But instead of the UPS guy, I saw a man dressed in a t-shirt and shorts. A dirty rag hung from one of his pockets and in his hand he clutched a plastic spray bottle. Let’s call this man, Bob.
“Hi, are you the man of the house?” Bob asked rapidly. His machine gun delivery continued as he said, “I sell cleaning supplies and I’ve talked to some of the good people in your community, like Arlene, Joy, and Roberta. With my cleaner, you’ll never need to scrub again.”
Then I was saved by the bell, literally, as my phone rang.
“I have to answer that,” I said as I backed away quickly. It was an important call so I don’t feel bad about taking it.
Later I thought about Bob’s sales strategy. I realized that even though I spent less than a minute with him, I wouldn’t have bought from him for several reasons. These are things you should keep in mind before you make a pitch to potential customer.
The way Bob looked, I thought that he had come to the wrong home to visit or had come to rob mine. From his clothes to his generic spray bottle, there was nothing that branded him or his product. People who sell homemade jelly at a state fair do a better job of branding.
I want to buy cleaning supplies from someone who looks clean, not a guy who looks like he should be waxing my car. Successful people look successful.
Bob came to my home assuming that I place high value on keeping things clean. That’s true but he also assumed that I wasn’t already using a product that could do the job. His bottle might have been full of a magic elixier but achieving maximum cleanliness isn’t my only goal. I also want to make sure the product doesn’t make my home smell like chemicals.
What I Value
Bob told me the name of some of my neighbors with the goal of increasing his credibility. But in my community, I don’t talk to my neighbors much unless I’m walking to a mailbox or digging out after a hurricane. Bob pitched me as if I was living in a 1950s community.
Where’s the Proof
While I never gave him a chance to demonstrate his product, I only had his testimonial as evidence. My patio could use some cleaning and while it’s not a disaster area, the opportunity is there. Bob didn’t frame his pitch in term of cleaning something that was obviously in need of some TLC.
Am I being unfair by asking him to make such a split second decision? If he wants to be successful, then he needs to think fast.
Door to Door Sales
When was the last time you bought something from your front door that wasn’t part of a kid’s school project? Going from one home to another takes a lot of time and doesn’t yield a lot of results.
People won’t buy from you just if you think your product is great. Explain how it will make my life better, dress the part, and show me why I should care.