18 Techniques for Successful Door-To-Door Sales

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 10, 2022

Published November 12, 2020

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

As a door-to-door salesperson, it's important to have an effective strategy that focuses on your prospective customer's needs and how you can meet these needs with your product or service. Knowing how to modify your sales strategy and techniques can help you find more success in this profession.

In this article, we explain the act of door-to-door sales and provide you with several door-to-door sales tips to help you in this profession.

Related: A Complete Guide To Effective Sales Techniques

What is door-to-door sales?

Door-to-door sales refer to the act of walking from one door of one house to another in an attempt to sell or advertise a company's product or service to someone. Door-to-door salespeople may also gather information regarding the public's opinion on the company and its products and services to help them target the right customers.

Related: Learn About Being a Sales Representative

18 door-to-door sales tips

When you're a door-to-door salesperson, it's important to consider your presentation and sales pitch. Having an effective strategy improves your chances of making a sale. Use these tips to help with your door-to-door sales and your overall sales strategy:

1. Use your product knowledge

As a door-to-door salesperson, you need to believe in the products you're selling to convince others to purchase them. Therefore, you have to have extensive knowledge about the product and how it can help the general public. Take the time to gain product knowledge from research and practical demonstrations. It's also important to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in your industry and field.

2. Be direct

While you shouldn't pressure your prospective customer to purchase your product or service, it's important to be direct. Use your assertiveness to present what you're selling in a way that shows them how it can help solve a problem or a need in their life. While you want them to buy what you're selling, remind yourself that you don't necessarily need to sell them something right away. You can also benefit if they decide to purchase something from you in the future.

3. Connect with prospective customers on a personal level

While you want to meet your quota, it's important to treat your customers as human beings. Know their name and any relevant information in advance. When they notice that you took the time to get to know them, it can help them feel more comfortable and open with you.

Be mindful of your body language and whether they're receptive to hearing more about the product or service. Essentially, talk to them like a friend with helpful advice as opposed to a stranger pushing you to make a sale.

4. Check the weather

Before stepping outside, be mindful of the weather and the upcoming forecast as you plan your sales routes for the week. Since some prospective customers may not invite you inside right away, it's important to consider whether you'll be able to withstand any weather conditions like rain or snow in the interim.

5. Use rejection to your advantage

Though you're bound to face rejection as a door-to-door salesperson, don't take it personally. While some people may not have the money to spend on your product or service, others may not need what you're selling at the time. Use each rejection to motivate you to perfect your sales technique. Consider what worked in your previous pitches and what didn't. Learn from each encounter and continue to grow in your profession.

6. Be presentable

When you arrive at a potential customer's door, you need to maintain a good personality and a good level of professionalism. Wear clean and ironed clothes. You also need to have your hair in place and be free of body odor. Also, it's important to smile and have a pleasing personality when you greet customers. Showing up with a genuine smile and clean attire can make all the difference in your sales.

7. Work on your sales pitch

As a door-to-door salesperson, it's important to develop an effective sales pitch to present to potential customers. Work on perfecting this pitch and consider practicing it with a friend or family member.

Make sure your pitch doesn't pressure customers to purchase your product or service. Remember that it needs to build their trust, show your credibility and help them connect with the product you're trying to sell. Instead of starting your pitch with the product details, take the time to introduce yourself, the company you're from and the product you want to show them. You should also apologize for disturbing them.

Also, use effective sales strategies and techniques throughout your pitch. For example, you can start your sales pitch by informing them of a sale you made in their neighborhood with the name of the customer and how the product has helped them.

This particular technique serves as an assurance for your prospective customer and allows them to speak with the neighbor about their experience if they know them.

8. Use your time management skills

When selling from door to door, it's important to manage your time effectively to help prevent procrastination and help you make more sales. Use your time management skills to your advantage.

Consider how long it takes you to make one pitch and be aware of unavoidable circumstances like traffic. You can also keep a planner to help you schedule appointments and make more efficient use of your time.

9. Watch videos to improve your skills

To help improve your skills such as your convincing skills, watch videos of famous speeches. Take note of the speaker's body language, tone of voice and facial expressions. Use these videos to help improve your pitch, presentation and skills in the future.

