Today I went knocking door-to-door in a nice neighborhood by campus. I was doing this to raise money for the organization I am Co-President of on campus, Outreach360 UNC-CH.
My script was along these lines:
“Hello how are you today?”
“Great, well my name is Jake and I am a student at UNC. I am also the Co-President of a service organization on campus called Outreach360. I was going around the community today to raise awareness for our organization and ask for support. Do you have a second for me to tell you more about what we do?”
“Great! Locally we partner with the Refugee center in Carrboro and we tutor/mentor local refugee kids once a week. Then during spring break we will be going to the Dominican Republic to teach English in the local elementary schools. Here is a flyer with an address where you can learn more. Also if you feel inclined to donate on the site we would greatly appreciate it!”
“Have a great day!”
I walked up to the first house and was pretty nervous, I have never really done anything door-to-door before. I ring the doorbell, seconds later the lady is at the door. I go through my script, hearing myself stumble over my words a little bit. I probably seemed nervous to the lady but at the end she gladly accepted the flyer and I had one house down.
I kept going, ringing doorbell after doorbell.
In total I went to 100 houses and approximately 50% actually answered the door.
This is what I learned:
1. It Is Not That Hard
After the first house I was simply in the zone. There were only a couple other times where my nerves randomly came back. I would feel my throat tighten up a bit or I would hear myself stumbling over my words a bit. But overall it was much easier than I thought it would be.
2. People Are (For the Most Part) Friendly
Overall everyone was very friendly to me. A few people even asked me to come in, since it was cold outside. I honestly expected a few more rude people since I know the bad reputation door-to-door salesmen get. That is why I scripted my blurb to not come across as a sales pitch. I simply wanted to raise awareness and direct them to the site that they could donate to if they wished. I did get a handful of rude people however, I simply brushed them off and kept going.
3. I Have A (Little) Newfound Dislike for Dogs
This is mainly a joke, I love dogs! However it was much more pleasant when I could ring a doorbell without several dogs barking their heads off at me!
4. All You Can Do Is Try
As of now no one, whose door I knocked on today, has donated to the page. It is still very early of course, but let’s say worst case scenario is I get no donations from 3 hours of knocking on doors. I will be a little disappointed, but also not really because I tried! If I would have stopped after door 20 I would never know what might have been. I had it in my head to do 100 no matter what. And that is what I did. If it does not work this time I will rethink my approach and continue trying.
5. It Will Strengthen Your Confidence
Although my pursuit today has not yet been successful (in donations) I still gained a ton in the form of confidence. I knew going in that I could go door-to-door. I am not a shy person. Sure I was a bit nervous a few times but by the end I knew that I had the ability to approach anyone and strike up a conversation.
Overall it was a productive day as I sought to get out of my comfort zone and grow.
Of course going door-to-door does not scale and should only be used in specific instances. However I recommend if you want to seek discomfort and grow your confidence to go door-to-door in your neighborhood. Introduce yourself to that neighbor you have never talked to. Worst case scenario is that you inconvenience someone for 20 seconds.
Go for it!
P.S. The GoFundMe for our trip is located here.
Check us out!