Ever wondered what life is like for a door-to-door salesperson? Join Hayden Diede (Team Leader at Aptive Environmental) and Jake Conlin as they discuss the perks of selling, how to manage emotions while out on the doors, and what type of person does well in the industry.
Feel free to reach out to Hayden on LinkedIn or via the email mentioned at the end of the show.
(Automatically Generated Transcript)
Welcome to measuring success right, the official podcast of the Marriott student review a podcast for students by students, where we connect the leaders of tomorrow with the issues of today.
If you want to be successful at anything, it’s all about preparation time.
Hello, and welcome to this week’s episode of measuring success right. My name is Jake Conlin and I will be your host for today. Today I’m joined by a personal friend of mine Hayden Diede. Hayden is a BYU student in his final year of the strategic management program at the Marriott School of Business. He served his mission in the Alabama Birmingham mission where he fell in love with barbecue and Alabama Crimson Tide football. He has a deep love for adventure and likes to spend time rappelling, whitewater rafting, and when travel permits scuba diving. He’s always had a deep interest in business, finance, economics, and of course, sales. Hayden is currently a team leader at Aptive Environmental and is responsible for hiring and training sales representatives. Hayden, thank you so much for joining us on the show.
Yeah, thanks for having me.
So before we dive in, I want to give our audience a brief overview of what summer sales means. Each year, companies in various industries hire door to door sales people to sell their products and services. Some examples include Pest Control companies, home security companies, and solar panel companies. You’ve probably had some of these salespeople knock on your door at some point. Now, I don’t know too many people that are thrilled to open the door to a salesperson. But today, we’re going to turn the tables and look at things from the other side of the door. We’re going to discuss the life of the salesperson before, during and after they come to your doorstep. Door to Door can be super tough, but the compensation is usually pretty great. Provo, Utah has become a hotspot for recruiting sales people due to the large number of former missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. These return missionaries have experienced talking to people and of course, going door to door. Sentiment towards doing summer sales varies a lot amongst BYU students. Some students go out and sell and have great success. Others come home early and have less pleasant stories. And still others swear that the whole thing is a scam, and you should avoid it altogether. Today, we get to hear from someone who not only did the summer sales gig, but somebody who did the summer sales gig really well, and now has turned around and become a team manager. So, Hayden, first question for you. What’s your story? How did you first hear about summer sales? How did you get signed up? And really, what did that first summer look like for you?
Yeah, that’s that’s a really funny question. I think I actually learned about summer sales a lot differently than than most people. So when I was growing up, I was living in Billings, Montana. And I was probably about 10 years old, and some of our family friends who had older kids college aged kids had gone out and, and done summer sales right when it first started. And they were coming back. And they talked to my parents, and they were telling my parents about summer sales a little bit. And then they said that they’d made like $10,000, or I can’t remember the exact amount that they said. But I remember is like a 10 year old kid, I thought it was astronomical that somebody could like go out and knock doors and make like $10,000 and so ever since it was kind of like ingrained in my mind that like knocking door to door you could make a lot of money. And in fact, because of that, when I was growing up I had I had started like most kids have like lawn companies where they’ll go and cut the grass or something like that. Sure. I actually started two little different door to door companies because I was so convinced that the door to door was just like the instant path. And so I’ve actually been doing door to door since I was really young just because that was ingrained in my mind. But when I actually got started selling for another company was after my mission. And I had some contacts from from my mission that had had sold very well for Aptive in the past. And so I just have reached out to some of them. And then of course, any sales rep at the company is is excited to have someone else come in want to do summer sales. That’s eager to do it. You don’t have to convince to try it. And I was able to sign up under a really good good crew. At aptive and things have gone really well.
what a story I love it. Can’t believe you started so young. Well, and I’m sure after all these years, you’ve probably seen quite a few things out there while you’ve been selling. I’m just curious, you know, what’s the craziest thing you’ve seen out on the doors?
Ya know, honestly, I don’t think there’s anything that crazy. I mean, the by far the most negative thing that you’ll have happen at the doors someone get very, very upset at you. Or thinking that you’re a scam and, and so you’ll get a carrion every once in a while that kind of follows out with their phone and it’s gonna walk down the street with you and just yell at you and tell you to leave the neighborhood but we’re not allowed to be there when really you you’re permitted and allowed to be where you’re right. You’re knocking.
