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Keep your eyes open, it’s door knocking season
It’s that time of year again, the birds are chirping, grass is getting greener, the air is getting warmer, and the door knockers are out.
Door knocking, or door-to-door sales, has been around for decades.
From cleaning supplies to magazine subscriptions, this sales tactic has longevity because it works. And with the exception of little girls selling cookies, it’s also a tactic that has gotten a bad rap because of some shady practices.
Sadly, that includes the alarm industry.
We call it door knocking season, because companies generally hire temporary workers, typically students, for the summer. They canvas the neighborhood in an attempt to get anyone who answers the door to talk about home security.
Perfectly legal in most jurisdictions, the reason the practice has a slighted image is due to companies that mislead home owners during their pitch. And when the commission is high (sometimes absurdly so) the students resort to more and more high-pressure tactics to get the sale.
Complaints number in the thousands. You’ve probably even heard of a few of the more common tactics:
- The Neighborhood Special: Whether it’s true or not, they’ll talk about the neighbors down the street who just purchased a system, and the deal you’ll get if you buy at the same time.
- The Fear Factor: The salesman will prey upon the homeowner’s insecurities, telling them there have been break-ins in their neighborhood.
- The Upgrade: The door knocker will announce to the homeowner their current security company has gone out of business and/or their system needs to be replaced. The next thing you know, they are sitting down and signing a completely new contract.
Since you can’t physically prevent door knockers from approaching your customers, what can you do?
Communicating with your customers regularly is an important preventative measure. Make sure they are aware you are there for them, actively protecting their interests, so there is no doubt in their mind if and when someone suggests otherwise.
If the customer’s system is due for an upgrade – for instance, those highly-susceptible because of the upcoming 2G Sunset – a little over-communicating may be in order. Then when they are ready, they know they have the option of coming to you (a name they trust) versus the company that happens to be standing on their doorstep.
I also doesn’t hurt to remind your customers how they should be treated. And how a company such as yours, built on integrity and respect, conducts business.
Make sure your customers know what to expect when your sales rep arrives. Clearly identifying themselves by name, company and purpose of their visit. Showing them you are properly licensed and registered in compliance with all the applicable laws, ordinances and regulations.
And if you embark on a door-to-door campaign of your own, hold your sales representatives to the highest standards of integrity and respect.
We are in the safety and security business after all, and you can make potential and existing customers feel that way simply by the professionalism of your actions.
That way, they’ll be better able to defend themselves from unsolicited, too-good-to-be-true offers. Unless it’s for cookies.