Successful Door-To-Door Sales

Summer and fall months are a prime time to utilize door-to-door sales tactics.  The weather is nicer, there are more daylight hours and households are more likely to stay up later, giving you the opportunity to present your sales case.  Additionally, you have the ability to meet your customer face-to-face, demonstrate your product and its advantages, and the added benefit of creating face recognition.   However, just like any sales tactic, there are many things to take into consideration and prepare for prior to getting started, and we’re here to help you put your best foot forward before you start ringing doorbells.

PERFECT PITCH

Door-to-door sales can easily be compared to those dreaded public speaking classes you took in school.  But, preparation and practice are all you need to have the confidence to sell.  First, know your product inside and out, and how it compares to other like products on the market.  This will ensure that you will have answers to any questions, and lets your potential customer see that you are the expert, thus giving them the trust they need to purchase from you.  Additionally, you will be prepared for any bumps in the road and any unforeseen instances that occur.  Second, practice, practice, practice!  The more you know exactly how you will approach a customer, the easier and less stressful your sales pitch will be for you.  It may be easiest to practice in front of a mirror, that way you can see how you appear to your potential customer, and change points in your pitch that may not come across like you hoped.  The combination of preparing yourself ahead of time and practice will give you all the confidence you need to successfully sell.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING…

…and, I mean this in more than one way.  In advance, think about the time you will start knocking on doors.  Monday mornings are more than likely not the best option, as people may be on their way to work, dropping kids off at daycare or running errands leftover from the weekend.  Try researching the neighborhood ahead of time, and note which homes have cars, and seeing who may be home during the day versus at night.  Additionally, think about this as an opportunity to set a future appointment instead of selling.  This will do two things: you will be able to prepare a meeting with the customer, and know that they are more than just a cold lead, as well as relieve the customer of any pressure of making a decision on the spot.  It will also make you look very courteous, with the customer knowing that you were mindful of their time.

Another thing to think about regarding time: how much time you need to spend with each household in order to meet your sales goals.  Whether you want to make one sale a week or day, knowing how many houses you need to reach each day will give you a realistic target and will teach you how to manage your time with each home.

TRIAL AND ERROR

When getting started, it is possible that the first 25 to 50 homes will include a lot of trial and error.  That’s okay!  However, make note of what works and what doesn’t, so you can change your game plan for future sales opportunities.  Just remember to sell confidently and be flexible with your plans, and you can expect success to come along.

What are your door-to door tips and tricks of the trade?  What do you suggest for first-timers?  Comment below so we can help everyone out with their sales plan!

Preparing for Team Summit – Part One

ts2013

With Team Summit just two short months away, it is never too early to prep yourself, and your team for the event.  More information will soon be coming from DISH, but this is just to help you with mentally preparing for Team Summit 2013.

Identify Your Goals

Why exactly are you attending Team Summit?  If you step into the conference with no defined goals or purpose for attending, you are bound to leave disappointed.  Do some homework about the schedule of events, training seminars and entertainment now so you can compile a list of goals you would like to complete while you are at the conference.  This research will let you know what to expect before you arrive and will help you determine where you and your team need to be. Whether it is networking, learning more about your role as a DISH retailer, or simply focusing on training, knowing your own expectations will set you up for success from the start.

Plan an Agenda

You can find this year’s tentative schedule here with a more defined list of training classes and schedule available in April.   Go ahead and start planning where you want to be and what classes and seminars you know you want to attend.  Planning for this now will allow you to make the best of your time at Team Summit, and ensure that you haven’t overbooked your time in San Antonio.  Also, if you have a team going to Team Summit with you, planning ahead will allow you to pick the individual training seminars that will benefit your team members the most.  For example, if one of your sales team needs help with general marketing, you can send him to any one of the marketing seminars offered, instead of the sales training.

Check, and Double-check

 Since you will be gone from the office or store-front for several days, just keep in mind that you may need to double-check that all your travel arrangements are set up.  I like to ensure I have booked the correct flight to and from the event, the hotel has my reservation noted, and everything has my name spelled correctly.  On top of travel arrangements, you will need someone to ‘hold down the fort’ while you are away.  Letting people know you will be out of the office in advance is always a good start, but you will need to make sure someone is available to take orders, handle issues and anything else that arises while you are out.  Emergencies and glitches are bound to happen, but having someone handle this office matter while you are gone will enable you to focus on the conference.

As more and more information comes in, we will be sure to pass your way.  And stay tuned in for ‘Prepping for Team Summit – Part II’ which will be a more in-depth look at those items you will need to prepare prior to leaving for San Antonio!

Best Sales Practices for dishNET

Since dishNET internet is a fairly new service, everyone is still learning the ins and outs of selling what is best for the customer.  Now that we have been in the game for a few months, some trends have emerged, and below describes those emerging trends so you know the best way to sell this service to possible dishNET customers in your area:

Gamers:

Those customers indicating they having gaming units, like Xbox or Playstation, are generally not happy with the dishNET service.  The delayed response time from satellite back to earth interferes with the ability to successfully game while online.  DishNET is not recommended for this style of internet user.

