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Sales lessons from a bug killer

Last week I answered our door at home to greet a salesperson selling extermination services. He wore a company-branded shirt and carried a clipboard, so he must have been legitimate! I normally wouldn’t entertain supporting a door-to-door solicitor, but this person performed exceptionally well. Allow me to summarize his approach:

  • He was just talking to our neighbors next door (and used their last name) and signed them up for service. (Offered endorsements and showed validity)
  • He had a few open spaces left on the schedule, and since the company would be in the neighborhood, he wanted to offer a discount to any other neighbors that could use the bug-spraying treatment. (Discount- and service-oriented)
  • He asked if we had seen any of the ants that he pointed out on our front porch inside the house lately. (Relevant and provided a solution to our immediate needs)
  • He appeared to be genuinely interested when asking about our prior treatments and offered an informative explanation of why his company is different than other exterminators. (Sincere and competitive)
  • When I tried to delay him by informing him that I wanted to check with my wife, he asked for the sale and stated that if we could decide that evening before his schedule filled up, he would even provide a free inspection of our woodwork. (Asked for the business, inferred limited supply and high demand, and offered concessions)

This situation proved to me that while I may not endorse the tactics of door-to-door solicitation, the right person can be successful in any sales role with the right approach!

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