The majority of the sales people at our company work outside in door to door sales. This is hands down one of the hardest ways you can build a book of business in any industry. It is time consuming, exhausting, and the negativity that comes with being told "no" many times daily can lead a person to look for a new career. BUT - there is a better way to sell.
If you are a rookie in sales I'm going to give you some bad news right now - you WILL need to start off with a lot cold calling in order to build up a pipeline - but you won't have to forever. So - what is the magic plan to grow your business and sell more deals than anyone else in your company. Its all about scheduling.
Traditionally sales people have been taught that they need to leave their office and go grind. Spend 8 hours walking door to door. Hit every door and every floor. Talk to everyone. This is not the answer though - working hard is not always enough to make someone successful - you need to work smart as well.
You need to set up your day so part of it is spent cold calling (This part will get smaller and smaller as you grow your database of potential clients), part of it is spent at appointments, and part of it is spent on referrals. This is what a typical day should look like for any outside sales person.
1. 8AM - 10AM Spend the morning reaching out to potential customers that you have not had a chance to sit down with yet via the phone. You have spent time collecting their information - most likely cold calling and pulling their business card or just their name and when the best time is to contact them. Now you are going to reach out to them to try to set up an appointment to sit down with them. A typical script would be: " I was in the other day to speak to you about X. I helped some of your neighbors with X and I would like to come in and speak with you for 5 minutes on Tuesday at 3pm." Then handle any rejections or rebuttals that come your way. Always offer them a time when you are going to be near them - NEVER ask them what time is good. They will always say they have no time. You are going to suggest either 11 am or 3pm. Hit those calls for 2 hours and start setting as many appointments as you can.
2. 11AM You are going to have your first of 2 daily appointments at this time. Hit the area before and after in any spare time you have to do some cold calling/collecting of information so you can reach out to people the next day during you phone session.
3. 1PM. The middle of the day - lunch - a great time to sit down with an existing client and ask for referrals. Bring them something to eat - and most importantly - ask for referrals! The most important part of your day will be getting those referrals and then calling them to set up a meeting. Nothing is more powerful than calling someone up and saying that their friend told you to call. People will give you their attention twice as often on a referral than they will on a cold call. Once you have enough clients you should be constantly going to these lunch meetings and working on referrals. Just to be clear - his does not mean asking who they know - ask for a very specific type of person or business that you are trying to work with. For example: "I am looking to work with people in the medical field, who is your doctor or dentist, and can I reach out to them"
4. 3PM This will be your second appointment of the day. Spend time cold calling around this appointment and information gathering.
5. 5PM. Get out of the field. Go home and wrap up your day and start organizing and preparing for the next day. In sales your day does not truly end at 5pm. You should spend time after the "work" day getting ready for the next day. This is what makes the difference between someone earning $80,000 a year and someone earning $500,000 a year.
If you follow this simple plan you will effectively cut your time cold calling down from 8 hours a day to maybe 2-3 hours max. There will be days where you wont even be doing any. You will eventually hit a point where almost all of your business will be coming from appointments and referrals. Stick to this schedule and keep track of your daily activity and sales will be much less stressful, you will be happier, and you will make a ton more money.
If you are looking to start a lucrative career and earn a six figure income please let us know!