Door-to-door sales is a viable career option for driven, enthusiastic people with sales skills. These jobs are prevalent, but also risky, as your income is completely dependent on your sales ability. These jobs are also not going anywhere--in spite of the Internet's presence in nearly everyone's life, there is still a very real need for salespeople to sell products.
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A door-to-door salesperson spends his days knocking on doors and attempting to sell a product to whoever answers. These products can be essentially anything--sometimes the sales representative will travel with an example of the product to demonstrate it, while on other occasions he will travel armed only with information about the product. An example of the former is a vacuum cleaner, while an example of the latter is a heating system.
Since door-to-door sales positions are on a commission-only basis, the company they sell for takes on negligible risk in hiring the salespeople. This means that the requirements are quite low to become a door-to-door salesman. If you are a high school graduate who can sell a lot, you will do well as a door-to-door salesman, but if you have an MBA but cannot sell, you will not do well. Both of these types of people will have little difficulty in actually getting a job as a door-to-door salesperson, though.
Door-to-door sales success is dependent on how well the salesperson can sell. This is regardless of academic success or experience. A salesperson needs to be able to talk to anyone and close a deal. This means that as a door-to-door salesperson, you need to be enthusiastic, knowledgeable about your product and most important, able to talk at length to strangers.
While there has been discussion of the Internet taking door-to-door salespeople out of the equation by allowing customers to buy directly, this has not happened as of June 2010. Regardless of the Internet's potential to deliver information, door-to-door salespeople still play the crucial role of convincing people to buy products they would not have sought out on their own. The Internet, by contrast, can usually only sell people products and services they do seek out on their own.
This is backed up by the fact that the Bureau of Labour Statistics expects the number of door-to-door salespeople and office-bound sales reps to grow between 2008 and 2018.
As of June 2010, door-to-door salespeople earn an average of £7.20 (US$ 11.18) per hour. The lowest 10 per cent earn an average of £5.2 (US$ 8.14), while the highest 10 per cent earn an average of just under £13 (US$ 20) per hour.
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