When you set out to go door-to-door, you need to have a general idea of which street or streets you’ll be visiting. Sometimes I follow the path exactly the way I originally intended. Sometimes I veer away when the circumstances call for it. Today was a perfect example.

Just ready to get out of my car to follow the route I had planned, I glanced up and saw to men in their 20’s knocking on doors. I didn’t know what they were doing – maybe they were Jehovah’s Witnesses (who are well-known for the door-to-door technique), or perhaps they were selling vacuum cleaner (I later learned it was the latter). 

Here’s what I did know at the time: whatever they were selling would likely be sold to a very small percentage of residents in this neighborhood. Therefore, it was more likely that when I began knocking on doors my constituents may not be so receptive to me. First, with the doorbell ringing two different times on a Saturday, there’s a far better chance that doorbell ring #2 will not be answered. And second, after fending off a vacuum salesman, you may not be in the mood for someone to come asking for your vote (ummmmm, my coffee’s getting cold…what do you want?!). 

A change of course. That’s fine. It was another day of becoming reacquainted with old friends and meeting new constituents. Some who have recently moved in, doing renovations, or having already finished them. It’s great to see.

By the way, I respect door-to-door vacuum salespeople immensely. One of my first jobs out of college was a short stint for a marketing firm. I went business-to-business selling credit card machines and another time it was selling Verizon DSL in residential neighborhoods in suburban Philadelphia. When you begin your day knowing that you’ll be told “no,” rejected, a vast majority of the time it toughens you up. If you can succeed doing that sort of thing, you’re a special individual. By the way, as I was wrapping up my four-hour door-to-door stint and heading back to the car, I ran into one of the young men I had seen hours before. He was waiting for a ride and listening to his iPod. I asked him how he did. He sold one – purchased by the owner of the first house he approached.

“Should have quit while I was ahead,” he said. 

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