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Door-To-Door Salesmen: If You’re Selling, I Ain’t Buying

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I live in the nexus of salesmen - or so it seems. At least once a week, we get a visitor looking sell something. Two young ladies knocked on my door the other night. When I answered, they introduced themselves as Beth and Jenn. They had me guess why there at my door. I guessed that they were selling magazines - 92% of the time it's magazines. Jenn, who did 95% of the talking, informed that it was not magazines, but "periodicals."

One thing I've from these solicitors is that they are brilliant. Whatever trick or line you have, they have a counter-line waiting. The first thing these ladies did is ask if they can come inside since it was cold out. When I'm home alone, I don't particularly enjoy letting total strangers in my home. However, it was hard to say no them with their chattering teeth. Against my better judgment, I let them in.

Door-to-door SalesmanOnce inside, they looked around to see what they could use against me. First they saw a picture of me and my wife. They started to ask about her and if she's into fashion (because they have fashion magazines). Our Red Sox drink coasters caught their eye and they asked if I was interested in sports (the ESPN magazine was worth over 3000 points). Score a couple of points for them, they've got me engaged in conversation.

For the next 5 minutes, it's a great game of tennis. They keep on serving pitches for magazines, I keep giving excuses for not buying them. Jenn goes as far as writing up a slip for ESPN The Magazine. It's only $60 for 52 issues - plus $15 in shipping and handling. As Jenn said, "the mailman needs to get paid too." She then gives me the slip (with two smiley faces) and her hot pink pen to sign away my $75 for a magazine that I don't want. When I explain that I don't want the magazine, they get disappointed, "You don't want to us to go to Europe?" At that price, no I did not. I finally convinced Jenn and Beth that I wasn't going to buy. I promptly looked up the price on ESPN. It didn't take me long to find that I could buy 26 issues for $26 - and get a free fleece.

I despise the companies behind these promotions, but I have to admit that they have a great business plan. They get aggressive salespeople, offer them the chance at big prizes, in an effort to sell overpriced products. Their "innovation" or "product" is quite often marketing - and trying to trick or guilt people in bad deals. I have to remind myself this every time the come to my door.

How do you deal with door-to-door salespeople when you don't want the product?

Image Credit: The Hotspot Online

Last updated on August 1, 2011.

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76 Responses to “Door-To-Door Salesmen: If You’re Selling, I Ain’t Buying”

  1. WealthBoy says:

    The last time it was pretty easy. An ADT authorized dealer came to my home to try to sell me, an ADT employee, a system. If they could have given me $10 a month in monitoring, I would have considered it since they were offering free installation/activation. Of course, this was a very rare case in which the salesperson was actually selling a product I was in the market to buy. In any case…

    Most of the time I listen for a little bit, but eventually politely decline. I’ve read some books on NLP (NeuroLinguistics Programming) which provides A LOT of the techniques those guys use. If you’ve never read about it, I highly recommend learning more about it and maybe even checking out a book or two on it. Even if you’re not a salesperson there is a lot of good that can come from learning NLP, including self-improvement. If anything, it will educate you on the techniques they use, make you aware of what they are saying, how they are saying it, and the responses they are SOLICITING from you (pun intended).

  2. FFB says:

    I live in NYC. Perhaps people think it’s too dangerous here for door-to-door salesmen here since I’ve hardly ever seen any. What we get are phone solicitations. On the one hand these people are working hard for their money and you gotta respect that. On the other hand a no is a no and they sometimes don’t’ understand that (again I speak from phone experience here). One thing you could do is act a little nuts around them. Just start talking all sorts of crazy stuff. Then you get to have a little fun at least.

    Is there any sort of registry similar to the do not call registry for door-to-door salesmen? It seems there should be.

  3. rstlne says:

    Simply don’t let them in. It’s your property. You have the right to not allow trespass.

  4. No Debt Plan says:

    This is what I cannot STAND… I’m sorry, you’re freezing outside trying to sell me something. It’s your choice to be standing there, trying to sell me something. You have 30 seconds to get off my property…

    Maybe I’m a little disgruntled ;)

  5. Funny says:

    Here in Germany, consumers have the right to revoke any contract or sale that was made at their doorstep for 14 days.
    Since that law passed, sales activities at the door nearly ceased.
    In my opinion that shows if you take away the psychological aspect and give consumers time to think, they would usually have second thoughts.

    (BTW same law applies to anything sold via mail order catalogue or internet)

  6. Danny Tsang says:

    Never had an issue when I lived in a suburb of San Francisco, but now that I’m back in the city, there’s a few people dropping by. I’ve heard horror stories of so-called carpet cleaning services who offer you a “free” cleaning and basically they rob you. When I notice salespeople, I don’t even bother to acknowledge them. They don’t even get a chance to sell me overpriced items.

  7. Yvonne Adams says:

    I’ve taken to telling magazine salesman in general about http://www.parentwatch.org/

    Other than that, I call on my hard and fast rule of not responding to any door-to-door or telephone solicitations, whether or not I’ve done prior business with the organization.

