Door-to-door marketing can be intimidating, but it also offers a lot of benefits as a strategy for building your business. The chance to directly engage with potential customers and pitch your offerings in person brings a connection with your audience that commercial advertising can’t match. Understanding some basic techniques can help beginners make the most of these interactions.
Location Is Key
A key part of any door-to-door marketing campaign is picking the right neighborhoods to canvas. If you already have a database of previous customers, the neighborhoods or zip codes that show up most frequently are good places to start. If you’re the local ice cream parlor, for example, walking around the neighborhoods within walking distance or a short drive away and handing out coupons for a free small cone at the beginning of summer can be a great way of either introducing yourself or reminding folks that you’re there at the start of your biggest sales period.
Hone Your Pitch
A successful transaction rarely is as simple as knocking on the door of the fortunate customer who already needs what you’re selling. You’ll have a very short amount of time to convince the resident to patronize your business, and many times the best way to do so is to sell a larger idea rather than your specific product. Someone might not think they need a pest control service, but if you ask them if they want to protect their home from termites it might resonate. Use whatever strengths you have — if you’re naturally funny, start with a joke, for example. But whatever you do, make sure you’re focused on the customer and their wants and needs.
Make Materials Count
If you’re going door-to-door to promote your local business, the fact that nobody answers when you knock doesn’t mean your marketing work is over — it just means your prospective customer will have to read about what you have to offer instead of listening to you say it. As you’re working your script to present in person, don’t neglect the brochures or other marketing material that you’ll leave behind if nobody’s there. Make sure they catch the eye, that they include a call to action or incentive to become a customer and that they’re placed somewhere hard to miss, like hanging from a doorknob or placed in the mailbox.
Set Realistic Goals
Going door-to-door isn’t going to make you a millionaire by Tuesday. Be realistic about your expectations — and also be realistic with any canvassers you hire to go door-to-door for you. It can be a frustrating job with a lot of rejection, and it’s only worse if someone goes in expecting nothing but credit card numbers and referrals. Whatever your business is, and wherever it is located, you should be able to find out an expected response rate to serve as a benchmark. Use that as an initial guide to determine whether your own efforts are effective, and adjust as necessary if you fall below that threshold.