5 Habits of Highly Effective Door-to-Door Salesmen

After selling pest control door-to-door for five years, and managing a team of sales representatives, I have recognized some common characteristics of sales reps who do well vs those who struggle. Here are five habits of highly effective sales reps, that I believe help them to be most effective.

1. Positive Attitude

People love to talk to someone who is contagiously happy. Great salesmen recognize that sales is about how a product makes a customer feel as much as it is about what a product does. When people like you, they will inevitably like your product. A smile will also allow you to be honest and blunt without being overbearing or rude on the doors. You can say almost anything you want if you’ve got a huge smile on your face.

No matter what happens throughout the day, you are in complete control of your attitude. Staying positive and happy is an essential decision each salesperson must make. The benefits of a positive attitude stretch far beyond just getting more sales, it improves your life as well. Remember that happiness is a choice that is NOT dictated by circumstance but by attitude.

2. Persistence

Great salesmen are always closing. They don't save their close until the end of the pitch and then walk away ashamed and awkward when a customer says no. Effective salesmen close frequently and early. They use effective and well-timed closes to draw out concerns and questions that customers have so that they can tailor their pitch to the specific needs of the customer. Good salesmen know that 'no' doesn't always mean 'not ever' -- it often means a customer needs more information or more time to process that information. When a customer gives a concern or question, great salesmen have mastered the art of first understanding the concern, and then focusing on the benefits of their product which either resolve that concern or outweigh it.

3. Diligence

Every salesman gets tired, worn out and sometimes, beat down. It’s the nature of the job. Sales can be exhilarating at times and challenging at others. It’s the diligent salesman that typically ends the season higher on the list than the ones who get into the habit of giving up and checking out early. Many times, salesman will tell themselves, "I don’t feel good today", "I'll skip the morning go and out after dinner", or "I’ll go home early just this one time"… and the next thing you know, it’s an everyday occurrence. This is a slippery slope and a trap salesman should be aware of, and avoid. We have found that top performers get a large percentage of their sales from the hour before lunch and after 8:00 PM at night. These times can be the difference between an all-star and a mediocre rep.

What can help increase a salesman's knock hours? Incentives, bonuses and competition. If you run an office of salesmen, make sure to find out what truly motivates each of your employees. It’s worth investing in some legitimate incentives to keep your sales team motivated through the season.

4. Effective Knocking Records

In my day of sales, we used an old fashioned clipboard with pen and paper. I would write down each house I knocked on with the street name and house number in order on the page, I would use different codes for customers based on different criteria: those who were interested but I needed follow-up with them, those uninterested, those that purchased the product, those who were not home, where the house was vacant, for sale or if it was another reason.

However, it’s 2016, technology is too advanced to be using pen and paper! PestRoutes offers a mobile application called SalesRoutes which has a simple to use digital knocking record with GPS coordinates, customer status tracking, and many other features to help your sales team be more effective. SalesRoutes is an easy, efficient way for your sales team to keep up with their knocking records without spending hours on paperwork.

5. Hydration

Summer sales means A LOT of sunshine and extreme temperatures. As diligent as one may want to be, it’s all for naught if they fail to stay hydrated. Not being properly hydrated can cause a salesman to make simple mistakes with their pitch, which can cause them to lose sales that they otherwise would have been able to close. You want to make sure they nip hydration in the bud before it ever becomes a problem. Salesmen shouldn't be too shy or timid to ask people for water when going door to door. Everyone knows what it’s like to be thirsty and most people, interested in your product or not, will empathize with the door to door salesman who is working hard in extreme temperatures. Water is easy to get, just ask!

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