    My own mother couldn’t solicit me.

  8. Mrs. Micah says:

    Lol, I love the “You don’t want us to go to Europe?”

    Well I’m certainly not going to pay your way. If you get a job with a business I like, I’ll patronize it and thus pay your way, but I don’t sponsor random people from the goodness of my heart. Wait until I’m a millionaire…and then I’d at least have to know you. ;)

    As it is, I love my locked apartment building. No way they’d get in anyway.

  9. JohnR says:

    If people are selling home or yard improvements, I always say that I don’t want it. If they pressure, I say that if i HAD wanted it, I would do an exhaustive search and get a good deal.

    For anything else, I just say “If I want one of these, I will get it on the internet cheaper.” They know you can so this shuts them down more easily.

    Kids are a different story. I was in Boy scouts, so if any boy scout/cub scout comes to my door, I will pretty much buy whatever they are selling. But when kids are selling candy bars or stupid cheese and gift wrap products, I lie and say of have no money.

  10. Consecutive “No”s delivered in a deadpanning fashion usually does the trick here.

  11. Llama Money says:

    I won’t let anyone in my home, period. I feel bad, especially if it’s cold or poor weather outside, but I’m firm. For me it’s more of a paranoia though. Sure, they say they are salesmen, but how do I know that it’s not a serial killer standing on my porch? No thanks, I’ll feel bad and live another day.

  12. I had one guy call me up and as soon as I realized it was a marketer I was like “Could you please take me off your list?”

    Him: “But sir…”
    Me: “Just take me off.”
    Him: “Well first”””
    Me: “Take me off.”
    Him: “Will you let me talk!”

    It was hilarious! Yeah it’s a sucky job but you chose it man so tough luck for you.

  13. How do I deal with sales people? I say “No”, and close the door. I don’t even let them tell me what they are selling. Often I don’t answer the door at all.

    If they’re children, and I know them, I might buy a fundraising candy bar. Or I might just donate some money. But that’s what it is. It’s a donation, and I don’t put up with a sales pitch. I say: “Gimme your brochure! I’ll take the sugar snaps. Bye.”

    I will also, after a heavy snowfall, sometimes hire one of the homeless guys who go door to door looking for work shoveling. However, I make up my mind before I answer the door. There is no conversation.

  14. Foobarista says:

    I get lots of the “I’m a recovering crackhead and need to sell magazines to stay out of the joint” types in my neighborhood. They clearly are trained to try to walk in your house, to try to shake your hand, and to not let you have the last word unless they sell you something. I permit none of the above: I say “No thanks!” and shut the door in their face.

    I suppose it isn’t terribly neighborly, but if I wanted magazines, I’d buy them myself.

  15. Amber says:

    OMG I get those stupid magazine salesmen or Kirby salesmen at least 4 times a week. I DONT WANT ANY MAGAZINESS! I’M NOT DUMB ENOUGH TO PAY $1200 FOR A VACUUM!!!!

    lol so maddening!

  16. Elliott Russell says:

    A fun situation, at least for some. I actually enjoy when people come to me door, regardless of their reason (unless to kill me ;). I always invite them in and make them coffee…

    Yeah im a odd ball, but i dont buy anything – i just like being kind to them, because lets face it, they probably dont get that to much. Also i imagine they are not working their dream job.

    That said, i can also understand why people hate spam arriving at their door in human form.

    Great blog keep it up :D

  17. Tex says:

    In Texas, when the door knocks the first thing I do is grab my shotgun+bandoleer and open the door ever so slowly. Most sales people don’t ever come back.

  18. Sometimes I wish I got some of these people just to see how I would mess with them or if I would even be able to react the way I think I should.

  19. Llama Money says:

    Tex: That shotgun approach is a novel one – I might have to try it! Of course, I’d be using a Nerf gun because I don’t own a real one… but it might still work.

  20. pete says:

    I had a pushy salesman duo come to my door last weekend. I opened the door (first mistake) and before I knew it he was putting a bottle of fabreze in my hand saying “we’re giving out free bottles of fabreze as a promotion”. I take it and say, “ok, thanks” and then before I know it he is standing in the doorway telling me about their great vacuum cleaner they’re selling. I feel like i can’t close the door because he’s just given me this “free bottle of fabreze” and I also can’t get a word in edgewise.

    Then his partner appears there with a vacuum cleaner ready to demonstrate it for me. They give me a sob story about how this kid is trying to sell vacuums to get a free trip to the wisconsin dells, and how it will only take 10 minutes to do his demonstration.

    I say, ok go ahead, 10 minutes is ok, its a saturday and I’m don’t need to be anywhere.

    45 minutes later I finally ask them to leave after many attempts, and finding out their vacuum cleaner costs almost $2000. My cheapo $100 vacuum will do just fine thank you.

    Next time I’m not even going to open the door.

  21. mbhunter says:

    Regarding the magazines, it’s interesting to hear that some people are selling those door to door. I’d be interested to know which ones, because there are some titles that cannot legitimately be sold over the internet.

