Door knocking - is it worthwhile?

Discussion in 'Traditional Offline Marketing' started by draz, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. draz

    draz
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    Is door knocking a whorthwhile option and what's the best way to get a door knocking team? Also do you believe that by door knocking it cheapens the branding of a premium product or the product itself?
     
  2. Fergal

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    Welcome to our business forum draz and thanks for posting your business questions. The answer to your questions would very much depend on the type of product you will be selling. Knocking on doors can be very effective in certain circumstances, e.g. if you are selling directly to businesses or if you are selling cleaning products directly to consumers.

    What type of product do you wish to sell and who are your target market?
     
  3. DavidL

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    It depends. You will definitely need to do research on the area and see what niches are there. Many ethnic groups tend to stick together, as well as religious. So, if you can aim for those certain niches, you will be very successful.
     
  4. draz

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    Thanks a lot for the reply guys.

    The business itself is focused on selling fruit and vegetables. I know this particular product can be hard to sell online as people like to be able to touch and feel the product for themselves. So am still slumped as to how to approach this.
     
  5. Fergal

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    What country are you in draz?

    My suggestion would be to start and give it a try to see how it works out. But do it with commitment, focus and a determination to make it a success. Keep your costs as low as possible from the outset. Hopefully you will not need to make any capital investment to start a business like this.

    There are people who sell fruit and vegetables door to door in my area. Unfortunately they are finding the business increasingly difficult, due to more competition from lower cost supermarkets. Hopefully things will be different in your area and you can make it successful. Can you sell your products at the same price or cheaper than your local supermarket?

    If you can purchase your supplies at a good price you might also be able to sell to local retailers and restaurants.

    Convenience will be an important factor for your customers, buying from you will save them having to carry bulky fruit and veg from the supermarket. They will also be very concerned with the quality and cleanliness of your product, so you need to keep everything clean and make sure that everything about the delivery of your business and your personal appearance gives a strong image of cleanliness and trustworthiness.

    You might find some of the chapters in this Manual for the preparation and sale of fruits and vegetables helpful. There is also the Iowa State University Guide to Selling fruits and vegetables.

    One of Ireland's most famous and successful business men, Bill Cullen, started in business by selling fruit and veg on his family's market stall. He now hosts the Irish version of The Apprentice. So you will be in good company and could learn a lot from this business.

    Other options you could consider for the business are;

    • Selling fruit baskets and hampers
    • Delivering packages as presents - e.g. to hospitals and work places
    • Daily deliveries to work places - similar to a sandwich lady / man
    • Selling to schools & crèches to help them with their healthy eating promotions
    • Selling at local market days or at farmers' markets

    Good luck with it and please keep us posted.
     
  6. DEADMAN

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    It depends upon the product you buy from and sell. It's very worth buying products from wholeseller and do door-to-door service. However, you need to make fix profit so that you won't loose any clients saying high price or unsteady sale.

    Are you planning to launch your business? If yes, what does it involve?
     
  7. Adam

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    Yeah its definatly worthwhile and cost effective for a business or product idea that is starting off and it makes your product out there if people buy it and if people like it, then they will recommend it to their friends and therefore will get you more business. If you are not nervous when talking to people then its great, but if you arent then this isnt the case for advertising your product succesfully. You have to make sure you are talking to them in a proffesional manner without stumblying as you need to be straight to the point with what your product is your selling, what it does/purpose and price.

    Some technqiue I have used in the past include:
    1) Well usually the price would be £39, but for you I will do £25 right now if you'd like?
    (Using them numbers for an example)

    2) The price I have quoted is for you especially, as I really should be selling it for a higher price but this is the last of my stock, so basically want to get rid now.

    3) Older people do not wish to spend as much as other people, so offer them a discount or maybe a freebie of some sort.


    I tried it last year and the year before and has worked in my favour, but that was only because I was collecting for charity.

    You have to watch out for people that are mardy and will not allow you to sell them anything without a licence of some sort. Some say on the door that they "do not allow door salesmans", so you must watch out for them as they will not appreciate you knocking on their door as worringly the police could get involved.

