Do your knuckles hurt when you cold knock on doors?

I remember when I was a young man cold calling and just starting to cold call on the phone and I heard another salesperson say, “I went knocking on doors yesterday.” I immediately turned around and blurted out, “Knocking on doors?” He replied, “Yes, I do cold calls in person.” Wow, I couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

Could this be true? Do they knock on the doors of your sales prospects? This concept of cold calling in person was completely foreign to me. It wasn’t even in my sales thought universe. At that time all I knew about cold calling was the phone marketing part and I never knew anything about door to door cold calling.

When I got home that night, I still couldn’t believe my ears. Is this really the best use of this guy’s time for door-to-door knocking? It’s one thing to prospect over the phone, but another to experience sales rejection in person. For me, selling door to door was the worst possible sales scenario. I was running around trying to figure out what this guy was thinking and how he did it.

The next day I decided to ask him exactly what he was doing to see if this might be something I wanted to try too. I called him up and said, “When you cold call door to door, what are you doing and how do you make this type of cold calling effective?” Based on my conversation with him and through my experience with door-to-door cold calling, I’ve included a list of five “must haves” that you can easily apply to increase response rates and close more sales. These five strategies include the following:

Know the name of your sales prospect or decision maker

Many people fail at door-to-door cold calling because they don’t know their prospect’s name before they start knocking on doors. Without a name, you are instantly tagged as a seller. However, at least if you have a name to offer the receptionist, this starts the sales call with more credibility. It makes you look “smarter” or “trustworthy” in the other person’s eyes. How do you find these names? One way is to visit the company’s website and check out their management profile section. Another way is to visit a free lead website called which includes not only how to find leads, but also offers several ways to locate the contact names of executives and business owners.

dress up successfully

This one is easy: “Always look professional.” In most situations, this means a suit and tie for men and pants and skirt suits for women. Of course, these suggestions are not set in stone; just do what you need to look professional when visiting unexpected and unannounced prospects.

Smile, smile, smile and keep smiling

A big smile is unstoppable. It’s harder for the receptionist (the one who usually greets visitors as they enter the office) to turn down a person with a confident smile and vibrant personality than someone with an upside-down scowl. If you’re looking to create interest in what you and your company have to offer, there’s no better place to start than with a big SMILE!

A non-intrusive opening line

What does a non-intrusive opening line mean? First of all, you need to realize that for every door you knock, the people on the other end are not expecting your sales call. Your visit is announced, which means you must use an opening line that will make up for any “resistance” you may encounter.

Once you’ve asked about the decision maker, one line that has always worked well for me is: “Hello, my name is (your name here) from (your company here) and I’m a neighbor just down your street.” (This opening line is key here because if your prospect knows you’re a neighbor, how can they not be friendly to you?) and me (or “we” if another coworker joins you – it’s much easier cold calling door to door with someone else than going solo) I just wanted to introduce myself and drop off a sales flyer (if you don’t have one or look like an amateur, check out this inexpensive sales flyer service at ) about what we do?

Tracking keeps you in the game

Most sales prospects won’t buy on first contact, which is why it’s important to constantly follow up with prospects. Knowing that sales is a process and not a one-off opportunity will help you stay in touch on a consistent basis. When you talk to your prospect, ask when is a good time to follow up. Try to get some sort of commitment from them (ie specific date and time for a meeting or phone conversation). Even if your prospect isn’t interested in a follow-up call, you could say, “(Prospect Name), I realize you’re happy with (Your Provider Name), but nothing is set in stone and I just never know. what could happen tomorrow. Here’s my card, and if it’s okay, how about I give you a friendly follow-up call in a month?”

Copyright 2008 Mr. Cold Call, Inc. – All Rights Reserved.

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