  22. This blog post has been included in the “Carnival of Money Stories #51” at Life Lessons of a Military Wife. Hope you will drop by and read some of the many other wonderful entries received this week!

  23. abcdefg says:

    To those of you who refuse to answer the door for anybody, keep this in mind: not everyone who comes to your door is trying to sell you something. I work for an organization called Working America. We go door-to-door in the community talking to people about issues like outsourcing, affordable health care, and secure retirement. If they support these issues, which it’s kind of hard not to, we sign them up to join our organization. Of course their information is not sold or given to any other organizations. We just use it when we lobby politicians, so we can show them that people in our communities are concerned about these issues, and force them to make changes.

    We’ve had a number of successful campaigns in states throughout the country, pushing to raise the minimum wage and put progressive politicians in office.

    So while I realize that it’s incredibly annoying when a person you don’t know comes to your door for any reason, just remember that when someone comes to your door, you might actually want to hear what the person has to say. Of course, if they end up trying to sell you something or change your religion, then by all means respectfully tell them you’re not interested and close the door. But at least give them the chance.

    Plus, it makes us feel bad to have doors slammed in our faces, or to be ignored by people who are obviously home. At least be nice about it.

  24. abcdefg says:

    Re-reading my comment, I just realized that it implies that people support outsourcing. Clearly what I meant was that most people support putting a stop to outsourcing.

  25. Large says:

    We just had a salesman come yesterday and he stayed for an hour and a half. I thought I was going to pull my hair out. I wanted him to stop with that lame vacuum. THen at the end he said it costs 3,000 OHHH MY GOD!!! Why in the world woudl anyone pay that much????
    You can get a great vacuum for 300 bucks and then in a year throw it away and get antoher one. I mean come on???? How lame!

  26. ProfessionalPeddler says:

    I have been selling insurance door to door for 5 years and all i have to say is door to door marketing works, and not everything out there is a complete quack.

    I have been making six figures since my second year in the company, and I have never had to twist anyone’s arm to buy. We simply offer a superior product that is much different then the competition. People know when they see a good thing. I protect people daily from financial disaster should something like cancer, heart attack, accident or major illness strike. I feel good about what I do because I have seen it change lives.

    So don’t just discount someone who comes to your door. In some cases, it might just be the most important 15 mintues of your life!

  27. carla says:

    oh dear god, if THAT is the most important 15 minutes of my life, i need to get a life…. I actually went to a “job interview” yesterday for what I thought was a real marketing job and it turns out it was a door-to-door sales job.

    Walked out 3 minutes into it. Couldn’t even stand the job-sales-pitch.

  28. Coast Guard Officer says:

    I hate salesman, stop knockin at my fuking door im on my fucking lunch break!

  29. Luciano says:

    I also made a 6 figure income last year, selling door to door. Most people are good people and show love for their fellow man. I sell them great products that they enjoy. On the first No, I respectfully say “Thank You” for your time and walk away. I am very happy with my job. I love people and getting to know them. I actually have made friendships with some of these people, and I never even sold them anything.

  30. Dan says:

    u are a freaking idiot. So are the rest of you who buy anything from solicitors at your door other than scouts. MOST are criminal. Either the salesmen, or their bosses. Often, they are casing your home and looking for a target!!
    Outlaw soliciting in Texas!
    Do the research. Anyone supporting solicitation in your neighborhood is inviting criminals. DO NOT BUY! Do ONT LET THEM IN YOUR HOME!

  31. Vince sturkie says:

    Professionalpeddler just slammed these high and mighty door slammers. I also make six figures going door to door offering one of the best home security systems and service that exist. I have no boss, where casual clthes all the time, and work when and if I feel like it. Best of all when I get a call from someone who purchased from me and they are telling me of the breakin gone bad for the burglar, I feel really good. Not all door to door salespeople are slime. Kind of like attorneys, most hate them but everyone uses them.

  32. Rocket says:

    Just speaking as a consumer of a door to door salesman. Sometimes you do get the better end of the deal. I heard the lady talking about the ADT. Well I got an alarm system from a company called Pinnacle Security which gave me FREE equipment FREE installation FREE activation and all I have to do is monitor the system which isnt even that much. Plus they gave me all the newer equipment from GE. SO DOOR TO DOOR REALLY ISNT THAT BAD!!!!

  33. Howie67 says:

    I live with my family in the suburbs of Philadelphia and have lived in the same house for 13 years.

    This year there has been an inundation of high-pressure door-to-door solicitors and religious promoters walking up and down our street. There was a sales rep knocking on our neighbor’s door as late as 8:30PM last night. This same sales rep (no id noted) said that he is from a dealer of GE home security devices called Platinum Protection. He continually pressured my wife to allow him to install a home security unit in our house on the spot. He was asking my wife for all kinds of personal information. As a rule, I think the best way to deal with them is to post a sign asking them to cease and desist and to tell them simply we’re not interested through the closed door or open window and walk away.

