to get out of the office, put down the phone, and talk to people, face-to-face. We built SalesRabbit around the idea that canvassing reinforced by tech would be a much more effective approach to sales.
Here’s a glimpse into what we’re building to drive door-to-door into the future:
- Boost: Before Boost, door-to-door companies didn’t have a cost-effective marketing strategy that matched the way they sell. Boost lets you select that area and blast your ads to all the phones, TVs, and computers in the area. This will generate awareness for your brand and make people much more open to your canvassing.
- Zapier: We use Zapier to connect SalesRabbit to a lot of the services you already use, like G-Mail, Calendars, SalesForce, Google Sheets, Slack, and thousands more. Zapier makes it easy to connect all your apps and build workflows that automate everything.
- Digital Contracts: Paper is a pain to have to carry around with you. We’ve built digital contracts that you can populate with whatever information you need and that the customer can sign on the porch. We’ve also got built in credit checks and title checks, so you can qualify your prospects before moving on to the contract stage.
What tips do you have?
At SalesRabbit we give you all the tools and tips like these to improve your ability to sell. If you start incorporating any of these 10 tips for door to door sales, we guarantee that you’ll see improvements in yourself and your closing stats.