Door to door selling has been a tried and tested sales tactic with a long history, dating back to the early 1900s. Door to door sales (D2D sales) boomed in the 1950s and 60s where charismatic salesmen would sell a huge range of items from vacuum cleaners to household cleaners.
A vintage selling method. Door to door selling dates back to the mid 1900s.
But with the advent of the Internet, more and more people are turning to online shopping to buy the things they want.
So that brings us to the question of: is door to door selling still worth it?
Its longevity is proof that it is still viable as a way to make sales but is it worth your time and effort? In this article we weigh up the pros and cons to help you make a decision!
Pros of door to door selling
Customers can see your product first-hand
One of the biggest weaknesses of online shopping is that you’re unable to see and try the product or service for yourself. Unless you’re very familiar with a certain brand, online shopping usually takes a leap of faith. This is especially certain for products such as clothing or footwear. With door to door sales, customers don’t get that feeling of ‘you don’t know exactly what you’re getting’.
Show off your product right in front of potential customers.
One of the best salesman tips is to show your offering up close, and if you do product demonstrations, they’ll also see it in action. This creates trust and confidence in whatever it is you’re selling. Successful sales are built on trust.
The more people believe in you and your offering, the more likely they are to purchase from you. It’s a big reason why door-to-door sales still generate nearly $30 billion a year in sales!
Easy to build customer relationships
Door-to-door sales allows you to build relationships with potential customers much easier than other sales channels such as eCommerce. We mentioned it in the last point, but building trust and a good customer relationship is one of the biggest factors of successful sales.
When you connect with your customer, you better understand what their problems, desires and pain points are, and can tailor your sales approach to provide the solution they need.
Door to door selling gives you a better chance to create relationships.
Speaking of tailored sales approaches, door-to-door is one sales method which allows you to customise and personalise your sales pitch for individual potential customers. This flexibility might require a bit more effort on your end. However, it results in relationship building and most importantly, a sale!
Good door to door salespeople can also read body language and social cues to further adapt their sales pitch and use different sales techniques to provide a more effective selling experience.
Less competition and a less saturated market
Door-to-door selling is a smaller market, especially compared to eCommerce and traditional brick and mortar retail. Some people might view this as a bad thing (which is completely understandable), but it provides you with a great opportunity!
Because it’s a smaller market with less competition, it gives you a greater chance to stand out and distinguish yourself from the rest of the field. Less competition means more opportunities to make sales and profits for you!
Additionally, door-to-door selling allows you to generate demand in a market which you may not have thought possible. In oversaturated markets, there’s a chance that customers aren’t aware that products or services exist. Face-to-face sales takes advantage of this, creating curiosity and intrigue in customers, motivating them to buy whatever it is you’re selling.
Cons of door to door selling
There’s no way to sugarcoat it – door to door selling is a time-consuming task. Walking from home to home, continually knocking on doors and delivering your sales pitch all take up a lot of time, and can be physically draining. The sales you make may not be worth the daily time investment.
Door to door selling is not only physically draining, but it’s also mentally draining. You’ll definitely come across unresponsive doors and uninterested people.
Expect to spend hours on your feet with door to door sales!
Even if people are interested in your product, they still may not make a purchase. This can become very frustrating and discouraging. Door to door sellers need a lot of patience and a thick skin to be successful – something that many aspiring sales people lack.
May affect brand reputation
Brand image and brand reputation are cornerstones of successful business, whether you’re a small business or a big corporation. It creates an impression in the minds of your target audience and separates you from your competitors. That’s why it’s important to note that door to door selling might negatively impact your brand’s reputation.
The reality is that with door to door selling, some people just don’t like being approached by strangers – especially in the comfort of their own home.
People also have the legal right to turn you away or refuse to open the door. Crossing that line might have legal consequences!
The door to door selling experience can be very uncomfortable for potential customers, and abrasive or an overly intrusive door to door salesman can leave a lasting, negative impression on them.
This reflects negatively on not only yourself, but also on your brand and business as a whole.
Expect to meet customers who are not interested in your product.
Hard to reach a wide audience
Another drawback of door to door selling is that it is hard to reach a wide audience, or a large amount of people. Usually, the best way to generate sales and profits for your business is to attract as much people or traffic as possible. It’s a major reason why SEO marketing and PPC marketing are highly recommended ways to reach as many potential customers as possible.
Door to door selling simply doesn’t have the same kind of reach that eCommerce has. You can only get to so many homes in any given day, and as we touched on before, is a tiring and exhaustive process.
And unless you’re a superstar door to door salesperson, there will be many days where you’ll go without a sale. It might be a better return on your investment (ROI) to use a selling method that is able to reach more people. Examples of such methods are social media or eCommerce.
Should you take on the challenge of door-to-door?
Door-to-door selling definitely has the potential to reap large amounts of money for you and your business. But you should be aware that it is an endeavour that demands a lot of time, effort and persistence on your part.
If you are confident in your ability to create personal customer relationships, door to door selling might just be for you! And if it’s not, eCommerce is always a great second choice. We can help you with your eCommerce business efforts! Talk to us today to see how we can help you today!