  34. Dennis says:

    I must say for the most part your right door-to-door salesman are bad news. On the other hand you might be surprised at some good deal you could get.I just bought some windows from a comp. that sold door-to-door. And I must say I got a realy good deal. In fact I look around and I couldn’t find anyone to sell this type of window made with some good workman ship.

  35. Ryan says:

    Door-to-door sales is a great way of establishing trust in your company/product provided that you are good at keeping that trust.

    And this is one of the best ways of getting ourselves out of the recession. We have lost faith in so many systems and have been betrayed on so many levels. The new breed of salesman emerging from the fallout capable of empathasizing and not merely focused on captilazing will hopefully be considered an asset to the community and one of the many professions capable of boosting confidence in the economy.

    I will never make it easy on any salesman and nor should I. They should use tact without psychological warfare. We are bombarded with enough advertisements bombarding our subconscious to feel compelled to play into their games.

    On the other hand. I have seen many great products/services die simply due to poor or non existent marketing. They are necessary and hopefully the majority of them will not be necessary evils.

  36. Ryan says:

    bombard bombard bombard :)

  37. Bob says:

    I used to do door to door sales. The only thing that kept me from knocking on a door was a sign that read “daytime sleeper.” The “No solicitors” signs were like an invitation – we used to steal tham and plaster the van with them. But yeah, the “daytime sleeper,” for some reason we were always hesitant to wake up someone who has to work all night.

  38. Skeptic says:

    Yah, I am so convinced that you can make a 6 figure income walking around all day, trying to get people to buy your product. The three people who posted that are likely the same person, fishing here for the gullible to buy into some MLM scam-type business (“ooh, what company do you work for? I’d sure like to make a 6 figure income, too”).

    Ain’t gonna happen, kids.

  39. E says:

    I just had a guy come by today and wake my wife and I up from a peaceful nap by banging on the front door. I was already pissed and also have a NO SOLICITING sign on the door. I opened the door and said, “You just woke me up from a nap and I have this sign here…what do you want? Get to the point.” He said he was from AT&T and was here to “lower my bill.” I immediately saw red and responded, “I don’t even have a f-ing land line. Get the f***off of my property!” He acted a little s***ty, but he left with a quickness. He’s lucky he didn’t get shot or pummeled all over my yard.

    I’m really sick and tired of the “I’m not selling anything” routine. I guess I’m going to have to go with a no trespassing sign at this point. GRRRRRRRR.

  40. lame_penguin says:

    I would’ve turned the hose on ’em..


  41. Who Can It Be Now? says:

    One good thing about door-to-door people and do not call lists and shit. Being swindled is so easily avoided, and do not call lists aren’t ever going to be what they are called.

    There’s a simple solution for a simple man: Don’t answer the door, turn off the ringer. Anyone who has legitimate business with you can leave a message. Anyone who leaves a message can tell you what the hell they want. Caller ID can tell you if it is anyone you want to talk to. Ain’t technology great?

    If you don’t want to be swindled by a car dealer, never visit one. Get ’em used from the owner and certified (or whatever the hell they call it).

    I like Tex’s shotgun approach, tho :)

  42. Bob says:

    I deal with all door-to-door salesmen and telemarketers the same way: “No.” It’s really not that hard if you know ahead of time that no matter what they’re selling, you’re not buying it. I’ve made it a matter of principle: I WILL NOT buy anything through either of those channels. (I occasionally make an exception for kids I recognize, but even then I won’t buy anything I have to order.)

    I’m nice about it: We can have a lovely conversation about my job/wife/kids/pets/hobbies if that’s what you really want, but we’ll do it with you OUTSIDE where I can close the door on you when you outstay your welcome, and at the end of it you’re not going to get a sale. If you want to waste your time like that instead of working someone who might actually buy something, that’s up to you.

  43. kat says:

    Shut the door in their faces, or don’t answer the door at all. It’s your home. Period.

  44. Deborah says:

    There is no need to be rude to a door to door salesperson who is not pushy. I sell my own designs door to door and if someone says no I simply say “thank you” and leave. There is no law that someone can’t knock on your door and politely offer you a product. In the old days a lot of things were sold like this: meat, bread, housewares, etc. It can be a convenience. It’s an honest way to make a living- especially when you are kind to people and not pushy. I understand people having to be firm with the pushy ones but give the rest of us a break.

  45. Terri says:

    I usually don’t answer the door but on the rare occasion that I do, I just say “NO!” firmly and stick to it. Unless the salesperson gets rude with me, I am not rude to him or her. I never let anyone that I don’t know inside my house no matter what they are selling or talking to me about.

    I have the final say as they are on my property. :)

  46. Bob says:

    Wow, some of you people are nuts. You’d actually punch or shoot someone because they woke your wife up from a nap? Jeez – take a chill pill; it’s just some kid scratching to make a living.

    The best canvassers can make 6 figure salaries, but you have to be really good at what you do.

    The reason people go door to door is because it works. It’s one of the cheapest, most effective ways to get your product or service to potential customers. For the right customer it is incredibly convenient.