I’m glad no one’s pulled a gun on you or pulled a knife or anything
Yeah, no, not me. I know. I’ve heard some some rather crazy stories, but I’ve been lucky enough to kind of avoid the the craziness of it. My first summer was in Austin, Texas, and not gonna lie. My first summer I was a little concerned that that I might get a gun pulled on me if I was a little too persistent.
so have you sold anywhere else? Austin, Texas. But have you sold in any other markets?
Yeah. So my first summer was in Austin, Texas, which had been a very strong has been a strong market for a lot of companies. My second year actually sold around the DC area in Maryland. And then this last summer, because of COVID, I ended up selling it in two different markets sold for about a month in Ohio. And before they transitioned us to, to sell out in Seattle, or just south of Seattle and Tacoma area. So I’ve made the rounds around the country for sure.
Well so before I ask my next follow up question, I’m just curious, in your experience, are different parts of the country more receptive, or less receptive to door to door sales people?
Yeah, honestly, I think there’s just kind of a general culture that different regions in the United States have. And that can, can affect somewhat, your sales ability in those areas. But I think overall, as long as you’re trained well, and kind of know the basic principles of sales, it doesn’t really matter where you go, as long as you are, you’re actively adjusting your pitch in subtle ways to kind of compensate for these cultural differences that someone might have on the East Coast versus the West.
So interesting. Well, okay, so the second follow up question I had for you is, you know, obviously, you came back for a second summer of selling. But what I want to know is, is after that first summer of selling, was the pay real didn’t did it all feel worth it?
Yeah, yeah, the pay is for sure, we’ll end it. And honestly, I definitely think it’s worth it. So going back to that, that story of me is like a 10 year old kid thinking like 10 grand would be like phenomenal and summer sales. I started, when I started approaching summer sales, I realized that the 10 grand might kind of be a toss up, just working kind of a normal nine to five job during the summer. And so when I first went out, my goal was to make 30 grand in in my first summer, which is a pretty successful summer. Typical sales rep makes about 20 grand in the summer, but I ended up making 60 grand. So over double what I had anticipated making the same my second year and then my third year, when I transitioned into kind of upper level management, helping a team grow, I was able to three x my my earnings from from that point as well. And so things have gone really well. I honestly, I it’s hard for me to find any other job that will compare for someone that’s at my level of education, because I’m not graduated college yet. And I’m making over 100 grand in just a four month period. And so it’s it’s hard to hard to say that that’s not worth it. That being said, not everyone is that successful. I said the average is tends to be about 20 grand during the summer, but that’s still about double what you can make doing a normal job nine to five during the summer.
Yeah, that’s incredible. But I appreciate that you mentioned that not everyone goes out and has the same experience. You know, if 20,000 is the average, that means that you know plenty of people go out and sell below 20,000. In fact, some people go out and halfway through the summer, decide that sales just isn’t quite right for them and then they return home early. But now in your case. I just can’t help but think about little 10 year old Hayden, if you could go back now, and tell him how much money you’re pulling in now, man, I would love to see his reaction.
Yes, I have to pinch myself sometimes. At this point in my life for sure. Yeah,
well, yeah, because you haven’t graduated yet. You don’t have that college degree, and yet you’re pulling in this kind of a paycheck. I’m curious, you know, once that degree comes in, once you graduate, is there really any incentive to change jobs if you’re already pulling in this much money?
Yeah, honestly, I think there are a lot of guys that do just transition to doing sales full time. Now sales is a pretty taxing and monotonous job, because you’re doing repetitive work, knocking door to door, it can be exhausting. But is it as you continue to get good at it, it can be less than less of a stressful environment. And then it just becomes a lot more fun. And then eventually, like my bosses, the guys that recruited me have transitioned to where they’re not even knocking doors anymore. They’re responsible for recruiting guys, and then kind of passing them on to us to get get their training done. And at that point, it’s really easy to call that a full time job because you’re not having to travel out to a new location every summer, you’re not having to go door to door yourself, but can still enjoy some of the benefits from a high paying sales job.
Yeah. So there really is a career route in this outside of just those four months, a year during college.