10. Notice their subtle cues

As a door-to-door salesperson, you need to understand your prospective customer's feelings and motivations. Understanding these can help you identify their needs and wants. Consider the various personalities you'll encounter and modify your sales pitch and strategy to engage them on a more personal level.

Also, determine whether or not a prospective customer is serious about purchasing by learning the subtle cues they may give. Instead of focusing on your pitch and what to say next, study their facial expressions and body language.

Consider whether they're looking at you and if they seem comfortable. If they're looking for a chance to close the door on you or if they're nodding but not paying attention, they may not have an interest in making a purchase.

11. Get to know your prospective customer

Instead of convincing a prospective customer to purchase your product or service, get to know and understand them first. Consider their current circumstances, their needs and their ambitions. Make sure to put this first and your product or service second.

12. Use effective prospecting

Instead of wandering neighborhoods, knocking aimlessly on doors and leaving it up to chance, focus on the most promising prospective customers who are more likely to benefit from the product or service you're selling. Determine their age group, their goals, their challenges and how they prefer to communicate.

Consider making calls to get an idea of how likely a neighborhood may take an interest in the product you're selling. You can identify sales leads through your company's sales-enabling technology.

Also, consider whether a prospective customer works in an industry that can use your product. You can also ask customers for referrals so you can connect with other potential customers that may have an interest in purchasing from you, too.

13. Understand a customer's pain points

As a door-to-door salesperson, not only do you need to know the problems your prospective customers have, but also how to fix them. Use your sales script to identify the problems they face and want or need to fix. Let them know about your product and how it can improve their current circumstances.

To do this, understand the function that the product serves and what your customer lacks when they don't own it. For example, your product or service may add security, save them money or save them valuable time. To identify and understand their pain points, consider asking them the following questions throughout your sales pitch:

  • How long has that been a problem?

  • How much do you think that has cost you?

  • Have you given up trying to fix the problem?

14. Know how to handle an objection

It's normal for people to have questions or concerns about what you're selling. As a door-to-door salesperson, make sure you know how to overcome and handle objections a prospective customer may have. Doing this effectively can help improve your chances of a sale.

Using your product knowledge, present them with an answer to any question or concern they may have. When they have an objection, hear them out. Then, let them know that you understand where they're coming from, ask why they feel that way and give them an empathetic reply that explains how your product or service may help.

Related: Empathic Listening: Definition, Examples and Tips

15. Follow up with your customers

If you didn't make a sale right away, it doesn't mean you won't make a sale from them later on. also, you can always make another sale from an existing customer. Make sure to follow up with your customers and build your relationship with them over time.

If they already purchased a product from you, following up gives you a chance to ensure their satisfaction with their purchase. It also allows you to answer questions that may have arisen since they last spoke to you. Schedule a follow-up with your customers and ensure they know it's to discuss their previous purchase.

This lets them consider any questions they may want to ask you and gives you a chance to open the conversation without seeming pushy. Also, it lets you come up with ways to counter their objections ahead of time.

16. Be mindful of personal space

Once you knock on someone's door, take a few steps back. If you live in a city, you can step just beyond the doormat. If you live in a suburb, stand at the edge of your prospective customer's porch. If you're in a rural area, stand off the porch. Maintaining enough personal space ensures they don't feel threatened or intimated by your presence once they open the door.

17. Consider the time of day

Consider whether or not your prospective customers will be home when you plan to arrive at their door. If they work from 9-to-5 for example, it's best to knock on their door from 5-9 p.m. rather than in the middle of their workday when they're not home. If you plan to sell to elderly or retired individuals, visit them during the day.

Work around their schedule to increase your chances of them being home and of you being able to deliver your sales pitch. If they're not home, make sure to leave a flyer or a door hanger so they can think of your business even if you didn't get a chance to speak with them.

Have a powerful closer

Though it's important to have a strong sales pitch, you also need to have an impactful closing phrase that can improve your chances of making a sale. You have many options when it comes to making an effective close.

For example, you can be direct if you've already gotten them to say yes a few several times. In this case, you can ask them, "Would you like me to stop by again next Monday or Tuesday?" or "Do you want this product in yellow or blue?" You can also ask them a more open-minded question that implies they want to make a purchase. For example, you can say "If we throw in a free T-shirt, can we get you to make a purchase today?" Also, you can take a more empathetic approach by sharing something about yourself to help them know you understand how they're feeling.

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