British Gas may stop doorstep selling and SSE has already suspended sales. And we know how consumers dislike doorstep selling… but what’s life like for the energy salespeople who spend their days cold-calling?
Energy companies have stormed the headlines recently, and between suppliers announcing colossal price hikes and getting fined for complaint handling, some interesting news has come out on doorstep sales.
Consumer Focus has called for a three-month suspension on cold-call energy doorstep sales and we are supporting this – not least because 95% of you told us you’d rather door-to-door salespeople didn’t come to your house at all.
A day in the life of a salesperson
While fending off door-to-door sales or getting cold-callers to stop calling you may be annoying, the encounter can’t always be easy for the salespeople.
We’ve seen several posts on other sites from salespeople who’ve been ordered to sell deals they know are poor, sometimes for little reward. And a commenter called Truth said this on a previous Conversation:
‘I worked in this industry for 12 years and recently left. Years ago we offered customers savings of £70 to £140 on average. However for some reason the big 6 have narrowed the margins of new doorstep offers to £10 to £50 a year savings against standard prices. Most customers who trust doorstep callers will swap for £70 savings per year so the reps are lying about the savings and sometimes costing customers more.’
In 2008 Ofgem found that more than 40% of consumers switched to a worse deal on the doorstep and if – as Truth’s comment suggests – the savings being offered on the doorstep are shrinking, then selling these deals must be increasingly difficult.
So what inspires people to work in this field? And what is day-to-day life like?
Energy salespeople – tell us your story
We want to know more about what it’s like to be an energy salesperson. If you currently (or have ever) worked selling energy tariffs on the doorstep, over the phone or in any other context – we’d like to hear from you.
What training and support were you offered and how does it feel trying to meet switching targets? How did you learn which sales tactics worked, and how much pressure was put on you to give the hard-sell?
To what extent was your pay linked to the number of sales you made? And were you able to offer all the deals your company offered, or were some excluded from doorstep sales?
Tell us about your experiences below, or if you’d like to speak to us in confidence – please click the ‘tell us your story’ button on the right.