Absolutely. Yeah, there’s there’s a lot of guys that transition up into those levels. I’m, I’m still not sure where, where I will be. I that’s going to depend a lot on my recruiting success this next summer. So I guess if there’s any listeners out there that are interested in summer sales, you can, you can come look me up and we can talk
for sure. And okay, so full disclosure to our audience. I’ve also sold door to door, I certainly didn’t do as well as Hayden, I don’t quite have a knack for it. But I did sell for a pest control company about two or three years ago. And at least for me, you know, the pay was real, even though I wasn’t the best sales guy in the group. You know, that money that I made that summer has been really, really helpful in helping me get through college and for paying my expenses. Now, that being said, during my summer of selling, I experienced a wide range of emotions, Hayden you hinted at going door to door being really taxing. And so for me, you know, the emotions I felt that summer, you know, the emotions as your approach your first door each day, the emotions as you approach any door, really not knowing what’s behind that door, the emotions of somebody coming out and being mad at you, and then you still trying to turn it around, and leave on a good note. The emotions of you know, walking away from someone after they treated you as though you are less than human. You know, the emotions of trying to approach the neighbor, after somebody chewed you out walking over to their neighbor and trying to have a good conversation with them. And you know, especially the emotions after working all day, and not getting any sales, essentially working for free that whole day. So, you know, I think it’s important in every industry, to manage your emotions so that you can be as effective as possible. But especially since going door to door is so emotionally taxing. I would love to hear your insights on this. My second question for you is how did you manage your emotions while you’re out on the doors? What are what are some of the secrets to stay in control? So that you can approach each new door as a fresh, clean slate?
You know, that is a really good question. And I think there’s a lot of components there to the question, you’re asked, because there are for sure a lot of negative emotions that come up, but the first thing that I would say that really helps control your negative emotion is kind of having a balance of emotion where you’ve got some positive emotion and of course, in any job you have some negative emotions. And so I call them small wins or you just try and get as many small wins throughout the day things that can boost up your positive emotions. Because if you get a lot of positive emotion going it’s kind of easy to snowball those until you till you have a good day. And the same is true with negative emotions where if you keep having if you keep letting all these negative emotions get you they can really snowball and and ruin your day. And so for me, it’s I think it’s your routine is really important. Just making sure that you’re starting off your day in a positive note. I’m huge into breakfast, you got to make sure you have a good breakfast. To start off your day to day, right, but also just having a routine. And then when it comes specifically to sales, like starting at a specific time really makes a big difference, because then it’s kind of a no matter what decision no matter the emotions you’re feeling, you’re gonna start a certain time. And then throughout the day, kind of as you hinted to you, you’ll have people that will come out mad, you need to change that scenario around either to get the sale or discount to, to calm someone down. So you can come your own emotions down before you’re going to their neighbor. And I think as long as you can control your kindness that you have to someone else, it’s really easy to control that situation. Because if someone comes out really mad, and you just hit them back with being really kind apologize, walk away, then that emotions don’t really ever sink in too deeply. And then if you’re prepared for sales, and your you have trained beforehand, and you’re prepared to catch the sales that you can, more than likely, you’ll get a sale here and there. And that’s a really great positive emotion is that to be successful in your job. And that, that’s, again, a small success. So you can have it just getting one sale, because that’s gonna erase all the negative emotion that you’ve had throughout the day. So that kind of answer your question.
Yeah, yeah, definitely. And I loved your focus on stopping the snowball effect, being aware of your emotions and noticing when they’re starting to go downhill to notice it, and then actively try to stop that. I think that’s so universally applicable, I think that can help people in any industry. So I love that. And, of course, you know, consistency, having a routine and staying on top of things. I think that’s really great advice that applies to everyone. So you know, thank you for that. And staying in the same line of thinking about managing emotions. And being in the right mindset. part of your job is to hire and train salespeople. And I’m sure hiring the right type of people is pretty tough. I would love to hear, in your experience, what is the right type of person for summer sales? What, what traits are you looking for? As you’re hiring?
You know, that’s, that’s, again, a really good question. And so this last year, just to give some context was my very first year of actually putting together my my own sales crew. But then we ended up being the number one team in the company as far as sales per rep average goes. And so I feel like I’ve started to develop a knack for, for being able to tell who’s going to be good at sales and who’s not. But I think, by far, the biggest indication of who’s going to be good and who’s not. It’s how hard they’re willing to work beforehand. Because a lot of people they go and they look at summer sales, and they look at it as almost like a get rich, fast scheme, where they’re like, I can honestly like as a little kid, Hayden, that’s definitely how I set. But really, if you want to be successful at anything, it’s all about preparation time. And so if you, if you don’t prepare for sales at all, you don’t really start getting your pitch or your your mental state in place before the summer, you’re going to spend, you know, a month or two during the summer trying to get that all straightened out, and then really only have half assembled summer to perform. And so if you’re willing to prepare beforehand, then you have four months that you can be at your your peak performance with sales. So I think that’s my number one criteria is looking for someone who’s not just looking to kind of get the get rich fast scheme, but is, is willing to put in the time to be successful for the summer. Because just having that that mental attitude is going to be a huge determinant of whether someone successful. And then some other, I guess, kind of auxilary traits that I look for in other people is someone that is is has good social skills like natural good social skills. Because as as much as you can prepare for sale, sometimes it is just a little bit on the fly, you’ve got to interact with customers. And I’ll give you an objection to your sales pitch that you hadn’t heard before, hadn’t prepared for. So someone that is a little bit faster on their, their their toes, and can respond and have a good social skills will also make a very good sales rep.
