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Knock, Knock... Door-to-door sales are back.

By Gwen Moran

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Randy Schneider, 32, and Allen Evans, 39, partners in GeneratorNation, found direct selling to be a very effective way to reachout to hurricane-ravaged communities that needed the permanent andportable backup power systems their Fort Lauderdale, Florida,company sells.

In the wake of the National Do Not Call Registry, some companiesare going door-to-door as an alternative outreach option. TheDirect SellingAssociation, a direct-sales industry trade association, hasseen an increase in inquiries about door-to-door sales. Butdon't knock until you've tried this:

  • Check local legislation. "It does seem like therehave been some increased efforts on [the] local level to putrestrictions on door-to-door sales," says John Webb, associatelegal counsel for the DSA. Some communities ban door-to-doorselling, while others require sellers to register at the town hall.Call the municipality you're targeting to find out specifics,or you could face fines.
  • Shelve the hard sell. "We ask if there is a timewhen we can come back and give a consultation--we don't sellright off the bat," says Schneider. This helps GeneratorNation reps gain trust.
  • Be identifiable. Wear a badge or other identification toshow customers that you're with a legitimate company.

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