    Keep in mind too that there is a classic sales adage about Custer’s last stand. Apparently a salesman was trying to sell Custer a Gatling gun, an early machine gun, but Custer couldn’t be bothered and so sent the salesman away. If he’d troubled to see what the salesman was offering history might have played out very differently.

    Sometimes salesman have something you might actually want or need if you bother to learn what they are offering.

  47. Bob says:

    I also have to say I’ve done door to door and telephone sales. Most people are nice and polite. It’s only the very rare person that is rude or becomes extremely irritated or agitated by sales people. Whenever we come across those people we assume they must be having some sort of personal issues.

    So if you find yourself getting extremely upset over somebody knocking on your door or calling to offer you something, look within – the problem lies with you, not with the salespeople.

  48. Terri says:

    Nothing is ever solved by rudeness or the use of violence. As much as I don’t want salespeople coming to my door, they are people too. They have families to feed and bills to pay just like I do. A firm “No thank you, I’m not interested” followed by closing the door is effective.

    A young man rang my doorbell the evening of June 17 and by the time I got to the door ( 5 seconds) he was running to the house across the street. He saw me standing on my porch as I was wondering if someone was in need of help, and he called out that he would be right back. He briefly spoke with my neighbor then came back to my house.

    He introduced himself as John and asked if he could come in and I said no. He then stated that he was with Kirby and asked me if I would like a demonstration. I again said no. He asked me if I have ever heard of blah-blah-blah-foam. I said that I wasn’t interested and that we clean our carpets ourselves. He wasn’t dressed very well and all he carried was a tattered card of some type. He was alone and was walking the neighborhood alone.

    He left without further incident but the foam that he mentioned isn’t a Kirby product and something didn’t feel right. I worry more about being set up for burglary than I do about pesky salespeople.

  49. Jon says:

    I once had a problem with those door to door salesmen. Until i came across an Australian site that sells “No selling” stickers. I purchased one and stuck it to my front door and havent had a problem with door-to-door solicitors since! Family and friends comment on it saying “Thats a great idea” and about its nice design. Just sharing my experiences.. check it out dontselltome.com im really pleased with the sticker, it worked for me.

  50. Kevin Turner says:

    Hello, my name is Kevin, and I have been a salesman for 2 months now and have had no prior experience in sales, I have already made $16,000.00 dollars, from people who want and need my product.When they buy my product, they get a real tangable health benefit, every time they buy 55,000 people stay employed inside the United States.If salesmen and woman did not do there job the United States and Western culture would collaspe in a day!!! Now I sell a real product, not a magazine or a promise such as a newspaper or steak/chicken, although swanson has good food.

  51. Simon says:

    The person that said the salesman was lucky that he didnt get shot or pummeled probably was the lucky one. Someone who has the balls to go door to door would probably beat the crap out of someone who yells obsentities from inside their house and doesnt have the balls to go outside. That person was just doing their job. Door to door salespeople deserve every penny of six figures for dealing with people like that and going to the next door with a smile on their face. Remember when a sales person comes to your door that he might have just left that guy’s house. Be nice.

  52. Aaron says:

    I can’t STAND it when I hear people say they are rude to sales people. It truly disgusts me far more than sales people do. So I am glad to hear you aren’t one of the rude people.

    I just listen for a moment, and am honest with them. Either I say I am seriously interested, or I say I am slightly interested, but there is not one chance in a million I will buy it, so they could serve their time better at the next door. I really feel like I am wasting THEIR time if I talk too long. :)

  53. Tony says:

    Some people may find going door to door annoying, just like they do telemarketing, but… please tell me… whats the alternative? Yeah sure you can “set up a website and advertise”, but please explain what happens to the thousands (if not millions) of sales people and telemarketers? Where are the jobs coming for them now? When they can’t get other jobs will you be happy to pay much higher taxes so they can live, eat and have housing? The unemployment rate is high enough as it is and putting a strain on finances. Also, do you think most sales people WANT to do that job? No. Most don’t, but have to because it’s that or unemployment. Just because your lucky enough to have a job you like better, don’t assume sales people want the endless rejection, the rudeness, the door slamming… it’s not a world they created, but it’s one they have to live in.

  54. SickSkilz says:

    I just say “I dont buy anything from door-to-door salesman because if I want something I can always get it cheaper elsewhere”

  55. Bob says:

    Lazy Man you don’t get it. Yes, it is annoying if you don’t want the product. If, on the other hand, the salesperson is offering something you want, then it is about the most darned convenient service anyone ever thought up. All you have to do is answer the door or the phone, consider the offer, accept it, and then they provide the product or service. It is an active form of sales (which is perhaps why someone called “Lazy Man” doesn’t appreciate it.) Yeah sure you could set up a website and spend a fortune in advertising, but real entrepreneurs don’t wait for things to come to them, they make things happen! I have great respect for anyone willing to burn shoe leather and approach people on a daily basis to earn their bread.

