Skip to content

Door to door sales – tips and techniques

Selling door-to-door is quite different from other sales jobs. Here are some crucial lessons I’ve learned over the years.

Door-to-door sales techniques

Lesson 1 – Visit enough people

In many ways door-to-door sales and telephone sales is a numbers game. It doesn’t matter how good you are at selling, if you don’t visit enough people you won’t make enough sales.

If you visit 0 people, you will make 0 sales.

Here is as simple trick to motivate you into knocking on more doors:

On a piece of paper make two separate columns and name them “Spoken to” and “Sales”. Each time you speak to a prospect make a note in the “spoken to” column. If you make a sale, make a note in the “Sales” column too. Some say statistics never lie, but in order to make them reliable you must visit at least 1000 prospects. The greater the number the more reliable it gets.

Helpful stuff: Fear of knocking on doors?.

How can I use this?
Everything is about motivating you to visit more prospects. The more prospects you talk to, the more money you earn. If you make 80 sales from speaking to 1000 prospects, you know that you make a sale for approximately every 12,5 door you knock on.

Lets say you want 20 sales every week. In order to meet your goal you have to visit 250 prospects (12,5 * 20) throughout the week. Knowing this makes all the naysayers you run across much easier.

Having accurate statistics also makes you able to calculate how much you earn from knocking on a single door. If you for example sell alarm systems and earn 100 dollars from each signature, you know that each “hard knock” in-fact makes you money!

Lesson 2 – Plan and work your territory right

Starting out in a new sales company, your territory may at first seem endlessly vast. But if you (like most people) just start working random streets, you will soon feel like you “have been everywhere”.

1. To avoid burning out your territory to fast you should make a written plan from day one.

2. Divide the map with the territory appointed to you into 10 sectors.

3. Work each sector throughout until you feel like you have visited everybody who lives there. When you have used all 10 sectors, start over again at sector 1. This should take at least 1 year. Most people on sector 1 will now have forgotten about you, and the territory will feel almost “brand new”.

Tip: Less people are home during daytime. Drive the same route in the evening as you did before dinner to pick up those who weren’t at home.

Lesson 3 – What to say and do at the door

Unless you are selling incredible cheap products, you won’t sell anything presenting it at the doorstep. If you for instance are selling vacuum cleaners, alarm systems or encyclopedia’s your number one priority when ringing the doorbell is the get inside the house so that you can do a full blown presentation of the product.

In order to succeed in this endeavor you have to make a trustworthy first-impression. In addition you must be somewhat subtle and vague when you state your mission. If you say straight out that your selling vacuum cleaners, most people will almost take it as a question – “are you going to buy or not?” – a question most people will say no to without a proper demonstration.

1. This is somewhat individual, but I prefer to drive my car all the way to the doorstep. This way the product can be in the car while I knock at the door. People tend to be more positive when you dosen’t stand there with an incredible large briefcase.

2. What clothes you wear are very important. You should be dressed as neutral as possible slightly adjusted to the neighborhood you are currently working in. For instance if your knocking doors in a typical “rich” district, you must dress accordingly to those who reside there. If people there are wearing suit and tie, you should dress the same way.

Avoid everything that makes you stick out. Unusual hairstyle, mustache, piercing etc. should be avoided. Be clean at all times (both you and your clothes). Use a neutral deodorant or perfume.

3. Smile! You only have a few seconds to make a good first-impression. A smiling person looks a lot less intimidating.

4. Hold eye contact at all times. This has two reasons: Number 1: Avoiding eye contact sends out a signal that you have something to hide and / or that you are nervous. Number 2: Seeing into the prospects eyes makes it easier for you to read the situation and how the prospect are reacting to you.

5. Use a “friendly”, calm voice. Talk slowly and clear.

What to say?
Opening example, adjust to you personal preferences and product:

– Hi! I’ve be appointed the pleasant task of visiting every resident here in …… street to inform you about …….. (your product / service). I reckon I could use 5 minutes of your time to show you a brochure?

As I mentioned earlier, your goal is to get inside the house before you give out any more information. A lot of people will come up with all sorts of questions after you have said your opening. Solve these objections briefly, and ask again. Never start a long discussion with the customer on the doorstep.

Example 1:

Prospect: – Can you give me any more information?
You: Yes (take it as a yes to show the product), just wait a minute while I get the brochure. (Go to you car and come back with the briefcase. Show with your body language that you are on your way into the house). Do you have a table were we can sit down?

Many people will now invite you into the house.

