Door-to-door salespeople sound like an endangered, if not extinct, species. Brushes? Vacuums? Knives? Nope. Try home security systems and solar panels. In this wide-ranging and captivating piece, Tad Friend goes inside the current state of the “knocker” industry and comes out with a treasure trove of anecdotes and psychological insights.
Schanz requires his execs to knock doors for a week each year; in 2019, he spent his own week in a town in northeast Louisiana and sold two hundred and five accounts—a total that might take a merely great salesman half a year. He installed systems for local officials and paid them a hundred dollars for each referral who bought in, got more leads from church congregants after he dropped a thousand dollars in the collection plate, and then raced from house to house, sweeping the town clean like the Pied Piper of Hamelin.