I’ve mentioned before that I sold pest control door to door in my college days. Maybe you’ve had the experience of some random teenager knocking on your door and trying to sell you cable, a security system, or some other product or service. Perhaps you have wondered how much they make and if it’s really worth it. The short answer: it depends, but can be a far more lucrative summer job than you ever imagined.
Door to door sales has been happening in America for a long time. Zig Ziglar used to sell vacuum cleaners, but it seems like it’s mostly dominated by pest control and security systems these days.
The amount you can make varies greatly by company and product or service. It also depends on your area and even the weather. It’s much harder to sell on rainy days.
Pest control you can easily make a lot more sales, an average of 2 or 3 a day is not terribly difficult, and the commissions start around $100 if you discount the service but can go over $200 as your numbers improve and you sell better.
Security systems are more expensive and harder to sell. If you make one per week it can easily be worth a thousand dollars or more. The tough thing is you are rejected much more often. A lot of salesmen get burned out pretty quick as it is repetitive and you’re walking around in the heat of the day 6 days a week.
Whatever you are selling, you’re most likely to close the deal on someone that just moved into the home. I would scour Google maps every day and look for new sub divisions. I wish I had known to check the MLS, or Zillow recently sold to specifically target those homes.
Otherwise, it’s a numbers game, and you’ll find that it takes around 80-150 doors for you to make a sale.
I first sold door to door in 2012. I had just finished a mission trip and really didn’t have any other job opportunities that would allow me to work for the 2 months before college started.
In Idaho, where my family lived, pest control is not really a thing, it’s too dry for many bugs to live. So I left to work with some friends I had met a year prior that owned a pest control company in Oklahoma. They had a good reputation and good technicians, which made the service easy to sell.
Most salesmen will start in late April or early May. I was starting in July. Out of the 11 salesmen on the team, I passed 7 to rank 4th at the end of summer. It came pretty natural to me. I worked hard to memorize the sales pitch, learn the business and resolve customer concerns. I ended the summer with about 75 sales. It was just over $10k, not bad for 6 weeks of work. It covered all my expenses for the school year.
I planned to go back for 2013 and since everyone that had performed better than me did not go back, I got the offer to open up a new office in Arkansas. I was #1 in the company that year finishing the summer with 192 sales.
Had I stayed one extra week, or even a few days, I could have had 200 sales. This would have bumped my commission up a whole percentage point on all sales in addition to about a $5000 bonus. I left somewhere between 6-10k on the table. This doesn’t exactly match up with the chart above, because as a manager I got overrides on all the sales made in the new area.
I had one week in the prime of summer that for some reason I only sold 5, when for weeks I had been selling around 15-20, and I really have no explanation for it. I did everything the same, but that bad week cost me.
The final week of August, I started to get sick. I had a trip planned to Branson Missouri I was looking forward to and mentally checked out. It would have been easy to put off the trip for a week, but I had been pushing myself really hard all summer.
In the end, I still made over 40k in 4 months, but that extra 6-10k would have gone a long way early on in my life. Honestly, this one is one of my smaller regrets though. I had a blast at Silver Dollar City and got to take some time off before diving into my studies.
I’d saved enough to buy a reliable used vehicle with cash, pay for a overpriced diamond for my fiancée, and my entire college degree and still have money left over.
The post My Biggest Money Mistakes – Part 3: Short Selling My Summer Job appeared first on Frugal$tu.
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