When making residential sales calls, it’s important to put your prospects at ease and take away some of the on-guard feelings. You’re going into someone’s private home. Very few non-friends or relatives are even invited in, so consider it a privilege. Always dress neatly, arrive on time, and offer to take off your shoes. Once you’re inside, you need to break the ice. Why not offer a token gift right away, before you give your sales presentation, to make everyone relax a little?
One idea is a $5 gift certificate to a local fast-food place or an ice cream store. If you purchase such certificates often, sometimes you can make a deal with the local owner to buy a certain number for a discounted price—perhaps 20 $5 gift certificates for $90, for example
When you first arrive at the customer’s home, hand the gift certificate to them and say, “I just wanted to thank you for letting me come and talk to you today.” With any luck, you’ll see a little smile, and you can get on with your business. There are no guarantees of success, of course, but a less defensive prospect is always easier to sell.
When you’re selling to consumers at home, you may hear, “We want to think it over.” If you can, make them feel the need and desire to buy now—you’ll eliminate any competition. Offer to leave the room while they discuss your offer. Or, tell them you’ll go out for coffee and come back in an hour and answer any further questions. You’re taking off the pressure of a right-now decision but not letting it go until tomorrow.