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Knock, knock: Door-to-door salespeople feel less at home in Internet age
By Caitlin Coakley With shopping quickly becoming a one-click experience, coupled with con artists using aggressive and sometimes intimidating sales tactics when selling magazine subscriptions, sales experts say the death of the door-to-door salesman might have arrived. “The door-to-door salesman as we know it is no more,” said Tom Bartholomy, president of the Southern Piedmont/Charlotte chapter of the Better Business Bureau. “We see a couple of niche areas that work, but for the most part no one does that sort of selling anymore.” Blame — or thank — the World Wide Web, said Steve Cox, professor of marketing at Queens University. Before the Internet, if a company wanted to bring their product to a potential customer, they literally packed up their inventory — vacuum cleaners, kitchen cutlery, soap, perfume — and took them to the customer’s door. Now, companies that want customers to hear their pitch at home can buy an ad online and let the customer purchase it from there and have it delivered within the week — or day. “I don’t need somebody bringing things to my house anymore,” Cox said. “I can order them and just have them arrive.”