Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Yesterday, I collected my Kleeneze catalogues from a few streets that I hadn't delivered to before. I learnt a lot in the process.

These streets are on a council estate - there are some properties which have been bought by the residents, but not many. The street lighting is not strong enough to show the obstacles, loose steps and sudden drops on individual paths up to the houses, which meant that, for the first time ever in my Kleeneze business, I was using a torch to walk up to people's front doors. I still managed to hurt one foot badly enough that I was limping for the last 30 minutes.

Collecting 200 - 250 sets of catalogues normally takes me about 2 hours; last night I spent 3.5 hours and collected in around 130. In the streets I have been targetting so far, 80% of my catalogues were left out on the day I stated I would collect them. In this new area, nobody leaves their catalogues out. Nobody opens the door without checking who you are, either, despite the fact that I and a couple of teenage girls were the only ones visible. Nobody answers the door after 9pm, either.

I completely understand why the other full and part-time Kleeneze distributors have avoided this area. It's dark, it's scruffy, the residents are nervous of strangers and there seems to be a large noisy dog in every other house.

I am delighted that they have done so.

My normal order value per catalogue collected is £1. In other words, If I put out 200 catalogues in a "good" area, I collect in between 160 and 180 on the first visit and my orders total around £160 - £180.

In a "good" area, many people wait until they have received catalogues from you at least twice before they order the next time. When they order, they place little "tester" orders for something cheap that they won't miss if you don't turn up to deliver it. Often, the order value per catalogue collected on the first round is in the region of 40p per catalogue, although that obviously improves once residents get to know you.

In this area, I collected 130 catalogues out of 237 dropped - 55% of my total catalogues. I was expecting orders to the value of £52, in line with my experience in the "good" areas so loved by the other Kleeneze distributors in my town.

I got orders totalling £180, making my order value per catalogue £1.38 - not bad for a first drop.

It just proves that, if you do the work on your own personal development and step outside your comfort zone, you can achieve so much more than you believe possible. I can't wait to go back and collect the rest of my catalogues.