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High Plains has success with door-to-door sales

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There’s one trick up the circulation sleeve of Jeff Keeten that most publishers wouldn’t touch: door-to-door sales. His company’s farming titles depend heavily on this tactic.

MB: How long has your company been selling door to door?

Keeten: I’m not sure. They were doing it eight years ago when I started. But I’ve doubled the number of salespeople we have out there since then.

MB: How many do you have? How much do they make?

Keeten: We have about 15. These guys do very well. The average person is probably paying about $60,000 a year and some make $80,000. They sell five-year subs at $195 a year and then I pay them commission. We’re very hands-on with training and making sure they know what they’re selling. I’ve had very good luck with used-car salesmen.

MB: What else is on your plate?

Keeten: We’re planning to take all of our comps and international copies digital.

MB: Do you have a large digital circ?

Keeten: No, but that’s mostly because we priced it so high that it discouraged international sales. Now, with digital, it will be much easier to reach those subscribers.

MB: How do you think you’ll generate that interest?

Keeten: We go to about 70 farming shows a year, and you wouldn’t believe how many people come from overseas to see what’s going on here. We’re able to go to so many shows because of all of our door-to-door salesmen. Doubling that number meant we were able to double the show attendance.

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