So shifting gears really quick, up to this point. We’ve talked about your journey into summer sales. We’ve talked about the right type of person for summer sales. I want to shift gears now and talk about some of the current challenges that are facing the door to door industry specifically in regards to technology. I feel like fewer people are answering their doors as the the ring doorbells, the camera, doorbells are becoming more popular. And then on top of that, I feel like people have changed the way they shop. People are more wary of sales people now we’re used to shopping online on our own time. And then we can read thousands of reviews from fellow customers instead of hearing from the salesperson why we should buy or not buy a product or service. So I’d love to hear in your experience. How are these factors, the the ring doorbells and the shift to online shopping? How are they changing the door to door industry?
Yeah, that’s that’s a, again, a very, very good question. so ring doorbells are very, very prevalent in the industry. And you’re right there, there are definitely people that that will just look through their camera won’t answer the door, or they’ll they’ll answer and say, Hey, I’m not interested in whatever you’ve got. And those are just houses that you have to skip for now. And so it is disrupting the industry somewhat. But with with door to door, I think it’s important to remember that it is a a marketing method instead of a business model. And so I think we’ve I’ve seen this already with, as you mentioned before, it kind of main groups of companies that that sell door to door, like Home Security, pest control, and solar. And Home Security, we’re already seeing kind of a heavy transition away from the door to door, they’re there. So teams tend to get smaller and smaller every year, in in favor of a more online platform could be event is a good example of that. And they still do have sales programs, but they’re just not as large as maybe a solar or pest control company. And I think as a company or an industry like like solar or Pest Control continue to mature, they’ll also transition kind of into a more online platform, just because it’s more prevalent. But I think they’ll always be other industries that are kind of younger, up and coming. People haven’t heard of them as much. And those will kind of be the ones to replace into the doors or marketing method. Yeah. So that’s that’s kind of how I feel about it is I think that different companies will transition in and out of door to door over time. And then, of course, there’ll be a shift to online marketing. But the benefit of door to door is that it’s convenience marketing is it’s because pest control is not something that people wake up and say, Oh, I really need Pest Control today. It’s something that a sales rep will come to your door, it’s just convenient to buy there. And so people do, they’re able to negotiate what they feel is a good price. And so I think they’ll always be some success there. But the older a company gets, the more and more I think you have to transition away from from door to door sales.
That is so interesting. And everything today has just been so interesting. I’ve loved our conversation. But as we come to a close, just got one final question for you. Our show is called measuring success right and so we like to ask all of our guests how they personally measure success. At the end of the day? What’s your metric? How do you determine if you’ve been successful? So final question for you, Hayden, is whether you’re on the doors or just in your life in general, how do you measure your success?
You know, I’m, I’m a very goal oriented person. And because of that, I set some pretty high goals for myself throughout life. I don’t draw my success from actually achieving goals. But I draw my I feel like I’m successful when I take steps in the right direction on a daily basis. When I I see what’s before me and I do something to move my life in a in a positive direction. And then again, I think it just goes back to the snowball effect is when you have those little successful steps when you’re moving in the right direction, you just get this snowball effect. And you get a lot of positive success, positive momentum in your life moving forward. That can take you really wherever you want to go in your life. Yeah.
I love that. Hayden, thank you so much for joining us on the show this week. Before I let you go. If there’s anyone in our audience that wants to reach out connect with yet is there a way that they could do that?
Yeah, absolutely. So I’m on LinkedIn, you can reach out to me at LinkedIn or if it’s easier, I respond to my emails quite frequently. It’s my first name last name at gmail.com so firstname.lastname@example.org
Okay, perfect. Again, thank you so much Hayden. for joining us on the show, and thank you to our audience. Thanks for tuning in each week and thank you for your feedback. We love hearing from you. This is Jake Conlin with measuring success right hope you guys have a great week.
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