Who is that guy walking door-to-door in Youngsville, you ask?

Well, I met him today when he knocked on my door.

His name is "Rick" (not his REAL name, because I want to keep him anonymous), and he represents an investment company. He knocked on my door this afternoon while I was spending quality time with my animals (I was rigging up a stick with a string on it to try to tire out my cat so I can get some sleep tonight). When I opened the door, I did it just enough to squeeze out because the dogs were going crazy from the doorbell.

We stood on the porch as "Rick" introduced himself and let me know that he represented an investment firm and that he was just walking the neighborhood meeting people.

We made small talk, I expressed my relief that he wasn't peddling religion or security systems, and then I started with the questions. I wanted to know how often he walked the streets knocking on doors, how often he knocked on doors, and how much business he saw from those interactions.

Rick threw some unofficial averages my way: he has knocked on about 300 doors and found a 50/50 chance of that door being opened. Of the doors that did open, he estimated that about 10% produced business for the investment firm he represented. 15 clients out of 300 opportunities. If my Vermilion Parish math is correct, that's about a 5% success rate. Or is it?

The firm he represents is a national brand and is reputable, so I found it interesting he was canvassing neighborhoods until I remembered how I felt when I found out he wasn't representing a security system outfit or peddling religion: I was relieved.

You see, I had a preconceived notion of why he was at my door, and when that preconceived notion was shot down, I let my guard down and took time to speak with him.

The only way(s) Rick tried to "sell" me were with 1) his name badge, which clearly showed who he was representing and 2) the words "if you are interested in planning for your future, I'm right down the street" or something to that effect. No hard sell. No badgering. No guilting or shaming. Just a general, pleasant I'm-here-if-you-need-my-services comment, and nothing more, other than friendly conversation.

Remember that  5% number that my Vermilion Parish math came up with about 4 paragraphs up this page? Well, if every conversation that Rick had with my neighbors went as mine did, then I'd say his success rate was 100% - and here's why: I like Rick. I know I just met him and I barely know him, but he seemed genuinely interested in helping me. I know that's how he makes his living, but he didn't come across as being interested in my money; he seemed interested in me. He seemed interested in what was best for my future. He wasn't pushy.

Other door-to-door salespeople: be like Rick, okay?

Good luck to you, Rick, but I don't think you'll need it.