Digitization has put the whole marketing world at our fingertips: just a few clicks can put your marketing campaign in front of the eyes of your target audience.
But sometimes, even the most promising campaigns fail to bring the expected results because of saturation: the things that worked well a few years ago may turn out to be inefficient today.
What’s old is new again, and now it’s time to recall old-school marketing methods like door-to-door sales. Why? Because when done right, door-to-door marketing is still one of the most efficient ways to increase your customer base, build strong and long-lasting relationships, as well as sell all kinds of products.
What is door to door sales?
Door-to-door sales (or D2D) is a direct selling method, a canvassing technique that is commonly used for sales, marketing, advertising, and campaigning. In D2D, sales reps visit potential customers in their homes and convince them to buy products or services.
Selling door-to-door involves several stages:
- prospecting (a process of searching for new potential customers);
- qualifying (or identifying the customer’s needs that match your product/service features);
- pitching (making an offer and describing its benefits in detail, actually proving that your product solves the customer’s problem);
- closing (asking the customer to buy the product or order a service);
- follow-up (establishing contact with the customer to make sure that he has received the order and any needed support, and that they are satisfied).
In the B2B field, sales reps visit various companies, trying to land an appointment with organizations’ decision-makers. B2B sales sometimes involve additional ways of persuasion — for example, demos and presentations.
Why is door to door sales still effective?
Today, the market is oversaturated and even the most promising marketing campaign can get lost in the advertisement noise.
Door-to-door sales allows companies to find a place in a crowded market, establishing face-to-face contact with potential prospects that have been unresponsive to other forms of consumer outreach, informing them about the exclusive offers and influencing their decision-making process.
Ads are simply switched off
Today, people are largely desensitized to advertisement, they’ve been trained to turn them off or ignore them as a matter of course.
With door-to-door sales, sales reps increase the chance to be clearly heard and correctly understood. They can pitch their product directly to a potential customer, and they get valuable feedback in the process.
Door-to-door marketing is highly adaptable
Compared to the traditional process of launching a product or service with the cost of market research, air time, PR, graphic design, and so on, door-to-door selling is quite inexpensive and a faster way to deliver the message to the audience.
Effective market research
Neither organizing focus groups, nor hiring survey companies allows you to find out what customers think and feel about your new product, as the door-to-door sales do, simply because your field reps get maximum unfiltered messages from potential customers speaking to them face-to-face.
Online marketing made it possible to reach a huge amount of customers at a time, but the message is much more generalized. Door-to-door advertising allows reps to communicate with people on a personal level, ask questions, analyze their answers, get non-verbal cues, and adjust their tactics to address the prospect’s specific needs.
A personal demonstration with quick responses to any concerns from a trustworthy salesperson is also much more likely to sell than impersonal advertisement.
Reaching the audience
D2D is considered the most efficient channel of customer acquisition, allowing young companies to build up a critical mass of clients fast.
Since many of your customers do not even know your product exists, door-to-door sales is a good way to generate demand, because the salesperson does his best to get customers interested and ready to buy a product, answers a lot of questions, and works with numerous objections.
Door-to-door sales is more challenging than converting inbound leads.
Companies that use D2D sales and already have sufficient interest from their audience can implement an appointment system. That way, salespeople waste less time knocking on random doors. The customers who are really interested in the offering can easily request an appointment and learn more about the product or service.
Success can be measured
While huge advertising campaigns can be completely untraceable, with door-to-door sales you can easily measure how successful your sales are, allowing you to calculate ROI, track progress, and make timely changes.
How to be a good door-to-door salesman?
A professional D2D salesman:
- Knows the product inside & out: the sales rep shares the product’s benefits, works with objections, and sometimes even establishes need. For that, he needs to know the product he offers perfectly.
- Provides value to the customer with his expertise: today, having multiple online resources at their disposal, customers are more educated than ever before. So, a good door-to-door sales rep has to give customers unique information that they can’t find on their own and thereby add value to the customer’s experience.
- Clearly understands how to ask questions that will qualify prospects: by using open-ended questions and close-ended probes, the sales rep reveals customer’s pain points and establishes needs.
- Is a perfect listener: a good sales rep knows that if they’re always talking, they won’t be able to discover the prospect’s needs and won’t get closer to “yes”.
- Is persistent and diligent, able to keep a positive attitude no matter how many times he has been rejected.
- Is outstanding at WIFM: this abbreviation stands for « What’s In It For Me?», and means that a sales rep is able to provide the appropriate benefits of a product/service to answer the customer’s needs uncovered in the process of asking questions and getting answers.
- Knows how to establish expectations for each meeting. The most important thing is to make the customer feel comfortable during the conversation. Good sales reps know that the best way to do that is to explain to the customer what will happen next.
- Outlines the purchasing process: if you want to build trust, you should explain to your customer what they will experience before, during, and after the purchase. A rep’s ability to move things forward steadily and to follow through are the key tactics that help them build a strong relationship with the prospect.
- Knows what is smart prospecting and knows how to manage his time: professional door-to-door sales reps are strategic in their efforts and are able to recognize the most likely prospects and focus on them.
- Has a few ways to close a deal: prospects are different individuals, so reps need to be fluent in various closing sales techniques.
- Uses tools to make effective knocking records: a long time ago, sales reps used pen and paper to write down their results, customer’s answers, various cues, and other important information. Now, there are plenty of easy-to-use platforms that help reps to collect data, schedule appointments, focus on the right deals, track the status of prospects and deals, and get insights into what to do next.
One of them is Revenue Grid, an AI-powered Guided Selling platform that allows you to automate data collection and other routine work, get visibility of deals and team activity, and guide reps through deals step-by-step.