Door-to-door selling is one of the oldest forms of selling goods and services in the country. I am sure many of you remember the Fuller Brush Man, and we're all familiar with salespeople selling magazines subscriptions, home improvement services, Girl Scout cookies and a host of other products door to door.
In the OCS and vending industries, selling directly to corporate facilities is still very strong. Of course, many sales-lead appointments are generated by telephone solicitors working for our companies. These direct telephone lead-generation employees not only are responsible for setting up appointments with the decision-maker, but also for gathering critical information about the company's coffee break needs and arrangements, so that their salespeople can make a better presentation. The more knowledge they have, the better the success rate of closing sales.
The same information can (and definitely should) be obtained when a door-to-door salesperson -- engaged in cold canvassing -- interviews a receptionist or gets in to see the buyer in a corporate office.
So, what information is critical to making the sale? Keep in mind that the sale may not be made on the first or second attempt, but may be made months or years later. Accurate information must be gathered whenever possible, to help the process along.
Below is a form that will instantly guide your telemarketers and field sales personnel in collecting the information that will be needed when presenting to the decision-maker, as well as the information you'll need to install your equipment and schedule services after the sale is made. This information can be updated, and should be used in the future, if the sale is not made within a reasonable time.
Management must have a copy of the completed form and salespeople should follow up every three to six months with prospects whom they do not initially sell. Situations change, buyers change and your competition could be making mistakes. Following up persistently on all leads will turn prospects into clients.
Another reason to keep good records is to protect your company if a salesperson leaves your employ: a prospect's account information can be given to another salesperson to follow up. A complete history of what took place will enable the new person to have a greater chance of making the sale.
Sales lead forms also are an accurate way to keep abreast of what your team has been doing in the field. All salespeople must be held accountable for their production and time, if you are paying their salaries.
Door-to-door selling is profitable for a well-trained salesperson. Today, many leads are generated by good telemarketers who will open the first door for a salesperson in a particular building. Once inside that building, the salesperson should continue soliciting other companies within.
As you can see, there should be a total team effort to make your company successful.
Please let me know whether you have a similar form for your sales staff, and if I should include additional information in my list. I can be reached at (516) 241-4883 or by email at OCSconsultant@aol.com.
LEN RASHKIN is a pioneer in office coffee service. He founded Coffee Sip in 1968 and after 22 years merged it with Dell Coffee, of which he became president in 1991. Sales at Dell topped $7 million dollars. Rashkin is also a founder and officer of Eastern Coffee Service Association and National Beverage Products Association. His industry honors include NCSA’s (now NAMA) Silver Service Award and NBPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award; he was inducted into NBPA’s Hall of Fame in 1996. His marketing excellence earned him NBPA’s Crystal Bean Award and three NCSA Java Awards. He is a frequent speaker at national and local trade conferences, consults on OCS sales and marketing and has is the author of two OCS training programs.