What Do You Want To Accomplish In 2014 With Your Residential Delivery Route?

Tue, Dec 17, 2013

Dry Cleaning Marketing

Maybe you just want to start a delivery route? Or maybe you want to expand your not-so-good current route? Or maybe you really want to “kick it up” on your already successful route with tons of more route customers?

Whatever you want to do, I’ll give you some great ideas in this article.

First of all, you’ve got to decide how you’re going to add route customers to your route. I only know of two primary ways you can do this. Yes, you can add some from your website, your PPC, or your Google Places, but those route customers will be spread out all over the place in your delivery area. This is not a very efficient way to build a route. Some dry cleaners have done this successfully in urban areas, but not in the suburbs of the bigger cities.

The only two ways that I know of to build a consistent route (and if you can do both of them together—kudos to you!) is by knocking-on-doors and bag dropping without knocking-on-doors.  First of all—there is bag dropping and then there is bag dropping. I’m talking about the bag dropping that you don’t have to follow up by knocking on doors. Bag dropping and following up by knocking on doors to get your bag back is considered door knocking even though you dropped a bag. I just want to be very clear on this.

You might know me as “The NO Door Knocking Guy” as I’m known in some circles, but by no means does that suggest that I don’t like door knocking—I do! I just went out last summer door knocking to see if I still had the magic touch. I did. Signed up 18 new customers in 4 nights of knocking.

I want to take a look at both of these methods and give you the pros and cons. Let’s take a look at door knocking first.

Door Knocking – this is the best method to get route customers. Why? You can get route customers in a very concentrated area, very quickly. You should be able to get 15 customers for every 100 houses in an area. With bag dropping, you’ll get anywhere from 3-8 customers for every 100 houses. So you can see that the concentration of customers is much better with door knocking.

That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news: recruiting, training and motivating is essential to door knocking and it’s tough to set up and maintain in your dry cleaning business. If you’re the one doing the door knocking, you don’t have to worry about this. When I first started, I was the only one out knocking every night and on the weekends. I only had to motivate myself. My two little kids were my motivation. And even with that, it was sometimes hard to get myself out there.

I know of some dry cleaners that were very lucky to get an individual that was a door knocking superstar and that person added hundreds of new route customers during their employment. But, after they burned out or left for another opportunity, it was hard to find a replacement as good as that superstar. So what do you do then? If you’re serious, you start building a team of doorknockers and constantly recruit, train and motivate them. You have to take on that responsibility yourself for the most part. Your dry cleaning business like mine is probably not big enough to hire a full time sales manager.

Most companies (that aren’t dry cleaners) have a sales force. Most of the companies I’ve had had a sales force (I’ve started 33 of them). My primary job was to recruit, train and motivate my sales force. My salespeople worked on straight commission and could make anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 if they were good. They worked during the day and had their weekends off.

In the dry cleaning business, you must work nights and weekends to get route customers. It’s harder to find a salesperson to do that. It’s not impossible, but it’s challenging to say the least.

So that’s the skinny on door knocking. If you do all the door knocking yourself, you don’t have to worry about any of this.

Bag Dropping WITHOUT Knocking On Doors – first of all you don’t need to recruit, train or motivate a sales force. Your bag drop sales letter is your salesperson. All you need is someone to be able to drop off bags on people’s doors in your target neighborhoods. Those individuals don’t need any special training; they just need some simple instructions and some common sense. Like I said before, you’ll get about 3%-8% infiltration verses 15% with door knocking. BUT, you can re-drop every six months for many, many years and get your concentration percentages up there with the door knocking. I have members that have added upwards of $60,000 per month to their routes with just bag dropping.

Doing both door knocking and bag dropping is the best scenario. But doing something is the most important goal for you this coming year. Not doing either of these is a big mistake and thinking you can build your business without either is nonsense.

Make it a great 2014!



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