Door to Door Salesmen Have Used These Secrets for Decades to Close the Deal
Many homeowners breathe a sigh of relief if, at the end of a long, persistent sales pitch, the salesperson respects a simple no and lets you close the door without having to invest in a brand new set of Encyclopedias you’ll never read.
BUT, did you know that as of March 1st, 2018, laws prohibiting the sale of specific products and services door to door took effect??? I’m sure this comes as a relief to many homeowners, and yet I’m compelled to warn you: BUYER BEWARE.
Companies are circumventing door to door laws by selling products that fall within a grey area, meaning they are not specifically outlined on the list of products prohibited to be sold door to door. For instance, in the wake of these new laws, many companies who are in the HVAC business (a prohibited product to sell door to door) have shifted to selling subpar products such as Smart Home Thermostats to get the proverbial “foot in the door.” These products are often marked up exorbitantly, and the homeowner is later burdened with the additional cost of expensive installation fees.
Regardless of Ontario’s new law, there are still companies who choose to ignore the regulations and continue selling door to door. Unfortunately, companies who use tricky sales tactics to pressure you into buying give the entire industry a bad name.
I work with Simply Green and have been in the industry for a long time. I wanted to create this post to help protect homeowners avoid being taken advantage of. I've compiled a list of industry tricks and high-pressure tactics that companies use to hard-close a deal.
1. Keeping up the “Joneses”
Long before society was keeping up with the Kardashians, they were keeping with the Joneses. Door to door Salesmen will play on the insatiable need to fit in by having what our peers have (or better). Whether it's the newest model car, most up to date iPhone, or state of the art home theater system, the feeling to also have these items can be powerful. Salespeople know this very well, and make a point to subtly mention that neighbors in the area have just invested in their services or products.
More often than not this claim is false, and they are trying to initiate a sale purely based on you needing or wanting what they have. Sales experts also know that people are far more apt to blindly trust a company if they are told someone else trusts them.
How to avoid this tactic:
When a door to door sales person claims your neighbors have also purchased products from them, ask specific question. Ask “which neighbors?” “Which home?” “What did they purchase?” This almost always throws them off and if they weren’t telling the truth, they probably won’t have an answer.
2. Access denied
As bold as it may sound, 9 times out of 10 after a salesperson gives a pitch at your door he will break eye contact while simultaneously asking a question as a distraction. Usually, they will look down and point to their shoes. They know that instinctively you will look down to where they are pointing and they will ask if you'd like them to take off their shoes, taking the liberty of stepping inside your home before you give an answer. Once a salesperson has successfully gained entry into your home using this method, you might as well set them a place at the dinner table because it will be almost impossible to get them out.
How to avoid this tactic:
Do not leave enough room at the entrance of your home, or better yet go outside and close the door behind you, eliminating any possibility of them gaining entry into your home.
3. The pen is mightier than the sword
A door to door salesmen will go to any lengths to get a pen into your hand. This can be achieved by giving you a free pen with their company logo, or the more sneaky approach is pretending to drop their pen, hoping you will kindly pick the pen up for them. Another ploy is they use is shuffling through papers or their products to make their hands are full so that they can ask you to hold their pen for them. Why is it so important for them to get a pen into your hands? Because studies show that the longer you have that pen in your hand the more likely you are to sign a contract to purchase their services or buy their product.
How to avoid this tactic:
Never hold promotional products or tools for a door to door salesperson. Do not offer to hold their pen or bend over to pick up their pen if they “accidentally” drop it, even at the expense of looking rude. You’re far better off looking rude, than being on the hook for singing a binding contract.
Always remember, companies who provide excellent products would never need to resort to using such tactics, nor would they encourage them. Quality products and services sell themselves without manipulation. Salespeople have usually inherited their style, integrity and sale strategy over many years. Almost all door to door salespeople make their income on a commision basis. When sales are few and far between, employees can resort to old unethical tactics in desperation. If you do come across a salesperson who you feel is unethical or made you uncomfortable in any way, call the company immediately and report them! The saying one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch really does apply here, no reputable company wants to be associated with this type of behavior because, at the end of the day, salespeople are the face of any business.
Help protect your friends and family by passing along the information provided in this article. Keep in mind; unethical salespeople will usually prey upon those who have a difficult time saying no, for instance, individuals who are home alone, the elderly or young couples with little experience dealing with them. Inform them of the new laws that prohibit the door to door sales of particular products and services in Ontario. And let them know that Individuals or companies who violate the Ontario's Door to Door law will risk a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment for up to two years, or both.
Corporations will face a fine of up to $250,000.