Somehow in the next few weeks, I hope to connect personally with “Mike” of Mike’s Plumbing, who is presently moving his business from one town to another somewhere in the U.S. Midwest. He recently started a blog on contractortalk.com and, even though the blog has only been published for a few days, he has posted some true marketing zingers.
Like his solution to the problem of door-to-door canvassing.
His solution: He brings the kids along.
Pick a day during the week where you can bring you wife, kids, relatives, cousins, or neighbor kids with you for a two hour D2D sales walk. You simply ring the door bell and introduce yourself and you company. Explain you just wanted to let them know you have a business and you’re local. That’s it, that’s all you need to do….you have just provided an atmosphere that’s not only comfortable for the stranger but FUN!
The home owner that answers the door and sees kids feels comfortable within 2 seconds, assuming everybody is smiling and having a good time. You have just sold yourself as a human being, and not a marketing machine, and you don’t need to say a word. The fact that you brought kids along puts you in a whole different class of people. Instead of being a salesman you are now a fellow citizen, neighbor, and all around good guy! Children have a way of humanizing the situation making you feel welcome.
Wow. Now, my first gut reaction was: “Sheesh, this seems rather explotivive.” Then, of course another perspective occurs. If you do this in the time and manner when it wouldn’t be right to bring the kids along, you probably are doing all the “canvassing things” that cause people to hate canvassers so much.
Its pretty hard to reject a group of kids at the door and you certainly won’t want to over-do this.
Earlier in the blog, he gives the reasoning for his thinking:
In psychology we learn that people don’t enjoy feeling emotionally trapped. Often times D2D salesman put consumers in a position of being emotionally trapped and “on the spot”. It’s uncomfortable and if you think about it very unprofessional. D2D is good, and it does work-but at what expense? You see, we often don’t give much thought about the people who slam doors or say no thank you then walk away upset because they didn’t want to buy what you were selling. Instead, salesmen learn to adapt to rejection and focus on only the ratio of success vs failure, it’s a numbers game; Books are actually written on how to accept rejection. In my experience this is the wrong way to look at going D2D.
I say it’s an expense because if 1 out of 10 people welcome you that means 9 of them are pissed off at you, how is that a good thing?
Yes, this is the fatal flaw with conventional door-to-door canvassing. The painful cost of personal rejection is something we should never seek to endure ourselves and we should never expect “salespeople” to endure as well, except for specialized and brief situations.
So, it seems, Mike has solved the door-to-door challenge. He concludes:
It does work, I guarantee it! It works so well that you will become addicted to his method of meeting customers and it will change the dynamics of your business over night.
And when you’re done with you sales walk, go buy the kids ice cream.
I’ll see if I can reach Mike and introduce him in greater detail.