Multiple Dwelling Units/Multiple Dishes:

Those people living in a multiple dwelling unit may have a limitation to the number of dish units they are allowed to mount on their porches.  Additionally, many homeowners were not aware that multiple dishes would be required.  This creates an aesthetic issue for the homeowner or dweller, and disappointment that not one unit can be used for both internet and video.  Be sure to clarify this with your potential customer, noting that there is not a plan for a solo-dish solution coming anytime in the near future.

Data Caps and Throttling:

Some potential customers may be hesitant about using dishNET, even though their internet usage falls within a specific data plan.  When speaking with potential customers about using dishNET, shDoc1ow them the Plan Selector Tool to right-size their internet needs.  This tool easily converts normal internet activities into a usage estimate and gives you a personalized data package recommendation.

 

In addition to data caps, many customers are concerned about throttling.  Because so many have generated a very large cellular phone bill because they have exceeded their monthly data cap, they believe the same will happen if they exceed their internet data cap. This is not an issue with internet usage, as it will only slow down the data speed until the data cap resets.  Resets happen monthly, on the anniversary date of activation, and are throttled to about 128Kpbs to 256Kpbs.

Urban Issues

It is always important to remember dishNET is not offered to or recommend to those in urban areas.  There are better and less expensive options for those living in metropolitan areas, so trying to sell dishNET to someone living in or near a large city is only going to result in a future cancellation, as they will eventually find a different service for a lower price.

Being aware of these points can prevent cancellation or refusal to purchase from the beginning.  Remember to always keep your customers’ needs and situation in mind so you can always offer them what they need from the get-go.  This will not only help generate more sales, but prevent those from cancelling service.

60% Co-op Reimbursement – Now What?

The New Year always brings about big changes and challenges, and this year is no different, especially with DISH’s co-op reimbursement percentage change from 80% to 60% already in place. Don’t panic! We’ve got the team to guide you with a few tips to  change your advertising focus from volume to value.

When thinking about your advertising budget, quality, not quantity, is what you’re looking for. Take a deep breath and really think about where you spend your advertising dollars: Which mediums are working for you and which ones aren’t? Are you doing any advertising just because it’s inexpensive, even though it may be ineffective? Now is the time to scrutinize your marketing plan, eliminate the part of the plan that is not working, and get creative to spend your advertising budget in the areas where it’s the most effective.

Review your Marketing Plan

When analyzing your current advertising budget, you can place your initiatives in one of two categories: those you spend money on and those that make your business money. If the majority of your leads are coming from one or two advertising tactics, but you have three or four total, then you need to shift your money to the mediums where you’re actually getting a return on your investment. Stop spending in the areas where you are not. Just because your out-of-pocket expense per initiative is going to increase doesn’t mean that your total budget has to.

Cut the Fat

Once you have identified the mediums that aren’t bringing in quality leads, you need to pull those ads as soon as possible. If you have gotten in the habit of advertising in ways that aren’t the most effective, make it your resolution to focus the money on other avenues that can make your business better. Even if the advertising is cheap, it’s still money wasted if it’s not bringing in customers and it is money better spent elsewhere. Now that you’ll be responsible for paying 40% of the total cost on any advertising initiative, you really need to focus on getting the best value for that money and only advertise where you are seeing results.
Get Creative
With a higher investment for advertising on your end, you want to look for every value-add opportunity you can. See if your radio station or newspaper will give you a better rate if you commit to a larger number of advertisements. Is there a discount for running on certain days of the week? Many newspapers will include a web ad at no additional charge when you buy a print ad. It’s ok to be shameless in asking your vendors for discounts or bundles– the worst they can do is say no, right? Don’t forget to look into opportunities for free advertising, too. Get those social media pages in shape, start a blog, or send out a newsletter to current and prospective customers. You could even try bartering or trading advertising. Ask a popular local business if you can hang a banner in their store or place some business cards at the counter in exchange for the same at your business. Networking and word of mouth will always remain powerful advertising tools.
It’s certainly going to be an adjustment switching over to a lower reimbursement percentage, but if you sit down and take the time to analyze your business’s marketing plan and think outside the box a little, you can make it work without breaking your advertising budget.

Q & A: THE RETURN AUTHORIZATION PROCESS

At DOW Electronics, we strive to provide our retailers with convenient and straightforward methods to organize and handle day-to-day business practices. A necessary part of distribution, or any product based business, is the return of warranted product. We asked our Return Authorization Specialists what the most common complaints and questions were, and below is their response, with tips and answers to help you out with the RA process.

Retailer: Where can I find the DOW Electronics’ return authorization guide lines? 

