Door-to-door Marketing – How Can We Make it More Effective in Uganda?
Door-to-door marketing is a marketing method through which many businesses in Uganda sell or promote their products and services nowadays. They employ persons, who walk from door to door in residential places and offices, selling or promoting their products and services.
All types of businesses use this door-to-door marketing technique. Both small and big companies use it. Everywhere you go, you find one or two people moving with products for sale. In Kampala and other urban places, salespersons move from office to office. Hawkers move from house to house. They even stop passersby. Why? It’s because they want to market to them and finally make a sale. That’s how business is nowadays in Uganda.
However, door-to-door marketing is a complicated marketing method.
If you are not patient and persistent with some marketing knowledge, you cannot succeed with it. Many times, door-to-door marketers get an intimidating reception. In some instances, people deny them entry to the premises. People look at them suspiciously and insult them. People even slam doors before them. That’s how difficult door-to-door marketing is in Uganda.
Why is door-to-door marketing difficult?
There are several reasons. But through my personal experience, I have taken note of the following.
- In Uganda, people are tired of seeing salespersons everywhere they go. When they are in offices, salespeople knock at the door while they are busy working. When they are in a taxi or bus, someone is selling something. At home, hawkers come selling their stuff. The market is too small, yet salespersons marketing similar products are numerous. This kind of situation makes people develop a poor mindset. They get fed up. And when they get tired, it’s the salesperson who
- Usually, people do not want you to sell to them. It’s what untrained salespersons don’t know. People are not there to buy from you to please you. No. They instead buy to satisfy their personal needs. When someone buys from you, it’s because there is a need he is trying to meet through the product or service you have. As long as you don’t get to learn more about your prospective customers in your target group, you will always find door-to-door marketing disappointing.
- It’s so tiresome. Moving from place to place is not easy. More so if you move the whole day and you don’t make a single sale. Talking to people is equally not straightforward. Remember you are talking to people of various calibres: those interested and those disinterested in your product or service. You have to speak to them.
Is door-to-door marketing good despite its challenges?
I will say a big “YES”. Door-to-door marketing is one of the oldest conventional marketing methods that have made people millionaires. There are several outstanding businessmen in Uganda, who started as door-to-door salespersons. They made their way to riches through this fantastic marketing technique.
Door-to-door marketing is, therefore, a right training school for future successful entrepreneurs. Door-to-door salespeople get the best sales education which others don’t get through formal education. Moving from door to door teaches you valuable lessons that apply to every form of sales.
Secondly, door-to-door marketing allows businesses to directly showcase their products, answer customers’ questions and handle their queries while at their home or places of business. You can, therefore, maximise your results with your door-to-door marketing efforts.
Thirdly, it’s a good marketing strategy for startup businesses with no money for advertising. If you have a limited marketing budget, you can first use the word-of-mouth through this door-to-door marketing method to penetrate your target group.
How can we then make door-to-door marketing effective in Uganda?
Through observation, I have noticed that a lot can be done to improve door-to-door marketing in Uganda. Most small businesses jump into this marketing technique without prior knowledge of how to go about it. It’s one reason why I want to share with you some of the tricks of carrying out effective door-to-door marketing.
And you, the reader of this article, you also have additional information to contribute to it. While pondering over what could be done to improve door-to-door marketing, this is what came to my mind. It’s divided into five categories: target group identification, location planning, marketing team, actual movement and marketing and door-to-door marketing tricks.
Target group identification
Door-to-door marketing is not all about moving from house to house without a plan. If that’s what you have been doing, you may have encountered several challenges. These include wasting your time and energy, visiting or talking to disinterested people. Why? It’s because they aren’t in your target group.
Effective door-to-door marketing necessitates you to target a specific group of people. You don’t sell to everyone in the business. Determine the kind of clients you intend to target for your products or services. How do you do it? You do it by learning more about them. And this entails essential aspects like their interests, education level, income, marital status, and buying power.
Let me demonstrate this with this personal example. I receive daily people running restaurant businesses around my workplace, who want to bring food to me at breakfast and lunchtime in my office. I have always turned them down. Why? I don’t eat from my office. Secondly, I don’t allow anyone to bring me cooked food if I don’t know them well for safety reasons. I instead prefer going to a restaurant and eat from there.
