Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Why do you sell door-to-door?

One of the most common questions we are frequently asked is... "Why do you sell door-to-door??"
What is this – the 1950s? Ever heard of e-commerce?

Fair questions. The answers are pretty simple though and will likely make sense to you. It starts with our Sales and Leadership Program for college & university students – a program where students are able to gain valuable and transferrable skills by building their own local small business. Students work heavily through networking, referrals, and recommendations – and yes – even door-to-door cold calling! [insert dramatic piano chord] Ok. Why?

The human part

Have you noticed that our culture spends more and more time staring at screens, but less and less time empathizing with the people around us? Communication skills, relationships, and healthy mental and emotional development do not grow by staring at a screen. They do by interacting with people face-to-face. The college student at your door knows they are part of a society and generation that is increasingly becoming tech-savvy but socially awkward. They're out actively setting themselves apart by engaging communities, helping families.

The character part 

Not everyone is as excited about personal sales as we are though, and that's perfectly fine. Student Reps deal with obstacles, challenges, and negative social media chatter while simultaneously receiving encouragement, cheers, and support from others in the very same community. It's one of the reasons many of our reps develop new levels of perspective and emotional maturity – something that cannot be gained the same way from other summer jobs, internships, and definitely not through e-commerce. We get to deal with the entire spectrum of humans and human emotions face-to-face. We believe there's a tremendous amount of value for an individual (especially a college student) who is willing to step outside their comfort zone of friends and family (people who are typically like them) to do business with people from every other walk of life.

The consumers' part

We believe that investing in education, whether big or small, should be more than just a transaction – it should be an experience for the family. Based on feedback from parents, our face-to-face business style is something they appreciated most. It's one thing for their middle school or high school student to read a social media post or web article about why education matters. It's another for a college student, someone just a few years older, to have an encouraging conversation with them about how, yes, Algebra and Chemistry are tough, but you're doing challenging things now that your future-self will thank you for. Here's why it's worth it, and here's how I might be able to help.

The reality is that our program and products are a great fit for many, definitely not a fit for everyone, and we're totally okay with both sides. So if you see a college kid in your community carrying a bag of books, maybe give them 5 minutes with an open mind. You don't have to buy, but they'll at least brighten your day. Who knows, maybe you'll see something that will really help your kids. If not, let them know that you appreciate the work ethic and positive message they've chosen to share with your community, and wish them well.