Answer: Once you have logged into the DOW Electronics website, click on the tab ‘RA Requests.’  When the drop-down menu appears, chose the ‘RA Policy & Procedures’ option, and from here, you can click the PDF document that includes our most current RA guidelines.

Retailer: The RA process is too complicated. 

Answer:  There are only five (5) options for RA’s – Defective Dish Receiver, Defective Dish Accessories, Defective all other product other than Dish, Return to Stocks and Broadband (i.e.; Exede, dishNET and Hughes Net). The process to request an RA takes about 1 to 1 ½ minutes to submit. It simply requires the part number, the DOW Electronics Invoice, an explanation of what is wrong or why you are requesting a ‘Return to Stock’, if you would like a credit or replacement, and how you would like to return the defective product.  We try to process all RA requests as quickly as possible so there is no inconvenience to the retailer.

Retailer: Why do I have to provide a DOW Electronics Invoice number? 

Answer:  In order to process your request, we have to research all requests, which includes verifying proof of purchase. By providing the DOW Electronics invoice number, we are able to process your claim in a timely manner because you have already given us the majority of the information we need to complete the process.

Retailer: How do I find my DOW Electronics Invoice if I do not have a copy? 

Answer:  We’ve made this portion of the RA process easy for the retailer. All you have to do is select the ‘Shipping/Invoicing’ option under the ‘Shipping’ tab on the DOW Electronics website. You can choose to download data in a CSV/EXCEL Format and to include all data, or just a specific date range.  Once you choose your options, just submit and we provide you with the information right on your screen. The easiest way to find the data you are looking for is to press the Control button + F button (the find function in EXCEL) and EXCEL will take you to the part or specific serial number.

Also included in this view is the DOW Electronics invoice number, DOW Electronics part number, and if applicable, the SN number of the unit purchased. Another valuable column identifies the person who ordered the item.

More Value-Added Services that assist in the Return Authorization process:

  • DOW Electronics offers free pickup on defective replacements with a qualifying order by our own trusted fleet of vehicles and drivers.
  • Most RA’s are processed within 1 business day.
  • If you are confused or need assistance, our experienced staff can walk you through the process in 5 minutes!
  • For retailers on the go, you can e-mail Radepartment@dowelectronics.com  from your tablet or smart phone with any questions.

All About Axiom

As of October 31, 2012, access to R*Connect has been shut down, making Axiom your only DISH sales entry tool! Don’t sweat – we have plenty of insider tips to help you through this transition.

Overview: The Basics

Axiom, the new DISH sales entry tool, is a more flexible, non-linear program that will allow you more control when you create, upgrade and view DISH accounts.  The new freedom within the system permits you to follow a path that best fits your customers’ needs and your sales process.  You can easily jump from tab to tab, with all the information updating in the summary section, and without having to start from the beginning.

The four flexible tabs are Programming, TVs, Household Info and Eligibility.  When you are within one of these four tabs, the information entered will always be updated in the Summary panel to the right of the screen.  Within the four flexible tabs you can jump from one to another, without having to complete each step in a particular order and without having to start over.  So, if you wanted to provide a quote, you would start with the Programming tab, but if you wanted to see what the customer qualifies for first, you would start at the Household Info tab and proceed to the Eligibility tab.

After the first four tabs, there are three additional tabs: Account Info, Payment Info and Check-Out.  You cannot move onto the final three tabs until the first four are complete because, at that point, your customer is qualified, agrees upon the services chosen and is ready to purchase.

There is also a search tab, which allows you to look for existing customers, leads and customers that are on-hold.  With regards to existing and on-hold customers, you can make reference notes about service dates, payment preferences and more.  Lead information is saved for 90 days, except any Eligibility information.  If the same information in entered in the Eligibility tab, a second credit check is not required, creating easy access and sales processing.

Tips and Tricks

Here are just a few side notes to help you out with some common questions and issues:

  1. In the Search tab, you can only pull up an existing customer by either account number combined with the phone number, or by name.  To search for a lead, you will use the Lead ID.
  2. Again, you must complete the first four tabs before you can move on to tab 5, the Account tab.
  3. If you complete the Eligibility tab first and run the credit check, you will not be able to pick offers until the Programming tab is completed.
  4. Only you have access to the Lead Information you create.
  5. To reprint agreements, you will need to visit the Retailer Care Site, which were previously located in the Promotions Center.  Axiom is an order-entry tool only and does not have the functionality to administer agreements.  Please access the new Agreement Center for this.

 Additional Information on Axiom

DISH has tons of jobs aids, detailed instructions and presentations to help you navigate through Axiom on the DISH Portal.  These are also located within the Axiom program for quick and easy reference.  As always, checkout DISH U, which has a training guide with quizzes and tests, just to ensure you have learned everything you need to know.  And, of course, you can call your DOW Electronics sales representatives, who are all up to date to help you with Axiom.