Sales can be a difficult industry to break into. There’s a lot more to know than simply going out and banging on doors. If you’re new to the industry, there’s going to be a lot for you to figure out,
For example, you have to learn whether you prefer a short-term or long-term sales cycle, the industry you enjoy the most, the type of product or service you like to sell, the type of customers you enjoy interacting with, and the list goes on.
For a sales rep who has been in the game for a minute, you may not know what else, or how much else, is out there. It’s extremely easy to get pigeonholed when you first start.
You could be doing really well with what you’re currently selling, but have a greater interest in a different product, and not want to change. Maybe you’ve been selling for companies that have short sales cycles and want to do something that’s less volume and more of a challenge.
Whatever the case may be, determining the best door to door sales job for you is something that only you can decide for yourself. There’s not a CEO or manager that can tell you something is right for you if you don’t enjoy.
The key is to find a product you’re passionate about; you have to want to put in the energy, effort and have a good attitude while doing it. Those are just a few of the 10 things that require zero talent that you’ll need in order to experience success at the highest level.
Short vs. Long Sales Cycle
When it comes to door to door sales there’s really two types out there: those with a short sales cycle and those that are long. While some may fall in the middle, the majority tend to be one or the other.
Each type comes with its own set of positives and challenges and depending on factors like how often you like to see a commission check (if you’re broke down go for a long sales cycle), how organized you are and where you are live if you’re not up for traveling or moving then you need to be deliberate about the career path you choose.
If you’re putting this much thought into it then your more than likely interested in building a sales career rather than just a job so read on and come to your own conclusions.
Short Sales Cycle
The first thing you want to do in order to determine if this is the best door to door sales job for you is to do some research, and learn about the industries that fall into this category.
Industries and Products with a short sales process:
Alarm | Cable | Internet | Telecommunications | Energy | Pest Control
When you think of a short sales process, these are typically “one-call or one-knock closes,” meaning you knock on the door, give your pitch and usually get a yes or no on the spot.
For old school short sales cycle type door to door sales jobs, it’s rare you would go back to follow up with these prospects like you would in a longer sales process – its buy or “die”.
The new breed of short sales cycle d2d reps are using technology to allow for easy follow ups on interested customers which can greatly expand your pipeline and convert sales that you otherwise would have never spoken with again.
A quick sale like this is great for the type of salespeople who like instant gratification and quick victories. If you like to see results and success, this is likely the job for you. The reason these sale is so quick is largely due to the price point. You’re selling a product or service that likely costs a couple hundred dollars and may not even need to be paid in full.
These are the types of decisions that homeowners can make on the spot, and without having to talk to their spouse. If you can show them how to save $25 a month on their fixed costs then its an easy decision.
Because the product or service is relatively inexpensive, it means your commission is lower when you close a deal. One of the upsides in this category is that you often have a chance to earn residuals, meaning you get paid for a certain period of time once the sale is completed, in addition to your regular commission.
Short sales cycles are all about volume, a really good sales process and knowing when a potential customer should be moved further down your sales funnel or kicked out.
Types of Customers
For example, if you’re selling cable & internet, you’ll probably have a few different customer lists you sell to:
Upsells: Customers that already use your company’s services that you need to upsell
Competitors: Customers that use a competitor that you need to get to switch to yours
New Service: Customers that have never had a service before.
If you’re speaking to a prospect that is using a competitor, your goal is to get them to come over quickly and easily. Sales isn’t about high-pressure tactics, it’s about moving someone’s thought process to align with your own, or your company’s.
If you don’t get that customer to switch while you’re at the door, or they ask you to come back, understand that it doesn’t mean they’re gone forever. It just means to disposition that lead under a status you’ll recognize as a follow-up next time you’re in the area
You should always take notes and keep track of every attempt you make, you’re just simply not going to go out of your way to follow up with one person under this type of sale because the financial return on your time investment isn’t worth it, for yourself or for the company.
Long Sales Cycle
A long sales cycle can be anywhere from a month to six or seven months. These are much larger decisions for homeowners to make and require a significantly greater financial investment on their part.
The decision can often be made on the spot at the first “call” but to complete the process and see your full commission is longer.
Longer sales cycles sales also generally have multiple steps within the sales process and a project that needs to be completed.
Products with a long sales process:
Solar | Storm Restoration | Real Estate | Home Improvement
Large Ticket Price = $$
If you happen to fall into one of these industries, you’ll earn more in commission on a per sell basis.
The heftier ticket price for the product or service means you’ll earn more as well.
The downside is you won’t close near as many deals as you would in an industry with a short sales cycle, so you have to stay positive and be confident.
The payouts are normally a one-time lump sum as a percentage of the sales price or job profit. One of the benefits is a lot of these companies need quality sales reps and understand that money attracts talent, so they pay a small base or to get sales reps seeing monetary success a little quicker some companies offer a commission advance when contracts are signed or job materials ordered.
Tougher to Start
A downside to selling a high ticket item is there’s more of a time investment required upfront. Because it’s a much more complicated sale, there’s more training for you to go through. You may even start out as a canvasser setting appointments before you jump up to closing deals. This will depend on the company.
Going into an industry with a longer sales cycle will provide you with a lot more knowledge because companies have to invest resources into their employees in order to generate revenue.
Multiple Sales Roles
Finally, unlike a fast sale, there’s multiple sales positions within the organization compared to just knocking doors, pitching, and getting a decision.
Canvassers are the salespeople who pound pavement, knocking doors and scheduling appointments for more experienced reps to go back to at a later date and time. Because these leads are worth more and tougher to come by, these industries often have some sort of marketing department to help in this process.
Once an appointment is set for the sales rep, it’s their responsibility to close the deal before turning it over to a project manager, or another member within the company and in many cases like storm restoration the sales person is the project manager and canvasser all rolled into one.
If you think the best door to door sales job for you is in a lengthy sale, you need to be a good relationship builder.
You also need to be realistic and understand that these are going to involve a much great time requirement. You have to be good with people and have the ability to relate to them and understand them. It’s much more of a “game” of back and forth in these industries.
10 Key Questions to Consider
1. What is the company’s reputation?
2. What is the company culture like?
3. Is the company known for supporting its sales team or is turnover high?
4. What type of initial training will be provided?
5. What type of ongoing coaching and support does the company offer?
6. Will the company work with you to develop your skillset as you progress?
7. Does the company provide all of the tools you need to be successful (technology)?
8. What is the pay and commission structure? How quick can you earn commissions?
9. How many sales reps on the team now are currently achieving quota or better?
10. What is the team and management culture like that you’ll be joining?
When you’ve finally done your homework and are ready to start interviewing, prepare yourself like an be a rock star be ready for the 5 must ask questions a door to door sales company will want you to answer.
You may not know which type of door to door sales job is right for you, especially if you’re brand new to the industry. The good news is that once you have a reputation as a solid sales rep in any of these types of companies you can get a job pretty much anywhere you want since recruiting quality candidates is often the #1 challenge of a door to door sales company.
Network with others in the industry, join Facebook groups that have professionals for the industry you’re considering and ask them the questions above so you can make the best choice for you and your career.
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