Skip to content
Home » door-to-door marketing as a direct selling technique

door-to-door marketing as a direct selling technique

    Businesses use door-to-door marketing as a direct selling technique to introduce potential customers to the products and services they offer. Door-to-door marketing gives businesses the opportunity to demonstrate their products, answer customer questions and handle objections while at their potential customers’ homes or places of business. As a business owner, you can produce maximum results with your door-to-door marketing efforts by recruiting a skilled marketing team.


    Identify Your Ideal Clients

    1. Determine the types of clients you want to target with the products or services you offer. Consider their interests, education level, salaries, marital status, interests and reasons for making purchases. What you offer heavily influences the type of individuals you need to hire for your marketing team. If you’re selling a high-priced luxury item, hire individuals with sales experience in luxury markets, while if you’re selling magazine subscriptions, you can hire college students who have little to no sales experience. Think about what type of person your ideal client would feel comfortable talking to about the product or service you’re selling and the types of questions they might need answered. Based on the types of customers you want to reach, come up with the best hours to have your door-to-door team active.

    Map Out Your Location

    1. Decide the areas that have residents or business owners who are likely to have an interest in the products and services you offer. City, county and state government websites can give you data about the people who live in the neighborhoods you want to target, which will help you determine whether they fit your ideal customer profile. Mapping out a clear location gives you and your team time to scout the area for competition, identify landmarks for meet-up spots and get a clearer picture of the residents or business owners by visiting the areas before your team begins door-to-door selling.

    Hire and Train Marketing Team

    1. Even if you hire a marketing team filled with individuals who have proven sales track records, it’s still important to train the team based on the products and services you offer, the target market you want to reach and the needs and desires your product or service fulfills. Training should include providing your marketing team with a product demonstration, identifying the features and benefits of your products and by going through a script the team can use to speak with customers. The script should run your team through everything from what to say once a customer answers his door to how to close the sale. Expect that your team will use the training you give them as a guideline as they develop their own selling style. Equip your team with marketing collateral, such as business cards and brochures, they can distribute during their sales visits.

    Set and Evaluate Goals

    1. The goals for a door-to-door marketing campaign may differ across companies or industries, but setting measurable goals remains important. Your goals can include the number of businesses or residences you want to visit within a specified amount of time, the number of follow-up appointments you want to book or the number of products or services you want to sell on the spot, within the designated time frame. These measurable goals will help you determine how successful your overall campaign is and give insight into how members of your marketing team perform individually. With goals in place, your marketing team members know what’s expected of them and can work towards achieving the results you need to attract customers and sales.

    Make a Safety Plan

    1. Door-to-door selling presents potential danger for your marketing team, so it’s important to have safety procedures in place that make your team feel safe. Your plan may include that the team travel in sets of two, be equipped with cell phones, have an emergency number to call at the company if a situation occurs or only visiting neighborhoods that are considered safe, based on local crime rates.

    Door-to-door selling, which has a long history, is used to sell everything from cleaning supplies to cosmetics. This tactic is used by businesses and organizations who want to meet face-to-face with customers to inform, persuade and remind clients about their products, services or causes they represent. In turn, customers can meet the person behind the brand, businesses can handle customer objections directly and make on-the-spot sales. While businesses see merit in this method of selling, many don’t have the manpower to form their own canvassing teams. But you can hire sales professionals and start your own door-to-door canvassing service.


    1. 1.

      Determine what types of businesses you want to target and the geographical areas you want to cover by evaluating your knowledge, skills and interests. If you have worked as a cosmetics representative at local department store, you may opt to provide canvassing services to businesses in the beauty sector. If your experience is in home improvement and your are familiar with how to close sales with these types of customers, you can offer canvassing services to painters, plumbers, electricians, general contractors and local handymen.

    2. 2.

      Create a name for your door-to-door canvassing service that is relevant to the service you provide and the target market you want to attract. Visit your local taxation office to register your business as a legal entity in your state. While there, find out if you need any additional licenses, permits or certifications to operate this business in your area.

    3. 3.

      Purchase general liability insurance from a local agent to protect yourself and your door-to-door canvassing business from potential ligation claims.

    4. 4.

      Develop a sales process and work flow for your business. Consider the following: how customers will schedule appointments to have your team conduct door-to-door canvassing for their businesses, how many hours and days a company can book your sales team, how much advance notice your team requires before getting starting and what type of information is necessary regarding a business’s products and services before your team begins.

    5. 5.

      Recruit a team of sales professionals to work as independent contractors for your door-to-door canvassing business. Place advertisements on community and college job boards. Your staff should have experience in sales and in the industries you plan to target, be outgoing and friendly and familiar with the sales process from start to finish.

    6. 6.

      Hire a lawyer to create contracts for the independent sales professionals you engage to work for your business, as well as a contract you can use with clients.

    7. 7.

      Hire a designer and a copy writer help you create marketing collateral for your business, including a website, brochure and business cards.

    8. 8.

      Market your service to business and organizations in the areas you plan to cover. Join local professional, networking and community associations to meet potential clients and promote your business.

