I came across this great article on Forbes last week called, “Door to Door Selling as the First Step to Billions” by Gillian Zoe Segal that I wanted to share.
It seems that many top entrepreneurs have done door to door sales themselves as Segal details in this article and her book titled, “Getting There: A Book of Mentors.”
These entrepreneurs have not only done these jobs but also credit this experience as helping them along their journey to reaching the top echelon in their field.
I’m sure many of you have seen the Shark Tank episodes where both Mark Cuban and Daymond John invest in companies because the founders pounded the pavement to bring in some revenue.
As a matter of fact, Cuban says in this article that his first business was going door to door selling garbage bags. He learned to hustle and that led to more lucrative opportunities and we all know where he ended up.
There’s just something to be said for an individual who can go out and make it happen in a door to door sales job. While some home owners may think its a nuisance many business minded entrepreneurs absolutely RESPECT IT.
Reading about these famous and ultra successful entrepreneurs inspired me to share my first job which also happens to be in D2D.
My Door to Door Beginnings
It all started when I was 11 years old and needed to make some fast money.
I had one thing on my mind and couldn’t sleep at night because of this singular focus.
I was already having problems in school and this distraction didn’t help.
No, it wasn’t Natasha Henstridge in the movie Species. (That happened a few years later)
A dirt bike. I was dead set on getting a dirt bike.
I could see myself going through the woods, hammering jumps going 15 feet in the air and letting the bike fly while I was pulling out a superman move to make all my fans go crazy!
Ok so I was daydreaming about the jumping part but would be just as happy sitting on the dang thing in the garage. As long as I had it and it was mine.
The only problem to my well thought out plan was the fact my horrible parents refused to buy it for me.
“But all my other friends parents would buy them a dirtbike,” I would say.
Boy, was I sooooo deprived.
Their response was often, “Seems like you chose the wrong parents Trey. Maybe next time you can do a little better.”
I didn’t laugh then but definitely do now realizing how ridiculous that sounded because I have a 10 year old saying the same thing about an $800 phone.
What they did do by forcing me to be creative and find ways to earn money was start me out on a life long entrepreneurial journey.
Not The Dirt Bike Kid Yet, I was The Bread Baking Kid
My mom had this killer home made sourdough bread recipe that I was sure everybody would buy.
I presented my parents with a business plan which consisted of me using their supplies, them helping me to whip up some bread and I would sell it to the neighbors door to door.
So that I did and ended up making some pretty sweet cash for an 11 year old.
After a couple of years I did end up saving enough to get the dirt bike.
While I’m not yet on the same level as those mentioned in the article I do feel that from this first door to door experience I learned very valuable lessons that have helped me be successful in several different industries and businesses.
And later in my life I would be revisiting those lessons but on a little bit bigger scale.
Some of the things I liked about outside sales then is the same as now…
What I like about Door-to-Door Sales is:
- you get an immediate response,
- the ability to find your customers instead of waiting on them to find you,
- the worst thing that will happen is you get a no,
- can create repeatable success.
Get an Immediate Response:
Just a minute or two after you knock on somebodies door you pretty much know where you stand. There isn’t a long drawn out 9 month sales process where at the end after you have spent months putting together a proposal you are let down. You’re gonna know something when you walk away after a few minutes of whether you got it done or didn’t.
Find Your Customers Instead of Waiting on Them to Find You:
This point is my favorite. Have you ever been in a restaurant that has great food, a kind owner, a good location but is EMPTY? I have and always wonder why the place isn’t packed and how helpless the owner must feel that they can’t really go out and sell customers their food. They have to wait until somebody walks in the door. I like having a product that you can go out and get in front of people face to face and get them to buy. Funny you say that considering now I am selling sales tracking software and do almost 100% of my sales via phone. But hey, things change.
The Worst Thing That Will Happen is You Will Get a No:
Rejection sucks. There is no way around it and anybody that says it doesn’t bother them is just lying to themselves to try and sike themselves out. But after you get used to it you can take it in stride and move on to the next prospect.
Create Repeatable Success:
I’m a big fan of activity driven metrics as many of you know who have browsed through previous blog posts. Now, I have been able to carry this over to software. How many visitors land on spotio.com, then how many sign up the free trial and how many become paying customers. The same as a door to door rep who tracks how many doors they have knocked, contacts they made, how many of them become leads and then buy. Once you have these ratios you can scale up by driving the front end of the funnel to create an expected result at the end. And if you so desire train others to do the same.
Whether it is a $3 loaf of bread or a $30,000 home remodeling project it’s pretty much the same. Some people are going to buy, some aren’t so keep moving and make it happen. Getting better along the way and understand your sales process so you can create a system of success.
So I shared my first door to door sales job now I want to hear about yours?