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  • Why is Selling Door to Door So Difficult?

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Selling things door to door is hard; very hard, in fact. If salespeople were knocking door to door in the Bahamas, it could be a pleasant job. But in freezing cold Ontario, there’s little respite for a generation of trained workers caught between a work situation that is difficult and thankless with a customer base that’s suspicious of their motives.

So why is door to door sales such a thankless job? We’ve all been sold to on the streets, and stores, and online. And yet, in spite of door to door’s effectiveness and legitimacy, the turnover on jobs like this can be very high (on average 6 months).

Smashing the Commission Structure – Is it an Option?

We know we’ll get some upset emails from well-earning door to door salespeople, but bear with us for a moment. It seems that the number one issue with a lot of door to door salespeople who engage in unfair practices or ultimately burn out is that 100% Commission Structure. Its been problematic for so many charities, for example, that charities no longer engage in the practice.

The thought process is that if salespeople focus only on the sale, they miss out on the customer relations and communication that make talking about issues like charitable work essential. While most companies who engage in door to door practices still rely on 100% commissioned workers, there are a few other options out there.

  • Base pay + Commissions – The door to door knocker earns money on top of their base wage for every sale they make. The concern to companies is that salespeople won’t earn much more than is required to avoid being fired.
  • Base Pay OR Commissions – The salesperson earns either their base page or commissions, whichever is higher. This is a good middle ground and can give workers that sense of stability, but it might lead to lazy workers.

Or Make The Job More Engaging

Traditionally, salespeople sold the product they were assigned to sell and not much else. Selling in itself was a skill. But in today’s marketplace, having multiple skills is something of a career-maker. Ontario Energy Group Consumer Watch proposes that the following things should be looked at for small businesses to help them keep skilled workers and avoid burn-out.

  • Combine New Skills and Tasks With the Job – With higher tech products hitting the market, turning sales people into tech experts and installation crews can split up the monotony of selling and turn salespeople into qualified experts.
  • Run Interesting Campaigns – Creativity breeds engagement. Selling day-in-day-out can burn out even the most dedicated worker. Businesses should focus on running interesting and engaging campaigns that draw workers and consumers alike into brands and new developments in products.
  • Build Trust With Consumers – It’s no surprise that relations between companies that use door to door sales and the homes they visit have strained relations. Building this relationship can help salespeople enjoy their job, and it can help homeowners enjoy the visit.

Whether you like door to door sales, it will always be a part of our daily lives. And the people who get up every day to work in those jobs are just as entitled to a fair and enjoyable job as anyone else. We’d like to hear your thoughts as to how door to door salespeople can enjoy their jobs more, and make door sales a trusted and enjoyable experience for everyone.

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