  56. john says:

    I’ve got some good deals from door to door people you should give them a chance and see what they got

  57. Kenny says:

    I have an effective sign mounted on my front door.



  58. Silver Fang says:

    I just don’t answer the door.

  59. IC Canada says:

    My company is a student owned marketing company in Canada. I tell my marketers to just say thank you for your time if the customer at the door says no. Most likely if they say no the first time, they will say no the next and on and on. Be respectful, and if they do, they do, if they don’t, dont waste the time and go to the next. Door to door marketing works, and many that does it makes a lot of money. More than most of you on here makes as well. I know a university student here that made about 400,000 just in 1 Summer for a painting company. He did it from Feb to August and this kid was enthuastic. You see, don tlook down upond these guys, most of them are at least doing something for themselves unlike many of those on the net. People should respect people in from all walks of life. Those who are so bird brained they got to talk crap about those salesmens should get off the net, and go do something else with their time. People I know who are doing D2D marketing are either always exercising, or working. These people are goal oriented, dedicated, hard working and also motivated. All of that, is missing from today’s society. The stores hate it, because they are taking all the business away. So it’s a competition, and both sides are talking crap about each side. What im trying to say is, next time you see a salesmen, greet him and kindly say no, if he keeps on insisting, just say sorry i really have to go and close the door. A D2D job is better than working at McDonalds. Employeers nowadays worship sucessful D2D individuals, and when they see those who have McDonalds or other retail or fastfood references on their resumes, they say “F–K OUTTA HERE.” Thats just the truth.

  60. Ryan says:

    I did D2D marketing for a solar photovoltaic (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Photovoltaic) installation company. Most everybody I spoke to thanked me for providing information and taking the time to carefully answer questions. I wasn’t in the mindset of selling a product, but rather cultivating interest in something I care about. When the interest is there, the products sell themselves. The coworkers that struggled were solely motivated by making as much money as possible as quickly as possible, so if you weren’t buying you were wasting their time and they let you know it.

  61. Dave-Bob says:

    The first time I tell door to door salesmen I’m not interested, I am polite. The second time, I tell them to please leave. The third time I close the door.

    After that, I call the police.

    Zero tolerance. I’ve had salesman refuse to leave my property; he stood there and flexed his muscles at me and told me that he wasn’t leaving until I signed a paper that supposedly said that I was refusing the offer — yeah, right, tell me another good one. I slammed the door in his face laughing and laughed even harder when the simpleton hausfrau across the street actually let the guy in. Not my problem.

    I’ve turned one away only to have their partner try to get me at my car and then act offended when I told them even more curtly that I wasn’t interested because I was trying to get somewhere. I went back in the house and called the office on that guy. When the woman implied that I would not want to irritate them, I decided to hang up on her and call the cops instead. Never saw that company again in my neighborhood. I hope those two quit their jobs after dealing with me.

    Once, at my place of business, I had one refuse to leave; instead, he harassed my customers with this little smirk on his face as if I couldn’t do anything to him. He had that same attitude with the cop that came to get him — hope he enjoyed Central Booking in Baltimore City.

    I don’t need a big dog to do my dirty work for me — I’ve got a bad attitude toward these people to begin with. They get one chance to go away nicely, then escalate.

    If you work door to door sales and you don’t take no for an answer, I will screw with you right back and I will win.

    By the way, I am as polite as can be for normal people, but door to door sales people that do not take no for an answer the first time are not worthy of any consideration — they do not respect me, I will not respect them. They are vermin and get that treatment.

    I love how all these sales guys think they make more money and are like big game hunters or something. I suppose that is one way to rationalize talentlessness and a dead-end job.

  62. Jeffzzz says:

    I just started a door to door job working selling Cable, phone and internet. I was laid off for about a year and my home is in foreclosure. I have a wife and an 18 month old son and owe the hospital over 15 thoasand dollars after an emergency c-section and no health insurance. If I do everything right and sell to quoata I can make 35 to $45 k. That is not enough to save my house or pay my bills but it is a job.
    I leave fliers on doors, I don’t hardsell. I ask for a sale only when I have answered all the questions about what services are right for that particular customer and they decided we were best for them.
    I have a gun pulled on me for leaving a flier on a door, dogs sicced on me, been cussed at and treated rudely countless times. I had one guy invite me in his house to lecture me on why I need to find another job and not go arounf “bothering people” but he did not offer me a job or give me any money to pay my bills.

