My time as a door knocker has come to an end. I am about to embark upon a new journey -working for one of London’s largest recycling companies.
I think it is only fitting to pass on some lessons I have learnt about dealing with the public, using persuasive skills and reading body language.
Before starting knocking on doors – I was dreading it. The thought of ringing on 120 door bells a day and dealing with people who did not want to be disturbed terrified me.
However, I figured I would gain more from working, than tirelessly applying for jobs all day.
I was right – I met some fantastic people, learnt a lot and it even lead to another job. It is better to do something than nothing at all.
One common theme I found was that everyone was in a rush. Londoners and city dwellers are known for whizzing around. However, this is not to say they wont listen to you and sign up to what you are offering. One young man, answered the door brushing his teeth. He spelled his email address for me, lightly spraying my tablet with minty toothpaste. I managed to grab emails through intercoms, out windows and while people were on the phone. People love to multitask.
Consequently, my first tip is: Don’t walk away if someone is pressed for time.
Simply amend your spiel. ‘Okay sir, no worries, let me save you some time. If you give me your email address, I will send you the relevant information. You will be immediately signed up and you won’t have to fill in any forms.’
When people are in a rush they will do anything to get you away quickly. Make the most of it and get an extra sign up.
Tip 2: Wear a thick skin (it’s not personal)
‘Leave me alone and don’t come back,’ the middle aged woman screeched as she saw me standing there with my council name badge.
Rather than getting flustered and offended ignore the rude people. I tended to have a giggle with colleges or just felt sorry for them. It is not against you in any way – they are just having a bad day.
Tip 3: Have fun with it
With everything in life you will enjoy it more if you have a little fun. Talk to colleges in-between doors, set targets, beat your top sign up rate and have a laugh. Some residents will be up for a giggle too. You could brighten their day up as well as yours.
Tip 4: Ask the right questions
People like talking more than listening. Ask questions which allows residents to talk about themselves. It is also a good idea to ask questions which make them realise they need the service you are selling. For example, ‘Do you recycle?’ This allows the individual to talk about their current routine etc.
Tip 5: Take control
Instead of asking: ‘do you have time to talk?’ just state: ‘I am here to talk about recycling (or your product).’ Most people are too polite to interrupt you mid-flow but if given the choice any will say ‘sorry I have no time.‘
Similarly, don’t ask: ‘Can I sign you up?’ Instead say: ‘All I need is an email and I will send you all the information‘ or ‘Great please can I have your account number and you can start the scheme‘