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Earning Time

Even the most successful sales reps aren’t capable of buying more time. However, all sales reps can earn time by following a few simple guidelines.

As I’ve observed  hundreds of door-to-door sales reps in the field, I’ve noticed that razor thin margins separate those that sell varying amounts of accounts. I believe these margins have less to do what is being said to potential customers and more to do with how time is managed.

Recently I was on the doors with 2 rookie sales reps from the same office. The first sales rep (let’s call him Enrique) was an average producing sales rep and the second sales rep (let’s call him Lance) was the top producing rookie sales rep on his team. Despite their differences in production, their initial approaches, responses to customer objections and closing language were almost identical.

What separated Enrique and Lance was how they managed their time. Lance was jogging from door to door and cutting across yards, whereas Enrique was methodically walking up and down driveways and across sidewalks.

On average, Lance was spending 1 minute less with each contact finding out if they qualified for his time.

Both sales reps sold an account during my time with them but Enrique took 10 more minutes completing the service agreement. During his sale there were times of awkward silence as well as time wasted performing unnecessary inspections. Lance, on the other hand, kept the conversation moving, efficiently completed the service agreement and effectively solidified the sale.

The time differences in these examples may seem insignificant, however, if viewed over the course of a 16-week summer, the amount of time earned is colossal!

Saving 20 seconds between each door knocked saves 33 minutes a day if 100 doors are knocked. In 96 days (16 weeks), that’s nearly 53 hours earned!

The extra 60 seconds saved when determining if a potential customer qualifies for your time equates to 50 minutes a day if 50 people are spoken to. That’s 80 hours earned in 16 weeks!

And the 10 minutes saved per sale…that equates to earning nearly 17 extra hours for a sales rep that sales 100 accounts.

Adding all of this together is an additional 150 hours of production or nearly 19 more days (for an 8 hour work day) earned over the course of a 16-week summer!

These 3 time-earning techniques just scratch the surface of the various time earning methods that door-to-door sales reps can incorporate into their daily routines. Time can be earned by knocking doors during inclement weather, setting return appointments after dark instead of during primetime, limiting lunch and/or dinner breaks to 30 minutes, and ensuring that at least 1 person is being spoken to for every 3 doors knocked.

Door-to-door sales is in large part a numbers game…talk to more people, make more sales. Earning time gives sales reps the opportunity to speak to more potential customers and as a product of this, more sales will be made.

I believe the Enrique’s of the world can produce just as many sales as the Lance’s if they learn how to earn time instead of burn it. In a sense, an increase in production isn’t always about what is being said, but it’s about how many potential customers it’s being said to.