The Real Networking Days

Remember door knocking for your direct sales business? I do and I was almost 16 years old when I decided to become an Avon representative. I remember my fear as I went to the country trailer park and knocked on my first door as the Avon lady. It was terrifying because I didn't know who I would encounter and there were no mobile phones in the good ol' days.

Looking back, I was a networking, building relationships, getting to know my customer and what they liked and didn't like. We sat down on the rugged furniture and selected samples and sprayed perfumes and browsed the products that are now found in many antique shops. They shared their stories and some even cried about their situation, but each one of them would open their door with a smile every Saturday morning when I would ring their doorbell with their order and catalogs to place their next order.

Some folks think prospecting is old school and in today's work it can be dangerous doorknocking. Personally I can still understand the benefits of door knocking for many reasons, the greatest being fundraising.

Fundraising door to door is a really a form of networking. When you are a young age and doing school fundraising, it use to begin with door to door sales and has migrated to online fundraising, but I appreciate the door knocking from our younger fundraising entrepreneurs. Here's why.

  1. They have to be in front of people of various ages to engage socially.

  2. They are developing skills to become comfortable to ask for a sale.

  3. They are learning that being competitive to reach a goal is healthy.

  4. They learn how to have a conversation to explain their product they are selling.

  5. They are creating a business relationship that shows them the how to begin lead generation.

Every person who is in business needs business to survive. The next time someone younger than you asks for your support in a fundraiser, let them talk. I know in today's world, we really need to be more aware of a scammer, but if you see a parent at the end of your driveway or in a car, watching their child, give them a chance to share their products.

It is not very often that someone knocks at my door to fundraise, but when I see an organization standing in the cold under a canopy, often, I will stop and support their fundraiser. But only by listening to them share what they are selling and why they are selling it. Isn't it time we helped the younger generation become more business savvy in communication, instead of turning the cheek the other way and ignoring them?