    People, I am trying to make a living. I am 50 years old and no one wants to hire me.
    My background for the last 20 plus years is working for the developmentally disabled but funding cuts here in Florida have caused many lay offs. I am a good man. I worry about what my future holds. I do not want to annoy or upset anyone. I am doing what my company pays me to do – go door to door.
    I am not there to hurt anyone or pressure anyone or anything – my sales are basically people who want to buy my product. I have a degree in communications and that’s why they hired me. I have to go through about 250 no’s to get a yes. I only get 2 or three yes’s a day.
    It is a tough job. I have developed a thick skin. Tell me no and I thank you and move on – I only want to find a yes!
    I am a person – I have feelings and problems and I know many who go door to door have ruined the climate of going door to door.
    I will do this until I no longer can.
    I have a family that depends on me.
    I don’t knock on doors unless there is a problem. I have found doors opened and one house obviously broken into. I report these things to police and neighbors. I try to do good even though I will never really trust people again because of the rudeness and meaness I have encountered. I have also made some great friends. For every jerk there is 2 or three good people. I count on that in life.
    I send out the Taylor Swift song to the rude people – “All your ever gonna be is mean – why you gotta be so mean?”
    I respect everyone and I respect no and do bother me —all I am asking for is common courtesy.
    Good luck to you all I gotta get back to work

    • Lazy Man says:

      The thing is there isn’t always an easy way to tell them no. I often get high school kids selling magazines. These companies know it’s hard to say no to a kid.

      It’s hard to say that you are not here to pressure anyone when you knock on their door. In my opinion that very act is already pressure.

  63. Ryan says:

    Soliciting will exist in some form for as long as there is something to sell. It will never become obsolete, though the products and services one is selling definitely will be.

    However, to be truly successful with door-to-door selling is being nomadic. It is far more lucrative to go to areas where you already have an idea of how more yeses than noes you will get.

    So it boils down to an overall marketing strategy. Is it worth it to you to hit the pavement and deal with 1000 shitty people before reaching 1 awesome one? The lower you can get that ratio the more profitable/happier/saner/fulfilled you will be. Stop relying on your skills as a salesman and only sell products that sell themselves. And let the products be sold in a way that is most likely to please potential customers.

    I still do door-to-door selling of my own products and services. It is somewhat entrepreneurial, but I keep things local. For instance, I am self-employed as a technical consultant for a few large businesses, but I offer network/systems/web/data services locally at a huge discount. My rates are based on walking distance, biking distance, and driving distance. Most of my work can be done remotely using the internet, so it is easy to keep busy. When it comes to products, I sell the products I use and am excited to share with others. I live in a dense community with lots of cars, so I sell car washes as a service as well as the products I use to wash cars and freely offer any information so people can do it themselves without buying anything from me. Currently I sell my services for $20/wash and limit myself to 50 cars/month. The kits I sell include 2 buckets, 10 microfiber cloths, and enough “Optimum No Rinse Wash & Shine” for 25 car washes for $40. It is an easy way to make some extra cash and also acts as a great workout.

    Door-to-door selling is not dead, but strategies have certainly changed. And if you can’t play the game then it is time to find something else rather than trying to get others to make the game easier. Easy just isn’t profitable.

  64. NZ says:

    Imagine someone offered you a job where you would make $1500 a week clean and working 6 hour days. Start at 11am to 5pm
    Door to door is the answer.

    If your offended by D2D reps in general, about paying more then offered on the internet or being pushy, consider our visits as a friendly reminder that we all slaves to the dollar and money can make people do anything.

  65. Luke says:

    I agree with the idea of being nice to D2D reps until they get pushy. I usually give then 2-3 no’s before I get more assertive. And I feel for you Jeffzzz, youre clearly one of the good ones, and I truly wish you the best. And then you have human scum like Bob. “You’d actually punch or shoot someone because they woke your wife up from a nap? Jeez – take a chill pill; it’s just some kid scratching to make a living.” If you noticed the comment, Bob, the person was angry because they had a No Soliciting sign on the door that this a-hole sales rep chose to ignore. Of course, if the rep were like Bob (comment #37), he would have stolen the sign and pasted it on his van. Do the world a favor, Bob, and drive your van off a cliff.

  66. Rich UK says:

    Hi all, this is an interesting discussion to me – I am a D2D rep in the UK – I go D2D to tell people about how to get free solar panels – actually free no b/s… Its quite funny as a Brit listening to all the USA people who apparently cower in fear at every noise in the corner of their house, shotgun in hand, baseball bat behind the door -with that ‘get outta here stranger’ mentality – i mean how sad are you? what closed minded petty feeble, easily offended, paperweight thin of spirit human beings you are – you probably call yourself christians? … If I came to your door and you didn’t want [free] solar panels then fine – just a simple – courteous no thanks mate but good luck will suffice …. anything else is actually abuse and verbal assault – i have a right to be treated with dignity and if you think cos i’m on ‘your property’ [well the banks really] just give people a break – you guys love capitalism so much but hate people selling you things??? wtf OK then… turn off your tv – don’t buy another newspaper – don’t listen to anything on the radio – I am only doing a job to survive myself [a good one at that] so give D2D people a break with the ‘holier than thou attitude’ … If D2D people are rude are pushy to you THEN you can be rude back and be all assertive and full-on and go get the gun – but first why do you not greet with an open heart – for me its the short sighted lack of humanity i can’t abide – get over yourselves you’re no better when i meet you ‘sitting down or just having lunch’ consuming away, getting so ‘righteously irritated’ by a simple 1 minute encounter with a worker who if he doesn’t have what you want will be grateful of a kind word along with a no thanks .. also remember it works both ways, come to the door with a gun and a bad attitude – later that night you may find you got your house torched or a brick through your car window :o) RESPECT PLEASE!!!

