How Door to Door Sales Improved My Professional Skillset

Andrew Muskatevc | Arizona State University Collegiate DECA

When you think door-to-door sales, do you think of a sketchy person selling vacuums, or Marc Cuban selling trash bags, or maybe someone who’s being paid to ring your doorbell and annoy you for a sale?

During the summer of my freshman year in college, I took a job at an office that facilitated sales that were outsourced from top companies.

In my first week I had visited close to 200 houses, and each house was a unique experience that tied in to a few facts of success that I will be sharing with you in this article.

1. You can go far with a great work ethic!

Each day we were given a territory (neighborhood) and it was our job to visit each house in multiple loops (incase the homeowner would be home at later times than earlier), seeing as many people as possible. This all sounds easy until you’re walking around in 115 degree weather (like we were in Arizona) and being told no 100+ times a day.

A good way to improve work ethic is to equate time to money earned. Each house you see is an opportunity for commission, and each no you get is just one step closer to a yes. The math for our sales said, a rep with good work ethic will see 45 houses a day and will close from 1-2 of them on average, thus earning them more commission.

2. No means next.

Just like in life, in a sales job you WILL be rejected. It is important in the sales world to take rejection with a grain of salt. My favorite saying is, “No means next!”

This is also very applicable to your career and life. If you don’t get the job you applied for, go to the next. Did your girlfriend just dump you? Take some time to cry it out, then go on with life and you’ll find happiness in someone/something.

3. People can be mean, and people can be wonderful too.

One of the rules of the office was, “what happens in the field, stays in the field,” and after a few days I understood why. Most days you’ll knock on a door and someone comes to the door frustrated and cursing your name for interrupting their day, almost like you were being paid to annoy them. Some people will be very offended and go even further than swearing at you. I recall this one time I rang a woman’s doorbell, she came out through the garage and before I knew it this lady was video taping me like I would be featured on World Star.

This happened some days, but everyday you would knock on a house and the homeowner would be absolutely wonderful. They would invite you inside, offer you water, and even if they didn’t buy what I was selling, were genuinely nice to me.  A few times customers gave me dinner! The positive houses outweighed the negative houses If you keep your mind on the negatives, you cannot let them affect your attitude. You can take an L, but don’t let it sink your ship.

4. Sales will help you navigate life.

Sales is a game of connecting with the customer, and allowing them to trust you and help them make a decision about spending money for a product or service. There are a million ways to apply this to life. Sales is just as important of a skill as reading in the professional world. Do what you can to learn about sales while you are young!

This job experience greatly contributed to my leadership in DECA and also taught me a lot about life, sales, people, rejection, and positivity.

I had a lot of fun that summer and got a wonderful tan line from the thick polo I got to wear walking around in the Arizona heat!

This article was written by Arizona State University Collegiate DECA President, Andrew Muskatevc. You can follow ASU Collegiate DECA on Twitter @asudeca.

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