If you keep coming to me, never think you will ever make a sale because I am not in your target group of people who eat from their offices.
Effective door-to-door marketing requires you to decide on the areas with people or businesses that are most likely to have an interest in your products or services. Planning your location before you move in enables you to quantify the number of actual places you will visit. It also helps you not to move to the same areas as your competitors at the same time.
To effectively carry out door-to-door marketing, use a marketing team. Never assume people know even when they have a proven sales record. Why? It’s because they need to know about your products correctly. It’s therefore essential to train them on the products and services you offer and how to market them to the people.
I once hired a lady to market one of my products. She spent a full month without making a sale. But whenever I moved from office to office marketing the same product, I could make a sale if not getting prospective buyers. Why? The lady didn’t have enough knowledge about the products. I had not trained her. I thought she, being a graduate, could quickly move on well. Besides, she was not equipped with the marketing language to use while speaking to potential clients. That’s a common mistake most people fall prey to in door-to-door marketing.
Actual movement and marketing
It’s one of the most challenging aspects of door-to-door marketing, where you need expertise. Your success depends mostly on the approach you use at the actual time of marketing.
First of all, you should look presentable. It means you need to dress appropriately. Do not overdo it and still do not look shabby.
Secondly, select the right time. It sounds simple, but it is not easy. You can go to a place when everyone is busy and not willing to listen to you. What about if you don’t find anyone? Timing is one of the most challenging aspects of door-to-door marketing. Personally, it made me think about other options, which I will discuss here later.
Thirdly, start with a greeting. As you greet, build your marketing on the interests of the prospective client. It’s why knowing the clients’ interests count a lot. For instance, if I know the potential client is interested in flowers, I may start the conversation by giving a compliment on the lovely flowers he/she has. It helps you to break the ice. Besides, you have to be friendly and confident.
Fourthly, introduce yourself quickly with a name and from where you are, then the product while focusing only on the product or service benefits. It’s where again some salesmen make mistakes. They talk about the features of the product instead of the benefits, which the prospective client gets from using it. Remember that people buy from you to satisfy their needs. Therefore think benefits, not features when talking about your products or services.
Knowledge about your product is so crucial at this stage. People buy from those who present themselves as experts. Be honest. Do not amplify things. Secondly, it’s proper always to have something like a business card for establishing your originality. It can also act as a future reference, which leads to real business.
Lastly but not least, observe the behaviour of the prospective client. Watch out for the body language. Try to convince where you see that the client only needs more clarification. But where it’s a total denial, do not bother to convince. Instead, thank them for their time and walk away. That’s it.
Door-to-door marketing tricks
Having suffered a lot with disappointments in my door-to-door marketing campaigns, I pondered over the tricks one could use to make it useful. I realised that marketing from office to office might not necessarily require physical presence but some marketing aids. Secondly, I noticed that timing with your physical appearance was a big challenge. Luckily, as I was doing my research, I landed on a useful advertising aid in door-to-door marketing. And this is nothing else but a door hanger.
What are the door hangers?
Door hangers are materials you hang up the door, printed with your company name, contact information and all the services or products you offer.
It’s such a useful door-to-door marketing idea. First of all, it’s inexpensive. Secondly, it brings in business. Just prepare your information and have it printed on a thick paper and a punch a hole on top of it. With a small string, hang it on each door in a business area, i.e. a commercial building or office block.
After working hours, go around or hire someone to move around a commercial building in your area and hang them on every door. In the morning, as people come for work, they inevitably see it and read it when they are still fresh. I have tried it, and it has brought in business. It’s entirely a new door-to-door marketing technique in Uganda.
Door-to-door marketing is good, less expensive but with several challenges. People in Uganda are tired of seeing salespeople moving to their offices. The best way we can make it better is to become creative enough so that we do not disturb others in the course of doing their work. What door-to-door marketing tricks can you share with us? How can we improve on it and make it more effective?
Hello! My name is Charles Kiyimba, a creative engraver, a professional teacher, a passionate blogger, a confident graphic/web designer and the founder of Goleza Designers Ltd, an engraving business that turns images into real products. Through my hands-on experience, I share with you free helpful information on our products and services, business, marketing and personal development. Always dive in for more!