Which strategy is better, cold calling or door to door sales?
It depends on what you’re selling. If we consider the overall expense, then cold-calling is cheaper, whereas, if we consider the effectiveness of building relationships and knowing the customer better, then a door-to-door strategy is better because there’s face-to-face human interaction.
Some products require more upfront interactions, making cold-calling less effective. Or, at least with some products, cold-calling doesn’t sell a customer and is instead about turning them into a lead, a potential customer who committed to something, like a live event or a meeting with a salesperson. Then there’s preference to consider. Some people are not very comfortable selling in person, while others are vice-versa about the phone.
If I were to pick one key factor, though, it would be the product or service itself. For example, with a product that needs or benefits strongly from on-site demonstration, door-to-door is better, else cold-calling is probably a good idea, since it has a faster turn-over. The latter is obviously preferable in the present times of social distancing, when people are reluctant to interact personally.
Let’s discuss more.
As I said, the selection of a strategy depends largely on the product. Both have their pros and cons.
Pro: You can do more in less time.
Pro: If the prospect responds rudely or negatively, then it’s less embarrassing.
Con: Conveying certain points on the phone could be a bit difficult.
Con: Building rapport over the phone is more complex.
Overall: Preferable for products typically associated with telemarketing.
Pro: Establishing rapport is easier.
Pro: The salesperson can demonstrate the product to the customer or offer aids such as pamphlets.
Pro: For training/support, door-to-door is preferable. You get more selling experience in-person.
Big Con: Visiting every prospect is time-consuming and costly, and these days is less welcome than usual. Overall: Good for products in which a physical demonstration is helpful in converting customers.
When it concerns sales, I would suggest using both strategies, provided your marketing budget, and the availability of field staff allows for that.
In either case, skilled selling is important, and neither will be very effective without good frames, attitudes, and a psychological understanding of the typical customer. Most people tend to have one or more of the same five objections to buying anything. After experiencing those objections from almost every other customer, I decided to explore them and where they really came from. After thorough research, I have found those objections to sales exist almost everywhere and can be resolved in almost always the exact same ways.
I have discussed those objections and their solutions in my post: 5 Deep-Seated Customer Doubts That Kill Your Sales (And How to Erase Them). If you are interested in boosting your customer skills, you can read that post through the link on it.
In conclusion, both of these strategies have their own strengths. In sales, what matters most is closing the deal, by adopting ethical ways and building good relationships with the customers. Wherever possible, both of these strategies should be used, while also focusing on improving general selling ability.
Please feel free to reply to me if you need clarification on anything.