Do door to door sales people still exist?
Its crazy to think but… yes!
I was one for 4 months. Well.. I was a canvasser.
I had just moved to Austin and I had been putting my resume out there but not getting any bites. Money was running out and I needed a job ASAP. Searching Craigslist day after day and still coming up with nothing.
I went in for an interview after responding to a generic ad. They immediately told me to come in for an interview. I went in and the next day, BAM, I had a job..crazy, but.. OK.
You have to take a 2 day workshop so you can learn what it takes to succeed. They have a cute guy teaching the class who apparently makes bookoo bucks. He tells the class that we are going to make crazy amounts of money, you have an open schedule, and you get free vacations if you do the minimum job requirements.. wait what?? AWESOME! OK cool, now what do I have to do? Show 3 Kirby Vacuum cleaners per day and you make $550 a week and possibly sell a few to make even more money.
Done. I got this. OK back up.. selling vacuums was something people did AGES ago, right? Wrong. Its still a thing.
Score. Just found the perfect job, how kush is this?
My first day went something like this. Walk in, super nervous, everyone introduces themselves to you and makes you feel welcome. LOVE this, I get to work with nice people! Next we all pile into creeper vans or a huge black Yukon..equally as creepy. Thats my ride, thats my team for the day.
Alright. I got this. The task is to knock yourself into a house so you can show off your beautiful $3000 vacuum. Did I mention that, yes. $3000. The big black Yukon drops me off at a corner and I knock myself in to a kind, middle aged, home makers house. I offered to clean her carpet for free. There is no mention that I am selling a vacuum. She assumes that I am with a carpet cleaning company because, well, if anyone knew I had a $3000 vacuum that I was about to show her for 3+ hours and ask her to buy, they would tell me to go f*** myself.
I go in, start cleaning her carpet, pulling copious amounts of dirt out of her carpet. My ‘team leader’ comes in after about 2.5-3 hours of cleaning and tries to seal the deal. The majority of the time, the home owner laughs in your face while your trying to make them feel bad because “I only have 1 more sale and I earn a trip to a GALVESTON, TX RESORT! SAAAWEET.”
She bites. She buys the thing, we talk her down quite a few dollars to around $1200 and its hers.
OK, we leave that house. I’m done. I must have just made a couple hundred dollars according to that cute guy that taught my class right? Nope. I made about $40. Repeat X2.
The smart people left after day 1.
I got so good at convincing people that they needed their carpets cleaned, just one room for free, that my boss made me into a ‘dealer manager’ after the first day. I was told I would make about $900 if I sold one Kirby full price. (That never happened) But, Damn, I must be pretty good if my title is now manager. Little did I know, that meant I was a canvasser. AKA door knocker and a street walker.
For the next four months I walk the streets of Texas.
Knocking on doors, talking to a diverse group of people. People that live in mansions, speak only Spanish, trailer parks. You name it we were in that neighborhood. Everyday we, as a team, would sell 3-4 Kirby’s off of the van. One week I even made $1000 in a single pay check, just by knocking dealers into houses while they sold the vacuums, all I had to do was set the appointment. It was crazy! (The psychology behind it is even crazier, but we won’t get into that in this post.)
It became closer and closer to summer, hotter and hotter. Now I’m a Northeast kinda gal, this Texas heat was intense. I walked the streets from about 11 AM until 9:00 at night. Yes. People actually knock on doors at 9PM. And people actually let you in for a free carpet cleaning. “We only have 1 left, come on home owner, don’t leave me out on these streets with only 1 more carpet to clean!”
Insane. Talk about a mind fuck.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the people I worked with, the money was good when you were doing well, and I lost about 15-20lbs from walking around all day for 4 months.
That was my first sales job. Walking around in the Texas heat for 9+ hours a day, required to work 7 days a week or your paychecks are shit, being alone walking into strangers homes, and after the math, the hours put in, your hourly wage works out to be around $5 an hour–give or take.
Yes, door to door sales does work. Are you actually making money or are you just wasting time, making the people that are higher up on the scale money?
The decision is yours.
Do I recommend doing this job?
Yes. Yes I do. I think it is great learning experience. If you need a job quick, and are good with people you can make some fast cash while looking for other jobs. But you must realize one thing. Its temporary and its an O.K. gig until the right career comes along.