What does Door to door sales mean in marketing terminology?

Door to door sales

Door-to-door sales refers to a direct sales strategy whereby salespeople knock on residential or business doors and attempt to make sales directly with the people behind those doors. This is a classic sales technique that has been used for many years, primarily by door-to-door vacuum cleaners and encyclopedia salespeople. In this day and age, door-to-door sales remains viable and there are still plenty of businesses using this method to make sales.


Door-to-door sales involves salespeople knocking on residential or business doors, introducing themselves, and attempting to make a sale. This type of sales approach is traditionally used to directly promote and sell products or services to people living or working in a certain area. Salespeople use this approach to advertise their products, answer any questions or queries that the potential customer may have, and gain a commitment from them to purchase.

This particular sales strategy is most effective in smaller geographical locations with a large concentration of potential customers in the same spot, such as a city, town, neighbourhood or village. Many companies that undertake door-to-door sales either employ their own permanent sales team or use a temporary one (sometimes referred to as "hire-in").

General Guidelines

When it comes to door-to-door sales, it is important to keep a few general guidelines in mind. These are designed to ensure best practice and a good customer experience:

1. Research your target market – Before you begin, it is essential that you thoroughly research your target market. This research should cover both individuals and businesses. It should provide you with information on the location, demographics, and the kind of products or services that the target market will be interested in.

2. Have a well-polished script – When it comes to door-to-door sales, it’s important to have a professional well-polished script prepared beforehand. This should include an explanation of the product or service you are offering, details on why it is beneficial, and an explanation of how the customer can take advantage of it.

3. Be polite and courteous – As you will be speaking directly with potential customers, it is important that you remain polite and courteous at all times during your interactions. This will help to build a good rapport and trust with potential customers.

4. Represent your company properly – Ensure that you present yourself and your company in the best way possible to potential customers. This means having professional business cards or flyers to hand out. Be aware that how you represent yourself and your company will be a reflection on how customers will view your product or service.

Become a Sales & Marketing Rainmaker

Learn valuable skills to win more customers, grow your business, and increase your profits.
The Rainmakers Club

5. Follow up with customers – After an initial meeting, it’s important to follow up with the potential customer. This will show that you are a credible and trustworthy company, and it will mean that you are more likely to make a successful sale.

Best Practices

Although door-to-door sales can be a useful tool, there are some best practices to bear in mind when undertaking this type of sales strategy. These are designed to ensure best practice and a good customer experience:

1. Door to door – Be mindful when it comes to door-to-door sales; make sure that you know the local laws and regulations regarding door-to-door approaches. In most cases, this involves getting a permit when undertaking door-to-door sales.

2. Establish boundaries – Before undertaking door-to-door sales, it is important to establish residential and commercial boundaries. This will help to ensure that you are knocking on the right doors.

3. Understand your target market – As previously mentioned, research your target market beforehand. This will ensure that you know what type of product or service is likely to be most appealing to your target market.

4. Engage – Door-to-door sales involve engaging directly with potential customers. It is important to be friendly and personable, and focus on building relationships as opposed to trying to make a quick sale.

5. Track your activities – It is important to track the door-to-door sales activities that you undertake. This will enable you to identify which areas are producing the most leads, as well as measure and review your success.


Overall, door-to-door sales remains a viable direct sales strategy that many businesses continue to use. It is important to bear in mind the general guidelines and best practices to ensure best practice and a good customer experience. Researching your target market, engaging with potential customers, and tracking results are essential elements of successful door-to-door sales.