  67. Bob says:

    Hey Luke, you’re wishing me dead and I’m human scum? Okay then. I’m glad I don’t share your world-view. You’re twisted. You need to take a chill pill along with the other violent guy with the napping wife. You guys go to the local anger convention together? Jeez. What a bunch of creeps.

  68. RICH UK says:

    …ps the saddest thing to see is someone whose portal to the world has an acerbic and unfriendly sign like Kenny’s … people like this expect ‘respect’ yet basically tell any working person coming anywhere near their front door to F off … this is cowardly aggression posted on your gate… you guys are unfriendly, sick and i can only wish you luck in your isolated world where you will pay more for electric, you won’t enjoy a properly insulated house, you will be uninsured if your house burns down, you won’t get solar power for nothing, your drains are blocked, your driveways are dirty and trees shade your garden … wallow in your isolation you closed hearted fools – no-one will miss you when you die!

  69. Luke says:

    Hey Bob, you admitted to pulling “No Solicitors” signs from people’s doors and putting them on your van. Incredible that you don’t see anything remotely wrong with doing that. I would imagine that the unpleasant responses that the good D2D sales people receive is in large part due to a homeowner’s previous experiences with sales reps like you.

  70. Luke says:

    Hi Rich in the UK: Before you get down too much on the US, please realize that D2D sales may be done a bit differently here. There are a significant number of sales people who get aggressive at the door (not the majority, but enough to make the rest look bad). If you tell them that you are not interested in their product, for instance, they demand to know why. Or they get snide. I had a lawn services rep talk with me a few minutes. I was polite, yet at the end of the conversation when it was clear I didn’t want his services, he told me in a snotty tone, “oh well, I guess you like weeds in your lawn” before walking away. It’s clear from your post that you don’t behave like this, but imagine if you approached a house where the homeowner had recently experienced that kind of “sales approach.” Enough of that kind of treatment, and people get hardened against all D2D reps, bad or good.

  71. Bob says:

    Luke, respectfully, if you read my comment a little more carefully, it explains that the “no soliciting” signs are largely ineffective. Any decent salesman is taught to turn a “no” into a “yes;” so a no soliciting sign is taken by a solid salesperson as a form of challenge.

    I also went on to explain to you that there was ONE SIGN that actually did deter me from knocking, which was a “daytime sleeper” sign. I am trying to GIVE YOU ADVICE on how to avoid door to door salespeople – if you weren’t so committed to whining that you could open your proverbial ears for two seconds.

    As for myself, when I was in the business, I was a very successful sales person, in part because I was always respectful to my potential customers, the lifting of the occasional no soliciting sign aside. I was firm in making my pitch, I had well crafted rebuttals to objections, and once I had determined a potential customer was not going to buy, I thanked them for their time and moved along to the next prospect.

    That job saved my butt and allowed me to feed my family and pay my bills at a time when I was struggling; and I am thankful for that.

  72. rich UK says:

    @ 73.Luke – yes when i posted it i thought its a bit down on the usa… sorry… i mean hey we have nutters here too didn’t mean to single you guys out :) anyway i do realise the respect has to go both ways – once people get a polite no it is time to go … i’m getting better at dealing with the irritation of occasionally patronising hypocritical stalling gutless snobby weaklings that sometimes resentfully open their door only to lie about not liking the product which they evidently do.. it is as if they were above the reach of the lower sales class and the imposition of having to answer to the machinery of capitalism face to face was somehow breaking the social divide between those that enjoy and those that serve … i react to that superiority more than any ‘ no ‘ – the no is fine – ‘ok then bye have a lovely day’ is always my response…. but salespeople also have to be good people and not bullying freaks and realise when they’ll never get the sale or interest and just say – ‘ok then cheers’ … i’m getting better at letting people not need to like me or the product…. and i chant nam myo ho renge kyo because that is blissful and a million miles away from all this bullsh** :)

  73. RobbyB USA says:

    I have done door to door in the past and honestly I don’t blame any of you for feeling the way you do. Your home is your castle. In the time that I did door to door I had one co-worker shot to death for offering to save them money on their electric bill. (turns out they were drug dealers and got spooked). I have had people come to the door with a gun on two occasions, had one person grab me by the throat (lucky for me I served in the military and have taken private lessons in hapkido), and have endured countless threats. On top of that are the bad dogs. When I was a kid I had a friend that trained protection dogs professionally and was kind enough to teach me how to deal with them. Both my father and my grandfather served in the military and taught me to take care of myself. It has saved my skin more than once in that job.

    The point is this. In my opinion, it’s more dangerous for the door to door salesperson that for the customer. Door to Door sales should be outlawed. It is just WAY to dangerous. By Gods grace I came out of it unharmed and now work in a totally unrelated field. I hope I never have to go back to it again.

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