T Nation

Just Got a Sales Job, Need Ideas!


I just got hired as a team leader in a door to door sales company. My duties will include charting territory covered and territory to be covered, hiring/firing and team training. They are willing to give me a few months to get on the ball and i am a pretty good manager but im not great as a salesman.

In order for my team to succeed, i will have to train my team to knock our customers socks off, with our promotions.

Anybody that has ever done the in-person sales thing have any tips? What are the best books on sales? I need to place some orders on amazon this weekend so i'll soon have a leg up

Im also into karate , and japanese jujitsu so if anybody wants to hollar sometime , I'm here! Thanks


Are you paying upfront costs to start this? If so, you may want to rethink it. Door to door is a huge turnover business.


Im in an established company. Im only an entry level manager and i need to get my sales ability up to speed. No startup costs or anything like that i just want my employees to be as sucessful as possible.

I've done sales for a few months as a telemarketer but the managers are expected to be great salesmen because we have to correct our workers even though we wont be selling per se.


a small word of advice.
I work in logistics, I plan inventory for a sales company. Always Always Always: talk with your suppliers / distributors about what stock you have, in what quantities and it's locations prior to running your promotions. The best way to piss off a customer and not get any repeat business, is to over-promise and under-deliver.
Then schedule your promotions.
Then record the relative success of your promotions by product, area, season, etc.
Possibly read the E-Myth by Michael Gruber.


Jeffrey Gitomer is one of the few credible sales gurus out there I would recommend. IMO,his newsletter is ballsy and he has the guts to take on questions from almost any field of activity.



My suggestion would be to read 'How to Win Friends and Influence People' by Dale Carnegie. Get your sales team to read it as well.

Has a wussy sounding title but it is a book that I read once a year. I think that everybody, whether in a sales focussed occupation can benefit from the ideas in the book.

I am in a partially sales based occcupation (no employee management duties though) and I think that a challenge to being in a sales management position is that your top performers will get their results regardless of how well you perform. You may be able to add a % or two but it is difficult to work out what will add the extra results.

You will need to work out who are the guys with the determination, personaltiy and desire to succeed (and also the results) and let them do their thing for as long as they continue to be successful with minimal input from yourself so that you can dedicate the majority of your time to the under achievers or those that need pressure/motivation from yourself to succeed.

Good Luck


Thanks for the advice helga i'll keep that in mind in trying to separate the good employees from the junk , and the website and advice from shuan and mr chill.


Get a new job. Door to door sales is bullshit.


Zap, how about reading posts correctly. He did not say that he is selling door to door, he is managing people that do.


I got an idea : keep those fuckers away from my door ! I hate door to door sales. I doubt I'm the only one who feels this way(Zap, too).


I think Zaps point is that if the salesmen (or women as the case may be) don't do a good job it is a direct reflection upon the poster. Hence, he may lose his job as door to door sales are very very difficult.

That's my guess on what he meant. And I would heartily agree!


Door to door sales is difficult for many many reasons. The odds of success are quite low hence the high turnover.

I suggest he dedicates his energy to a more worthy goal than pimping some inferior overpriced product and annoying people in the process.

I understand he is managing a sales team of people going door to door. It does not change a thing.


I agree with Zap...door to door sales sucks...but whaddya gonna do?

Here are two excellent books I would recommend:

Sales Bible by Gitomer
Discover Your Sales Strengths by Smith and Rutigliano (sp?)

Both are must haves for anyone in sales.

What is your product?


Zap, I agree with your comments about selling door to door. It is not a job that I would ever do and I hate it when they show up at my door.

I guess I wanted to give the guy some some support for his current position in life. It is very easy to say get out of the door to door industry, and I would probably would have said the same thing if it was possible to wake up tomorrow morning and be employed in a different job. I realkise that for some people this is possible.

I would suggest that a large proportion of people today are employed in positions that they do not actually enjoy for no other reason than they have to have somewhere to live and food (or Surge) to eat.

To me, the person that works in a job considered shitty by some others, yet takes pride in their work and does everything they can to be the best in that job deserves more respect than someone who has a more socially respectable job and takes it for granted or does it half arsed.


Tom Hopkins

Just do it. You can thank me later.

Yes, I did sales like this before I went to seminary. And, yes, I did pretty well.


I cant say the product because you will know exactly what company i work for but it is one of the bigger manufacturers that uses door to door selling as a primary marketing method. I start fully monday even though i've done some paper-work for one of the account managers and will be an equivalent to a sargeant in the army. I get directions on what territory to cover in a day and then direct that down to the salesmen and hopefully will then end up as one of the higher selling teams through effective recruitment training and leadership.


I used to sell Kirby vacumms and ADT security systems door-to-door.The responces you got were from bean counters and people who hate sales people.Most people can't do what I did,you can't let failure let you down.In this business 98% of people will say no,you have to be agressive enough to get to those 2% who say yes and not fuck it up when you find them.If you can,you will make more money than 98% of the population.Not bragging,but in June and July of 98 I made $40,000 selling ADT security systems door-to-door in central and northern Alabama.So it can be done,its all in finding the people who aren't scared of rejection,not people who look,act or sell a certain way.


He got responses from people that are pushing for him to do something better with his life.

I have over 10 years experience as an engineer that directly works with our company sales people and often goes to visit potential clients and sell them our superior technology. I only hate poor sales people.

Don't be so quick to make assumptions. A good salesmen would never do such a thing.


What is worse, to quickly make an assumption, or quickly make an insult?


I wasn't insulting him but I will bad mouth door to door sales.

If someone was asking if Snickers was a health food I would quickly disabuse him of the notion.

He apparently thinks door to door sales is a good career move. He clearly has little experience or knowledge in the area or else he wouldn't have posted the question in a bodybuilding forum.

I believe door to door sales is a shitty career move.

I encourage him to find something better to do with his life.