Reaching Homeowners Who Don’t Want To Open The Door


Jay Bean, CEO of FreshLime, is a tech entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience empowering SMBs to grow through emerging technologies.

It is 2022, and many homeowners don’t want to open their doors when they aren’t expecting someone. My company has been researching and servicing the door-to-door sales industry for several years, and we’ve found that the salespeople who focus on the door-to-door method are struggling to see the same amount of success as in the past. 

There are several factors that could be playing a role in why today’s homeowners are not as likely to open their doors, such as:

• Covid-19 and social distancing: As of January, many Americans were still social distancing because of the pandemic. Whether a person is nervous about becoming ill or spreading it to others, answering the door for an unexpected visitor is likely not a priority for someone working to keep their distance.

• Crime rates: Because of the rise in violent crimes in the United States, many people may be uneasy about opening their front door for someone they do not know.

• Doorbell cameras: In 2020, it was estimated that over 20 million homes in the U.S. use a doorbell camera. That number is certainly going to continue to increase, making it easier and easier for homeowners to ignore the door when the person on the other side is a stranger.

So, what can door-to-door sales companies do about this problem?

Just because a person did not answer the door doesn’t mean the sale won’t happen. One solution is to leave behind a door hanger or other marketing materials—such as business cards, pamphlets and stickers—with your contact information. This gives the person living there the opportunity to reach out to you if they’re interested, and it may make them more comfortable with opening up next time you knock.

You can take it a step further by including on your marketing materials a QR code that directs people to your website. When it comes to using QR codes for business, there are a few things D2D sales companies can do to ensure the most success. First, be sure to incorporate the QR codes into your designs while still allowing them to stand out on your marketing collateral. The best way to do this is to use an online design tool that can walk you through the process of keeping your codes aesthetically pleasing and prominent.

QR codes should direct the homeowner to a place where it is easy to contact you. You can take it a step even further and enable the codes to take them to different places as a test to see which ones convert the best. For example, include a QR code that directs people to your website contact page on one piece of collateral, and then a QR code that leads right to a text conversation with you or one of your sales representatives on another. We call QR codes that take scanners to places other than just a webpage “smart QR codes”—my company offers technology that helps businesses do this, but a number of other tools exist to help with this as well. This is a great way to A/B test which place and which methods of contact are most welcoming and simple for your customers.

Most consumers in today’s technology-driven world will know how to use a QR code properly, but don’t forget about those who might need some guidance when you are designing your marketing materials. Including a blurb under the code that says something like, “Easily scan this code using the camera on your smartphone to open up a text conversation with me!” makes it easy to understand for anyone who might not be familiar with QR codes or how to use them. 

Warming up your leads by leaving a code they can scan to find out more about what you offer, and even chat with you to schedule an appointment, will surely make them feel more at ease about opening their door for you next time. Using the technology available to businesses today can make life as a D2D salesperson more successful and less stressful. Don’t let potential customers slip through the cracks simply because they did not answer their door the first time. Keep the customer journey smooth and pleasant by allowing homeowners to learn about your business, even if you have already left their porch. 


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