Summer salesmen bring home the bank despite COVID summer

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Vivint salesman about to knock on door of a resident in Bentonville, Arkansas. (Justin Wall)

Door-to-door salesmen managed to find success despite the summer being plagued with unique challenges. 

COVID-19 resulted in many people getting laid off and staying at home throughout the summer. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert also deemed pest control an essential service in Utah, while in many other states door-to-door selling was off-limits. These unexpected circumstances brought many ups and downs to summer salesmen and women this summer. 

“The best thing that came out of it was that there were a lot of people that were home and looking to better their home situation because they were spending a lot more time in their house,” said UVU student and manager at Moxie Pest Control Nate Witt. Witt said another benefit was that both homeowners were usually home and noticed bugs more than if they were at work all day. 

Another positive of the situation for Witt was that he was able to recruit more people on his team because people’s summer jobs and internships were falling through.

A downside to selling this summer in Utah was the saturated market due to other states closing down door-to-door sales. 

“However, if you do look at the numbers as far as how many sales and quantity in revenue and things like that, there is a decrease and the reason for that was not because we weren’t able to sell during the pandemic, but it’s because Utah was one of the only states that was open for it,” Witt said.

Despite the market saturation, many people on Witt’s team exceeded their expectations for what they thought would happen throughout the summer. “There were a lot of people that took it in stride, especially on my team,” Witt said.

BYU senior Jared Johnson is a salesman in Florida for Aptive Environmental. He said the pandemic didn’t put up much of a barrier for him, but a few people did confront him about COVID-19 health protocols.

“I had my first sale ever maybe about a week ago where she asked me to put a mask on. And that’s out of maybe 300 sales, so it really wasn’t that big of a difference,” Johnson said. 

Johnson expressed his strong belief in the law of averages and how that relates to selling during the pandemic.“You may have lost maybe a sale or two because people didn’t open the door because of COVID. But then you gain those sales back because maybe people were home more. So I think it just averages out.” 

Bryce Marsh, UVU student and salesman for Elan Solar, said he considered doing other jobs due to deals falling through with the uncertain economy. However, he said quitting wasn’t an option when he could make eight times the money from other jobs if he continued in sales. 

Although some people didn’t want to make a big financial decision during a pandemic, Marsh said many people saw solar as an opportunity to save money. 

“With the scare in the economy they knew that power could go up (in cost) just because usually when the economy has rough times prices go up, and so by going solar you have a fixed power bill that never changes,” Marsh said.

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