The terms door-to-door, business-to-business, traveling salesman, or cold-knocking, all refer to canvassing techniques for sales and marketing purposes. Gathering information while selling or advertising goods or services in-person are these techniques’ trademark. Devices of all sizes provide the world at our fingertips in this digital era, giving rise to the idea that such an archaic form of showing up unannounced should disappear completely. But has door-to-door really gone away? Here are some ways canvasing techniques have adapted to change with the times.
The Door-to-Door Future
Forbes published this 2011 article listing door-to-door sales as a Top 10 Dying Job, with a decline of 15% by 2018. Changing to digital marketing has targeted larger audiences, especially when products can be cumbersome, like books, or come in a large variety like make-up or essential oils. Door-to-door is also an expensive form of marketing compared to online advertising. However, door-to-door selling is so effective that Fortune 500 companies have invested heavily in the technique in the 21st century. In our world of over 7.5 billion people and growing, the digital world and door-to-door sales are aiding each other.
An undoubtedly large impact of the digital world is the ability to go paperless in many areas of our lives. Gone are the days when a door-to-door salesman showed up with a stack of books or magazines. Today’s modern era has introduced the ability to use tablets and smartphones to show consumers high-definition presentations, offer same-day delivery, and immediately confirm payments and receipts. Websites and apps have become the new business card as “leave-behind materials” for people who want to do more research and digitally sign contracts.
An effective door-to-door salesperson can be genuine and personal. They help customers to recognize the benefit of the product or service without seeming pushy. Appointment setting is bridging the outreach gap, allowing people to schedule appointments to see certain products or services in action, before committing to the purchase. This form of time management means spending less time knocking, and more time focused on the customers who are interested. Initially, someone may go through a neighborhood and hang flyers on a door or send mailers out for the initial contact, giving customers time to do research online. Companies like doTERRA oils often use word-of-mouth through customers to gain more interested parties. This way they often don’t have to solicit in some areas at all.
Door-to-Door is Effective
Forbes also discusses how door-to-door selling is often the first step to billions, but persistence and patience are crucial for any salesperson. Door-to-door sales may be a good option to consider as an additional sales or marketing technique for some businesses. For the door-to-door salesperson, the money and skills obtained far outweigh any difficulties.