Milanese Remodeling
by Mark Milanese
September 28th, 2017

Dog Days for In-Home Sales

The “dog days” of summer are over, but the “dog days” for door and window salespeople are just about to begin. That’s because fall is the season many homeowners purchase new doors and windows AND because 44 percent of American households own at least one dog. The typical door and window sales presentation often will be performed in a home where a dog is a member of the family.

The door and window salesperson first meets their prospect AND their pet dog more than 4 out of 10 times they knock on a door. If the salesperson can’t “sell” the dog, they probably won’t sell their master, and 4 out of 10 in-home selling opportunities could be lost. That’s why it’s important for an in-home salesperson to learn how to sell to dogs.

  • If the homeowner’s dog interrupts or distracts the prospect in any way, it will inevitably be more difficult to convert the sale.
  • If the dog dislikes or mistrusts a salesperson, there is less chance their owner will trust or buy.

Just as important to our well-being are American dog-bite statistics…

Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. In 2016 alone, dogs attacked over 6,750 U.S. Postal Service employees. More than $600 million of homeowner insurance liability claims were paid out in 2016 due to dog bites and other dog-related injuries. That’s over a third of all the money homeowner’s liability insurance awarded victims. So, we must have respect for our prospects’ dogs to remain safe, but we must also learn to befriend the dog so we can increase our in-home closure rates…

Bill Murray once said, “I’m suspicious of people who don’t like dogs, but I trust a dog when it doesn’t like a person.” Bill isn’t alone. The in-home salesperson’s first encounter with Fido has a mighty influence on the outcome at the kitchen table.

The dog tells their human master that it mistrusts the salesperson in their home when they bark or growl while a door or window sample is being displayed, if the salesperson moves unexpectedly or uses their measuring tape. It’s virtually impossible to walk away from the kitchen table with a signed contract under those conditions. The homeowner will consciously — or subconsciously — realize their dog doesn’t like or trust you, and they will feel the same. Often, dog-owning prospects will not trust you and they will not buy from you if their dog doesn’t trust you.

Gaining the trust of a prospect’s dog is important if we hope to be a successful in-home salesperson. On the other hand, my experience shows I am very likely to close the sale when the homeowner says, “Fido is never this nice to strangers!”

So, what is a salesperson to do? How can the salesperson calm the prospect’s dog to improve their closing percentage in households with dogs? Experience has shown me how to take control of the situation and become the dog’s new best friend.

In my next blog, I’ll give you my “Salesperson Obedience School Lesson #1”…



3 comments
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  1. Great post, Mark. It makes me think back to my in-home days and how many times my relating to the dog well helped the warm up.

    Looking forward to the follow up!

  2. Every in-home salesperson should know that their relationship with the household dog is important to their success… I learned a long time ago that if the dog didn’t trust me, the homeowner probably wouldn’t either. On the other hand, if the dog did trust me, the homeowner might.
    Thanks for reading, Joe!

  3. Good advice, Mark! Not just man’s best friend, but also a SALESman’s best friend. Pay your respects to Fido on your way in and it will pay off on the way out. Looking forward to SOS Lesson #1.

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