Example 2:

Prospect: – Does it cost me anything?
You: I’m mainly trying to get people’s opinion on the product. Do you have 5 minutes to look at the brochure? (If yes, go to the car and do the same as in example 1).

Tips on objections:
After a while you will realize that you typically face 5-6 different objections at the doorstep from most prospects. Sit down with pen and paper are write these down. Try to come up with the best solution for each and one of the. Try them in action and change them if their not working.

Lesson4 – Product presentation

As I wrote about getting you from knocking the door to getting inside the house for a full presentation in lesson 3, there is another important step you have to go through before you start the demonstration.

Since the prospect doesn’t know you, they are most likely very tense at this point, and if you can’t make them comfortable they will not pay attention to what you are showing them the product. Heck, you could be selling 100 dollar-bills for 50 dollars a piece, and still don’t end up with a sale! Not only must you make them cool down, in order to maximize you chances to make a sale you must make the prospect like you.

Try to get a conversation going. The best way to do this is by asking questions about things that the customer most likely are interested in. If you see a 15 pound salmon hanging on the wall, chances are he / she is interested in fishing! -Where did you catch that salmon, and how big is it? – Is most likely a question that will make them start talking in this situation.

Pay sincerely attention to what they say, and ask follow up questions to what their saying. People love to talk about themselves, and by being a good listener they instantly starts to like you. Add this up mirroring them slightly. This means that if the prospect is talking slowly, you should talk slowly to. If he / she is sitting with the arm crossed, you do the same thing. (But don’t overdo it!) On a subconscious level the other person will see this as a sign that you and he / she is somewhat similar and start to tense up and like you even more.

Hopefully you now have gotten to a point where the other person likes you and are paying attention. It is now time to start the product presentation.


1. Keep the presentation short and to the point.
2. Ask the very best salespeople in your company if you could join them as a passive spectator on a few sales presentations. Bring pen and paper and write down the best parts of their presentation so that you can use it yourself.
4. The presentation should have a “wow-effect”. Remember back when you first saw the product yourself, what made you start selling it?
5. Rehears it at home numerous times so that you know it by heart. Ask friends, colleagues, you wife etc. if they can play the part as customer, and get their opinion on what was good and what wasn’t. If possible record yourself on video camera and analyze yourself.
6. Stop during the presentation and involve the prospect with questions.
7. Always use the prospects individual needs.

The door knob technique

The door knob technique is a powerful tool in your sales arsenal. It may actually turn a lost deal into a signed contract.

You are probably aware of the fact that prospects often lie when they give you the reason why they aren’t buying you product. Not only does “the door knob method” give you more sales, but it also reveal the real reason why you are turned down.

Here is how you do it:

Every time you are about to leave from a sales presentation without a contract, pause for a while when are about to push open the door knob (hence the name of the technique). Turn around and look at the prospect. “Before I leave, maybe you could help me out? You see I’m completely green at selling, and need some advice. What was the real reason why you didn’t buy from me?”.

People love to help others, and by saying that you are a complete rookie (even though you might have been working as a salesperson for several years) most prospects will try to give you some advice. Usually they now give you another reason why they didn’t buy. “Well we can’t afford it just now” is a usual one. Now you have a second chance to close the deal. “Oh, I forgot to tell you. You don’t have to pay anything now! What if we divide it into 6 payment, starting next month?”. If youre lucky they actually say yes!

Try this technique for a few weeks. You have nothing to loose since this is sales you already have lost.

Until next time, happy selling!

Door-to-Door Sales: The single Most Important Piece Of Advice You’ll Ever Get
You have decided to knock on doors for 6 hours.

After 3 hours you make the second sale of the day.

Hooray! 2 sales per day happens to be your goal. So you decide to call it a day, and drive home. You are happy. Your sales manager is happy. Everybody is happy.

Driving home after reaching sales goal

Almost everybody I know of is guilty of this behaviour from time to time. Some are even doing it all the time.

But I’m telling you right now: This is the single most important reason why you are not reaching your maximum potential as a salesperson.

If you always drive home each time you reach 2 sales – You can never make more than 10 sales per week. As a matter of fact, you will probably very seldom reach even 10 sales per week, since some days will bring you 0 or 1 sales even if you work for 10 hours straight.

If I could give you only one piece of advice on selling door-to-door, it has to be this: Work as many hours / visit as many people as you have planned – no matter what happens. Do it if everybody are buying from you that day. (As a matter of fact. The easiest time to make a sale, is the next door you knock on after you have made a sale.) Do it if nobody are buying. It’s the only way to maximise your results.

Open chat
Scan the code
Can we help you?