Effective Door Knocking vs The Internet
In a world of fiercely competitive commerce, where each organization pushes with all their might to become the next billion dollar sensation, there is a single common denominator which will make or break the bottom line in any company. That common denominator is called a customer. Without a customer, a business simply does not exist. In todays tech-savvy business environment, It’s getting harder and harder to compete if you aren’t on the front lines of what’s currently trending with marketing techniques. There are however, very effective ways to reach your customers WITHOUT USING THE INTERNET! Lets talk about “Effective Door Knocking”.
What is Effective Door Knocking?
“Effective Door Knocking” refers to cold prospecting, specifically by approaching people, introducing them to your product or service and trying to sell them on it. Let me be very clear. Doing this successfully is VERY DIFFICULT for many reasons, most importantly in my opinion is the mental abuse people will put you through. For the remainder of this article I will be referring to mostly residential door knocking (B to C).
If you want to see someone’s true colors, go knock on their door and try selling them something right as their getting home from work. They’re usually starting on dinner or they’ve kicked on the football game and are now comfortable in their slippers laying on the couch. To those who treat “door knockers” with respect, God bless you. To all the rest (which is the majority of homeowners) well, we need to exercise more caution when prospecting these people. Here are 5 of the most important things I’ve learned as a “door knocker” over the last 5 years. Hopefully they will help you close more deals, receive less mental abuse from homeowners and overall have a more pleasant experience.
1). Dress the part
I don’t care how cool you think you are, If you want to get paid big money, you need to dress like someone who gets paid big money. I’m not saying to go door knocking in a full blown suit, although it’s not a terrible idea… I’m saying you need to take pride if your appearance. You’d be surprised how far doing something like tucking in your shirt actually goes. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re going knocking, try to wear the following:
Never wear shorts
Dress pants are best, but nice jeans are also acceptable. That means no distressed tears, no wrinkles and make sure they’re clean. Black, blue, beige and brown are typically the most common colors. Read “How to Dress for a Sales Job“.
If you have a dress shirt, that’s best
(Ironed of course). A polo style shirt is another option but it has a slightly more casual meaning behind it. Personally I prefer button up dress shirts but if a polo is all you have to work with, its still a thousand times better then a normal t-shirt.
Walking around all day sucks. It hurts your feet which will probably make you want to wear sneakers to get some relief. My personal recommendation is to stick with dress shoes. Yes, it sucks. Your feet will hurt way more and you’ll probably end up with blisters at the end of each day. In the grand scheme of things, you need to remember that these homeowners have NO IDEA who you are or if they can trust you. The more business professional you appear, the more likely they are to trust you with their money, especially when talking about higher ticket sales. Now, if you’re working for a company (and not yourself) they might have a specific way of doing things that works for their products/services, but if you’re out there by yourself you need all the help you can get. Dress shoes are the way to go whenever possible.
You do not need a belt, but again, it reinforces the stereotype of you being a professional because it helps visually separate your upper half from your lower half. Not totally required but it’s a good idea to own one. You might want to test this out. Wear it one day then don’t wear it the next. I’d recommend buying an inexpensive watch, don’t have to spend over 25 bucks to get something that looks decent. I like black and gray because they’re subtle and distinguished. They don’t pop out but they say your time is valuable and you’re not one to waste time.
Take a shower… SERIOUSLY!!
Wash your face, brush your teeth. Carry breath mints with you as you canvass. Carry water so you don’t get dehydrated. If you have hair, comb it/style it. Make sure your facial hair is cleaned up – you don’t necessarily have to be clean shaven but whatever you do have going on, make sure it looks clean. Just google “how facial hair affects sales” to learn more.
2). Don’t be salesy when door knocking
With the progression of the internet over the last 2 decades, people can smell bullshit a mile away. Don’t be salesy, People don’t like salesy. People do not want to be sold, They do however want to make a purchase. They want to feel like they’re the ones in control, and they’re making an investment. If you sell them something, they might feel regret and have buyers remorse. The last thing you want is for a sale to be reversed after you’ve spent the money! Be real, be respectful of their time, understand they don’t care about you or what you’re selling and they just want to get back to their lives. Be personable without being fake. People can smell fake.
3). Overcome objections before they present themselves
The objective once the door gets answered is NOT for you to sell them something. People don’t do business with people they like, they do business with people they trust. Your objective is to overcome their potential objections in your opening dialogue. If you address their objections successfully, they will engage in a conversation with you. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT!! If they’re actually having a conversation with you about the product or service, it means they trust you enough to not feel scammed, which is good. Once you’ve broken down the initial wall, turn on the charm. Show your personality and show that you fully believe in the product. You cannot effectively sell something unless you fully believe in the product yourself. Show that you’re passionate about it and express how it can help the homeowner.
4). Psychology of Door Knocking
Unfortunately, the majority of the doors that you knock on will get slammed in your face. Humans have a deep seeded desire to be accepted by their peers. Sometimes, people are just assholes. They will treat you like you’re not a person. By retaining the position of authority in that you’re an actual person trying to talk to another person (the homeowner) and not just some sleazy salesperson, homeowners are less likely to treat you like dirt. Let me explain. Too many times I’ve knocked on a door and the prospect yells “get the hell off my porch I’m not interested” or “ Go get a real job asshole”. By doing this they assume you will accept their comments as truth and retreat. Refusing to retreat shows that you don’t accept or understand their hurtful slurs which makes them second guess their reaction.
By holding your ground and saying something like “ Hello? Hi I’m not sure what you mean, I’m just doing research for a new product my company came out with, surveying to see which type of people actually qualify to benefit from it. This sentence does two important things. Firstly, it restructures the situation to imply they were wrong for yelling at someone innocent. And secondly it sparks guilt and interest, making them more likely to engage in dialogue. Most of sales is knowing your psychology, I’d recommend studying up on it! As a kid, my mom always used to tell me “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”.
5). Don’t get butthurt
There’s a lot of trial and error when it comes to Door Knocking and sales in general. Write a script, test it, write another one, test that one and keep the circle moving until you find what works. Eventually you’ll compile an arsenal of phrases that becomes your “go-to” for quick responses and you’ll slowly become well rounded at overcoming objections and closing deals. It might take a while, a few months, a few years even. Just remember that in order to be successful at door knocking, You interrupted someone else’s day so you can’t get butthurt if they treat you poorly. It’s literally the hardest thing to do, but if you can train yourself to become more resilient to negativity, and also teach yourself how to minimize negative feedback in the first place, you’ll be on your way to Effective Door Knocking in no time!
Effective Door knocking is hard, It’s also free which means that if you teach yourself this skill, it will transfer over throughout the rest of your life. It’s a skillset highly immersed in people skills which is important for almost every aspect of business (in one form or another). Some might even consider it to be the foundation of marketing and advertising. I wish you all the best in your future door knocking ventures and hopefully some of my suggestions can help you along the way!
CEO at Minty Social Marketing
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