    9. 9.

      Take appointments from clients who are interested in booking your team. Ask for the dates and times they require your services and add the information to your ongoing schedule.

    Sales Team

    If your small business depends on moving your product or services into customers’ hands, developing a winning sales team is the best way to ensure your company’s financial success. Assembling the best crew depends on your ability to assess salesmanship in your interviewing, designing a top-notch sales plan, covering your prospective customer areas, your willingness to reassess and revise periodically, and your commitment to meeting the changing needs of your sales staff.


    Hiring the Right People

    1. The most important aspect to consider when putting together a sales team is each individual’s abilities. As a manager, you must develop a hiring process that ensures you employ the most successful salespeople. Look for outgoing, motivated behavior and speech from those you interview. Choose candidates who are articulate, express a willingness to learn about the business and are passionate about working with people and selling to them. The best salespeople will exude confidence, assurance, be personable and engaging because these salespeople will be the ones who work directly with your customers and potential customers. They also should be well dressed and well groomed so they make a strong first impression. Consider what experience your potential employees have, as you want a staff that can begin selling immediately without much training.

    Well-Designed Plan

    1. After you have put together a coordinated staff, you and your team should craft a plan of action that answers the “what,” “who,” “why” and “how” questions. This begins with educating your salespeople regarding all aspects of your products or services. Your sales force must be able to sell based on facts and be able to answer any questions buyers might have about what you selling. Develop a profile of your typical buyer — a young professional interested in gadgetry if you are selling electronics, for example. Your salespeople must be able to tell your customer why he needs your product or service and how he can use it.

    Divide and Conquer

    1. Your unified sales team has to branch out to be effective in reaching a wide customer based. Section an area map off into areas in which you are most likely to find your ideal customers. Give each of your salespersons a territory that she will focus on during a sales campaign. Allow your salespeople to come up with plans to canvass their territories, with each member reporting back for a weekly meeting to compare notes. Instruct each staff member to keep a record of cold calls, call-backs, additional leads and sales made. Everyone will be responsible for keeping updated information in their territory books.

    Evaluate and Revise

    1. The territory notebooks kept by your sales staff will be essential for evaluating the progress of the company’s sales initiatives. Meet monthly with your sales team to measure how well your sales plan is working. Find out what has worked and not worked during a sales period. Don’t be afraid to discard methods that are not successful. Brainstorm with your people to generate new sales ideas. Create test periods for certain types of sales approaches, which each salesperson record in his notebook. Reconvene again in another four weeks to judge how well these ideas worked. Continually assess and revise to make your sales work dynamic and profitable.

    Meeting Changing Staff Needs

    1. As your sales grow, so do the needs of your sales staff. As a small business owner, you must be attuned to the changing needs of the salespeople. For instance, if a particular salesperson has exhausted her ambitions in a particular region, it might be beneficial to draft a new area for her. Adequately compensate the staff as they are helping your company grow. Productive salespeople should be rewarded with larger commissions or bonuses. Don’t let your sales staff grow complacent or your business will suffer.

    Generating income and revenue are the primary roles of the sales force. A sales team must work together to increase brand awareness and drive sales forward. Small businesses hiring salespeople for the first time must overcome the challenges of finding a cohesive team to work well together.



    1. In addition to generating income, the sales force builds trust with customers. Sales representatives engage customers at all stages of the relationship. New customers need interaction and opportunities to learn about the brand. Current customers gain trust through consistent follow-up and communication with the sales representative. Sales representatives also work to re-engage previous customers through promotions, discounts, and communications. Building trust throughout the customer sales cycle increases customer satisfaction.


    1. Businesses can decide between two types of sales teams or use a combination of both. Outside sales representatives, also called field reps, work independently to generate sales. This type of sales force structure works best with responsible, self-starters who need little supervision. They travel to customer locations to pitch products that require demonstration. Inside sales representatives, also called telemarketers, spend most of their time on the telephone talking with prospective customers or making appointments for customers to come to them.


    1. The benefits of hiring a competent sales team include increased brand awareness, heightened company loyalty, and increased revenues. It may take some trial and error during the hiring process, but finding effective salespeople takes patience. Once established, a sales force creates excitement around the products and services they sell. Using social media is another way to connect with potential customers, promote sales campaigns, and provide information.

    Overcome Objections

    1. Efficient salespeople need to overcome the three main types of objections without feeling rejected or intimidated. Customers conditionally decline a product or service when they say they do not need or cannot afford it. Or, customers use stalling tactics by stating they want to think about the purchase before taking action. Salespeople may find theses two objections difficult to overcome. Customers asking for quality assurance, such as customer testimonials or referrals, present the easiest objections for a sales rep to surmount.


    1. Salespeople can make or break a business, depending on their level of professionalism, commitment, and integrity. When first hiring a sales force, businesses must check references and use effective interview techniques to find people who best fit the company culture and its goals. If it becomes apparent that a team member does not match the organization, managers or business owners should consider finding a more appropriate sales representative.