chapter 36

Go Door to Door

This might be one of the most overlooked startup marketing techniques out there. It actually can work for digital, subscription, and physical products. Simply, go door to door and introduce yourself as the founder, creator or “insert creative name here” of your company. It's a technique that more and more companies are surprisingly turning to in order to win customers over.

But People Hate Door To Door Salespeople

Yes they do, and maybe you do too. It's no secret that through various mediums, we've built a negative stereotype of what it means to be a salesperson. But try putting it to yourself this way, you’re not going around selling, you’re going around introducing yourself and sharing what you do. That’s all. You'll be surprised by the wide variety of responses you'll get, and even though it might be a slim percentage at first, the number of people who appreciate what you do and are willing to hand over their hard-earned cash for your products or services.

When you knock on your neighbor’s door, you are approaching them not as a salesperson, but as a neighbor. You can open with this pitch:

“Hi, My name is _______. I’m your neighbor  and I just wanted to introduce myself.”

As the conversation gets going, it might become natural for the topic of what each other’s profession is to surface. That’s the perfect time to introduce your brand, but don’t try to sell them. Simply show them what it is you sell during “working hours.”

Now it’s important not to do this for completely self-serving purposes. The idea is as a business owner and hopefully future leader, is that you want to become a community pillar. So this strategy is only for those of you who genuinely like your neighbourhood and want to get to know the people in it. These genuine relationships will repay you tenfold. 

But, Do All This Just To Talk To A Dozen People On My Block?

You can take the “neighbor” strategy citywide. Simply go door to door and let people know that you have started a business in their town and leave them with something creative and memorable. Be really clever with this. For example:

  • During the winter holidays you can leave them with some mistletoe.
  • At the beginning of summer, hand out BBQ matches. They’re cheap and can be nicely bundled.
  • Bring them a list of 10 awesome things they probably don’t know about their community. For instance, check to see what discounts the local utilities companies offer. Find out all the little details that can benefit local residents and compile them into a nice flyer.

Whatever you do, don’t just leave a flyer on their doorstep without meeting them. Then you are just trashing their doorstep and giving them more work to do, because now they have to throw away your flyer. As a matter of fact, don’t leave anything on their doorstep without meeting them. The point is to make a personal connection. 

We want to leave you with this final thought, there are probably tens of thousands of people in your town alone. Imagine if you could turn all those people into raving fans? So start thinking about how you can engage these local evangelists.

Next chapter

37. Use Print Ads

5 min

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