I was laying in bed reading my son a book. It was bedtime at the Szczytko house. The house was quiet as I relived the tale of Anakin fighting Ventress, that my son has heard a ton of times, when there was a knock at the door. This caused my dog (whom I often refer to as NumNuts but the reasonings for that are for another post) to go bananas with barking. I lurched out of bed, bounded down the steps and threw open the door. There, looking up at me, was a man wearing a green work uniform with a name badge and a clipboard jammed into his hip. He began to speak against a “woof” “woof” backdrop and the sounds of a 5 year old bouncing down the stairs after me.
Does this crap work anymore? I guess it must. Otherwise why would companies send people out on a neighborhood canvas? The door knocker from a window company proceeded to explain to me why I needed to have someone ELSE from his company come out to inspect my house to make sure my doors (“Woof!” “Woof!” “Dad aren’t you coming back upstairs?” “Woof!”) were up to snuff and weren’t leaking. He scribbled on his clipboard and pulled a brochure from his back pocket, looked up at me again with those sad salesman eyes and said… “When can I schedule him?” (“Woof!” “Who is this man Dad?” “Woof!”) Is this guy serious?
Isn’t this like throwing 500 darts and hoping 1 hits the target?
It got me thinking (after he left)… they are REALLY going about this wrong. The one problem as I see it is this is a FAST way to try to drum up business. It isn’t the long term solution to their making the phone ring problem. Cold calling is dead. Or..I hope it is. Here are just a couple of “crazy” new things I think they should be trying:
This company wants to get involved with the community but going door to door isn’t the way. Want people to know who you are? Start by getting involved with the community. Advertise in the local paper. Sponsor things. Be around and visible for people in the community to see. Make them want to get to know you and what you represent. THAT can get the phone to ring.
Of course. Duh. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say SM. Develop your Facebook presence. Use Twitter to identify yourself as experts. Business to business referrals work quite well also. Build good content and give people a reason to Like you… or +1 you.
I’m sure they have a website. Add a blog and help people understand what improperly sealed windows do to your energy bill. Show by using video how to install windows, how to check for leaks, WHATEVER… but make it good and relevant content. If your company is knowledgeable about installing and selling windows…prove it.
Whoever this company’s marketing person is…fire them. I felt almost sorry for the dude who just randomly happened to choose my house right at my sons bedtime. Even through the bedlam that a knocking person can create at my house (“Woof!” “Woof!” “Does this mean I’m staying up longer Dad?”) this guy just kept on talking; trying to build value in something that I cannot possibly pay attention to. You’re HOPING I need help with my windows or doors but you don’t know. You’ll need to send someone else out to check that. Really? 2011 and this is the best they’ve got?
I politely told him “No thanks” and closed the door, finished the Star Wars book and took the dog out. As I was strolling around the yard with NumNuts I laughed. Laughed because of how poor their attempt at trying to get my business really was. Does this door to door crap really work today? The new technology tools available today SHOULD make door-to-door irrelevant. Even more to the point is it just a companies way of being impatient (AND LAZY!) and not building the relationships necessary to really make the phone ring? What do you think? The comments are all yours…
Thanks to Pete Simon on Flickr for the picture.