    Basically to sum up:
    1) Market your product to the right customers.
    2) Make sure the product is rightly priced for the area your door knocking in, some areas (ie people with more wealth such as bigger houses etc), you may want to increase prices slighlty compared to other places that may be around you. You can usually tell the income people get from the way you approach them and how they approach you.

    Good luck and I wish you all the best with it and if possible, report back here if you have door knocked :)
     
  8. Fergal

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    Excellent advice Adam, thanks for sharing that with us. It's brilliant to see that you've learned so much from the practical experience of your own business, since you started posting here.

    draz, can you please post your thoughts on the suggestions given?
     
  9. draz

    draz
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    Sure Fergal,

    From what I can gather, the door knocking could be the right approach, in terms of letting customers know about a particular product however the downside to this is, I wouldn't be making any sales directly on the spot. It's here that i'm stumped as i'm trying to work out the pro's and con's. I know my downside to just door knocking and informing a customer of a product is, I would be losing out on money having to pay workers to door knock with no guarantee of an actual sale. Where as if I packaged the product properly, perhaps some people would work for me on a commision only basis and would push for sales.

    Ideally offline advertising is probably the right approach for now, at least until we get our delivery processes right and are a lot more familiar with what we're doing, as opposed to hitting online advertising hard.

    The product which we are selling for now, is mixed organic fruit and vegetables boxes. Also we are from Australia.
     
  10. Fergal

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    Why would you not be making sales on the door steps draz? Would it not be possible for you or your sales people to carry some stock with you and sell it directly? Even if sales people can't carry the product with them, perhaps they could take orders and even accept payment for future delivery.

    Do you have an existing business or are you setting one up?

    Do you sell to businesses or directly to individual consumers?
     
  11. eddane

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    Great question, and worth some analysis. I have done door knocking for windows companies with some success. I think it depends on your product tbh.

    Ed
     
  12. draz

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    Hi Fergal,

    Thanks for the responses. The business is still in start up mode, we are only selling mixed boxes for now, so I don't think carrying a box door to door would be appropriate? Although I am thinking, if we have a nice brochure and present the product well, we could ask the customer to think about it and promise a return in the area the following week. We could also perhaps a cut a deal of some sort, to say that if a box is ordered now on the spot a discout will be given but I am not to sure with how this would sit with our branding as we are branding it as a premium product. I know usually for premium products, cheapening it with discounts ruins that premium image.

    Any thoughts? And thanks once again.
     
  13. Fergal

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    Many premium brands in Ireland, have been discounting their prices, as a result of the recession. Examples include hotels, cars and nice restaurants. I don't feel that offering a discount, in return for something, i.e. an early order will damage your brand.

    Do you have a van that you use when making the sales calls? If you do, you could carry at least some product with you. "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" - a confirmed sale today is worth more than a hoped for sale or a promise of a sale tomorrow.

    Are you selling to other businesses or directly to consumers?
     
  14. makatiofficespace

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    This kind of technique was used way back then. They used door to door selling techniques because internet and other advanced technologies are not yet available before. It was effective before but I don't think that is it still advisable to use these days. We all know the availability of net and anyone can use it 24/7 as long as he/she has laptop. The existence of social networking sites are also a factor that abolishes door to door selling.
     
  15. RamonaP

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    I do not think that door knocking is a method that can bring the same benefits nowadays, as the eMarketing does! EMarketing is prevailing the entire marketign industry and all of its relatively branches!
     
  16. T-RexCards

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    It can be, it really depends on your product / niche / price point.

    Oh, and for a little shame-less promotion, I think you should take a look into some very simple and cheap business cards to leave with people! Check my sig out for details and PM me if you're interested, I'm always down to help out a fellow forum member with a discount :)
     
  17. ueon

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    depends on the business. if you're thinking of doing it yourself, you gotta be extra optimist. nothing kills persistence better than a slamming door lol
     
  18. marriott

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    It depends upon your target, if you are marketing a local product it could be worthwhile. In other cases maybe door knocking will not work.
     

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