Door-to-door sales began long before the advent of digital technology. Prior to the 19th century, salesmen — then known as peddlers — would take products to sell to people living outside of towns. Without close proximity to shops, people in rural communities relied on peddlers as the only way to obtain necessary items.
The arrival of the 19th century brought a larger presence of retail shops and mail-order catalogs, but door-to-door sales still thrived. Many people still remember the milkman, the vacuum salesman, the Avon lady, the encyclopedia salesman, and Tupperware parties. Door-to-door sales provided a personal touch and the convenience of shopping from home. These benefits would typically win a client’s business over more impersonal, less convenient retailers.
The biggest impact on door-to-door sales came from the dawn of the digital era. People can now order what they want with the click of a button. Their products are delivered directly to them, sometimes in as little as a few hours, meaning door-to-door sales no longer have a competitive advantage by way of convenience. Despite this, the practice still offers other benefits that online ordering cannot. It is currently a $28.6 billion industry and shows no sign of disappearing in the near future.
Advantages of Door-to-Door Sales
Following are some of the most common benefits of door-to-door sales:
One of the most important factors of door-to-door sales, which is missing from most other marketing, is the human touch. People typically see anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 digital ads per day. Technology allows companies to personalize ads to make them relevant to the viewer. But with so many ads in play, it is easy to ignore them. In the case of digital ads, this can lead to a lot of missed business.
With door-to-door sales, a human is knocking on the door. Not only is this much more difficult to ignore, but also more engaging.
Studies have shown that when someone smiles at you, a part of the brain is activated that causes you to mimic that expression. When a homeowner opens the door to a smile, he or she will smile back. Even if they do so guardedly, this smile is the first step to building rapport. It makes the potential customer more comfortable and open to hearing what you have to say.
Once the door is open, you gain another edge that digital ads do not have. You can carry on a two-way conversation. Prospective customers are not just reading your information. They actually hear you say it. They respond, ask questions, and voice concerns that you hear immediately.
Additionally, as the conversation carries on, you can pay attention to their facial expressions. This ability can help you discover pain points, weak areas in your pitch, and more. And all of this is happening in real-time.
Putting Information in Hand
People often scroll right past digital ads on their screens to find something more interesting to them. With door-to-door sales, you can put information about your company straight into their hands. While there is a chance they throw that information away, they cannot simply scroll past it. They look at physical information, try to process it, and then determine what to do with it. It helps you keep their attention for longer than digital marketing usually can.
Imagine that you walk into your kitchen for a snack and see a long line of ants making their way to your cabinet. You see an ad for a pest control company and plan to inquire about their service and pricing. Before making that call, someone knocks at your door to tell you about their pest control services. You can either let the guy standing in front of you handle it, or you can send him away and call the number in the ad.
Most people would choose the person who is at their door for one main reason: people want simplicity. They want their needs met, and they want it done quickly. They value their time as much as they do their money.
Data shows that approximately 74% of people are likely to switch brands and companies if the buying process is too difficult. If they have to choose between someone standing in front of them or calling a company and hoping they get an answer, they typically prefer the faster option. With your pest control company actively knocking on doors, it means you are present. Homeowners can ask any questions, get the information they need, and schedule service right then and there.
Disadvantages of Door-to-Door Sales
There are also disadvantages to door-to-door sales:
Consumers tend to view door-to-door salespeople in a negative light, avoiding them or being completely closed off to them. Additionally, some unsavory companies have taken advantage of prospects in different ways, making it difficult for the good guys.
You are using one of your most valuable assets: your employees. This can cost you a lot of money with staffing.
No matter how hard your door-to-door sales team tries, they will get rejected. Most salespeople hear “No” or “I’ll think about it” more often than “Yes,” especially during the first interaction. While rejection is a normal part of sales, it can wreak havoc on a salesman’s confidence and impact their performance.
How to Start Your Pest Control Door to Door Sales Team
If door-to-door sales sound right for your company, follow these steps to get started:
1. Do Market Research
The first step is determining the areas you should target and the type of client you wish to attain. Research your market to answer the following questions:
- What demographics are present in your area? You need information on your potential clients so you can discover when they are typically home, the financial outlook, and how to attract their attention.
- Are there high-crime areas to avoid? You do not want to send your team into high-risk areas. Also, prospects may be much less likely to answer the door when crime is common.
- What pests are common in the locations you hope to target? This helps create a script and ensure you offer relevant services.
- Who is your competition? You need to know what they offer and what they are known for so that you can find a way to stand out.
- Are there any regulations in your area you need to comply with? You do not want to get sued or have legal trouble.
Use the answers to map out your target locations and create a good sales plan.
2. Recruit and Train Your Team
Your next step is to recruit a team. You can either outsource sales or build an internal team. In either case, there are important steps to follow to ensure success:
Develop an onboarding process for recruits. Be sure they know your products and services well, which will build their confidence.
Ongoing door-to-door sales training will help your team refine their skills. Provide information and training on any new services or campaigns you may be offering.
Provide door-to-door sales tips for your pest control sales team on topics such as:
- Understanding and targeting pain points
- Ways to handle rejection
- Building rapport
- Following up
It is also a good idea to teach your team about common practices to avoid, such as:
Dishonesty. Your sales team should be as honest and open as possible. Being dishonest to get a sale is only going to lead to distrust and disappointment.
Over-promising. It is always better to under-promise and over-deliver than it is to over-promise and disappoint your clients.
3. Send Proof
Anyone can say that they offer the best of something or that a product can provide specific results. However, not everyone can show proof. Prepare your team with proof that your company does what it says it will do. This can be in the form of customer reviews and demonstrations.
Door-to-Door Sales Pitch Script
Keep your script simple, and do not focus on selling. Instead, try something like, “Hi, I’m Bill, and I work with ABC Pest Control. Summertime is approaching, and I’m talking to people today to learn more about the pest challenges they typically face at this time. Would you mind answering a few questions?”
This type of pitch makes them feel more at ease and like they are doing you a favor. If they are willing to answer questions, get to the bottom of their pain points and offer a solution. If they do not want to answer questions, thank them for their time and leave them with a card.
Door-to-door sales may be considered old-fashioned, but there is no doubt that it is still an effective marketing strategy. In fact, it is even more effective in some ways as it provides so much that digital marketing cannot. Try adding door-to-door sales to your pest control marketing strategy and experience the benefits for yourself.
Don’t Miss Any Calls
After you work hard to drum up business, you do not want to lose it due to missed calls. Slingshot can answer your customers’ calls 24/7 and help sell your services to callers.