Kenny Brooks is the funny door to door salesman that everyone is watching on YouTube. He says that 2 years of door to door sales is like a college education in sales communication. And that line probably does help him make sales . . . but . . . has he learned enough to be successful selling something else?
On his blog, Marty Fancke commented that Kenny was doing lots of things right. He appreciated Kenny’s ability to make the customer smile, his use of product demo’s, leveraging social proof and asking for the sale several times. I believe his buyer’s would agree.
The Consumer Buying Process
Without seeing Kenny in action in another situation, it’s hard to know whether he tries the same spiel on everyone thereby playing the numbers game, or if he adapts to meet his prospects’ needs.
From a consumer buying process perspective, Kenny literally has 7 seconds to grab their attention and be allowed to continue. It is clear that he uses his well-crafted comedy to overcome that first hurdle, despite the owner here insisting he needed to get going.
He effectively uses comedy to continue his sales presentation at every point where a clear gap in conversation could lead to a closed door. While his fast speech and comedic style lend themselves well into this conversation, he spends time overcoming objections that may not exist – which is less efficient and could create previously un-considered objections:
Overcoming Phantom Objections?
Objection #1. To overcome the pre-conceived notion that a guy selling door to door is just a slick salesman, Kenny does demonstrate the value of the product several times. His demonstrations conclude when the prospect is visually floored by the clean door handle.
Objection #2. Is it safe? Without knowing whether it was important to the prospect or not, Kenny sets out to prove that the product is safe. Not only does he spray it into his mouth and on his skin and pants, he also mentions the EPA, FDA and PETA behind behind the product.
Objection #3. People are not inclined to buy products they’ve never heard of. As Marty Fancke points out, Kenny Brooks does a good job showing that his neighbors also bought the product. Unfortunately, in this case he didn’t know whether the prospect even cared about his neighbor’s choices.
Objection #4. Controversial as it may be, Kenny makes light of the idea that the prospects may look out and see a “black man cleaning the windows”. This self deprecation and humor help to break down a stereotype that may not actually exist in this situation. I wonder if this technique has ever backfired – and if he uses the same jokes when a fellow African American answers the door.
Is his company proud?
The one legitimate objection he overcomes quite smoothly is price. The prospect asks straight out how much the product costs, which he answers quickly. But along with that answer he provides proof that the high cost of the bottle is really a value seeing as how long it will last. And then when confronted with the “discount question”, he counters with charity and more value. Text book good.
However, as I watched him overcoming these phantom objections, I wondered if the people at Advanage Cleaning are proud of Kenny. For the most part I’m sure they are, but I’m not so sure they’re proud of his other persuasion techniques. Keep in mind that Kenny is sales person representing a company – set aside for a moment his selfish concerns.
To start his presentation is filled with humorous digs at celebrities, like Michael Vick and Madonna. These certainly make for good fodder at Comedy Clubs, but does his parent cleaning company really want him making these jokes? And as a salesman can you really afford to make fun of someone’s idol – even in the name of comedy?
Brooks Sells Himself
Brooks does a better job selling himself than the product. While initial sales are the goal for the sales force, there is virtually no cost for people to call up and re-order. If Brooks’s sales come primarily from people who are more interested in him and not so much the product, there’s a chance the product won’t get used. And thus a reduction in the number of repeat or continuity sales. Only seeing the numbers can we compare the re-order rate of Kenny’s customers versus the rest.
Finally, the one thing Kevin does unbelievably well is involve the customer in the sales process. From his humorour qualification question “do you have water” to the high fives, Kenny involves the customer in the process. And similar to the Dodge Journey marketing, Brooks gets them dreaming of owning the product when he asks “What would you try it on first?”
All in all, a stellar performance for Kenny. The decision is still out on whether he’s a good company salesman or if he should go into business for himself.