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As I met up to train one of our first year sales reps he had been knocking in his self-described ‘prime-time’ area for about an hour. Unfortunately he wasn’t having a lot of success so we talked for a few minutes about what people were saying and how he could address their concerns. During the course of our conversation he mentioned that he had sold 2 accounts earlier in the day in his ‘afternoon’ knocking area. Upon hearing this I responded, “It appears that your ‘afternoon’ area is much more prime than your ‘prime-time’ area.” I asked how long it would take to drive back to his ‘afternoon’ area and explained the benefits of knocking in neighborhoods where sales have already been made. Although we were 15 minutes away, I figured it would be worth our time to drive back and continue knocking that area. Within minutes of knocking doors in this sales rep’s ‘afternoon’ area we made another sale…his 3rd of the day, a personal best.

This experience reminded me of several things:

•It’s dangerous to get in the mind-set that only certain areas should be knocked at certain times of the day. If you’ve made sales in an area, it’s best to stay there despite the time of day.
•Sales can be made in any area. Everybody wants to maximize the number of sales they make, but everybody should have the confidence that they can sell anywhere. I recommend knocking in areas out of your comfort zone at least weekly.
•When you have made sales in an area, show the service agreements (briefly) to the neighbors you are approaching. This gives you a legitimate reason to be knocking doors in an area.
•If you plan on bouncing around to different areas throughout the day, make sure the areas are within close proximity to one another. This will cut down on time spent following up with return appointments.

At the end of the day, when sales reps pigeon-hole themselves into thinking they can only be successful knocking certain neighborhoods at certain times of the day, they are limiting their potential and suffocating their growth and development as a well-rounded salesperson.