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5 Sales Tips You Can Learn From a Door-to-Door Salesman

AJ Agrawal
AJ Agrawal

The door-to-door salesman is part stereotype part annoyance.

You don’t see too many of them around these days, as they have retreated to their offices in order to conduct their sales online.

Despite the apparent death of this role, there are still a lot of things you can learn from them.

Many enterprises are not making the most of E-commerce. Only 17 percent of firms in the European Union made a sale online, for example.

You are going to learn about five tips that you should harvest from the humble door-to-door salesman.

Related Article: Tips From Closers: 8 Pro Techniques Top Sales Professionals Use When Selling

Get to No Faster

No is something that the chancellor involved in the Baylor University scandal didn’t grasp. It’s also a word that the average salesperson fears most. They are terrified of rejection because they want to keep their strike rates high. But the door-to-door salesperson is someone who is used to being told to go away.

But most people are always too polite to say no, so they will expect you to get the message. If you want to become more productive and stop wasting time, you need to think about how you can get to the final answer faster. There’s nothing wrong with a rejection. See it as your chance to move on. Adopt this strategy and you’ll get more sales and you’ll increase your deal sizes.

Learn to Read the Signs

It should come early on in the relationship that someone is a prospective buyer. In-person, you may have seen someone who leaned forward in anticipation. They may have asked questions, and then the door-to-door salesperson was well aware that they had a potential lead.

But a lot of people aren’t able to read these signs. They are never quite sure whether someone is serious or not, and so they will spend the same amount of time with everyone.

If the UC Davis scandal showed us anything it was that reading the signs is essential to a good reputation. Don’t become that company that attempts to persuade everyone to buy. If someone clearly isn’t interested, thank them for their time and move on.

Related Article: Building a Business: How to Create a Sales Organization That’s Built to Sell

Never Try to Convince

Do you know that the key to mastering sales negotiations is to never try to persuade someone to buy? 99 percent of the time you are going to fail to convince someone to buy if they are not already interested. Pressure never works and the average salesperson isn’t trusted. A door-to-door salesman would be fired if they tried to convince everyone to buy. Some of them have even had the police arrest them because they wouldn’t go away.

Use the psychological cues mentioned in the previous section and if someone clearly isn’t interested you should move on. The only way you are going to improve sales is to know when to quit.

Be Direct About What Comes Next

The door-to-door salesman can smell when someone is preparing to buy. They are then gracefully direct about what that person needs to do next. They swoop quickly and with power so that they can’t escape from them. Don’t go away and come back. Tell them what they need to do and tell them to do it right now.

The same applies in any field of sales. Provide a call-to-action and a link that takes people directly to where they need to be. Make the process quick so you can nab that sale before the prospect gets a chance to think about it again.

Stop Stringing Yourself Along

It’s common practice for someone to say that they are interested in something only to never get back in touch with you again. They are only being nice because they don’t want to break your spirit. You need to stop this cycle of endless repetition by changing the question. Instead of asking whether someone wants to buy something, ask them whether they are going to buy something in a specific timeframe.

This is something you should adopt in all areas of sales. You are putting the person under pressure to make a decision, which is exactly what you should be doing. You don’t want to waste time coming back to a person who doesn’t really want to buy anything. Sometimes it would be nicer if they were less polite and were willing to give you a firm rejection.

Related Article: Tapping the Right Brain: 5 Steps to Improving Creativity in Sales

Last Word: Getting Better Sales

The door-to-door salesman may be a thing of the past, but their strategies can still be killer in the right situations if you have the skills of a successful entrepreneur. Adopt these tactics to make sure that you have an easier time of generating sales in the B2B and B2C industries.

How will you boost your sales numbers today?

Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images
AJ Agrawal
AJ Agrawal Member
AJ Agrawal is a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur. He is the CEO and Co-Founder of Alumnify Inc., and is a regular contributor for Inc., The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media, Elite Daily, Tech Cocktail, and Business 2 Community. AJ is a proud member of the YEC and the 500 Startups Family.