Scouting a Neighborhood for Successful Door-to-Door Sales: The Perfect Recipe

Last updated: June 27th, 2024

Door to Door Sales graphic


    Canvassing a neighborhood is a lot like heading out on a hunt. You know your target, what you need to do, what you’re going to eat, and what you kill (get paid!). Everyone has different theories and strategies for this old song and dance. With this guide, I hope to help you close more deals and make more money!

    I’ve spent several years working door-to-door roofing sales for one of the largest residential roofing companies in my area. During my five years of selling, I inked over $8 million in deals. I have tried and experimented with several techniques, ranging from pure superstition to rigid sales ideology. Here are my top 3 steps to scouting a neighborhood and not wasting your valuable daylight knocking in areas that will keep you broke!

    Does the Neighborhood Have the 3 “Core Ingredients”?

    In order to bake a cake, you need eggs, milk, flour, etc. The same goes for producing deals from canvassing and cold knocking on doors. For me, there are three core ingredients to producing deals that will get approved and make you money.

    Roofs with Damage or That Appear to be Damaged

    This seems obvious. But it would be best if you did not waste your time signing up for roofs with no damage for various reasons. That could be the subject of an entirely different article related to your reputation, ethics, etc. Let’s keep it simple in this case – if you sign up roofs with no damage, they won’t get approved, and you won’t make money. So not only do you not end up with a deal, but you also wasted your time.

    Collateral Damage to Soft Metals

    Regardless of how lenient an adjuster may be, they will require damaged soft metals on the property to approve a claim. Remember, every claim tells a story – and the story must make sense in order for the adjuster to pay (although sometimes it makes perfect sense, and they decide not to pay anyway- more on that another time!).

    Recent Storm Date

    We’ve all had the experience of finding a damaged roof from a previous storm. This is NOT going to be covered. A recent storm date is required to file a claim. Again, this could be for many reasons outside of just making money – mostly ethical ones.

    Other Factors to Consider When Looking for the Perfect Neighborhood

    Can I get out of my car and knock for a while?

    Avoid knocking on houses with older roofs damaged by small storms, even if the houses are qualified. Look for a neighborhood with several houses matching your criteria on both sides of the street.

    Are there competitors’ signs?

    If you avoid other companies’ signs, do yourself a favor and stop doing that immediately. It’s never a good idea to knock on someone’s door if they already have a sign (it’s slimy behavior, in my opinion, especially when there are many other opportunities to get approved). However, if other companies have signs in the neighborhood, that means people are likely getting approved in the area and are familiar with storms.

    Is this a blue-collar or white-collar neighborhood?

    Both are great and full of deals. However, timing is much different in each type. Blue-collar neighborhoods are likely to be primarily desolate until homeowners get home from work after 5 PM. While in white-collar neighborhoods, many people work from home or stay-at-home parents. Don’t waste your valuable daylight working the neighborhood against the grain of people’s schedules!

    Do NOT Do the One-and-Done Method!

    What’s the one-and-done method? It’s when you knock on a few doors, only to be met with a rude prospect who says, “Go away! You’re the 15th roofer from here!”

    If you have a terrible experience, don’t lose faith. If the ingredients are there and you believe the neighborhood has promise, keep knocking. The biggest mistake I made and saw my reps make for years was breaking this cardinal rule.

    Nothing will add more to the sting of giving up on a neighborhood prematurely than someone else from your company coming in with no bias and signing up deals that you never got to because you got discouraged and gave up. Or even worse, a competitor. Remember that in door-to-door sales, toughness and the ability to get back up after being knocked down are invaluable assets. Keep your “why” in the forefront of your mind at all times, and you’ll be able to push aside discouraging thoughts and interactions easier.

    Happy hunting!

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