A-Z Popular Blog Influencing Search »
Related Guides
Closing Techniques

Sales Goals

Account Management

Distribution Channels

11 Examples of Foot In The Door

Foot in the door is the process of asking for a small agreement first before seeking a larger agreement. This is an analogy to a traveling sales person sticking their foot in a door so that the customer can't close it. Foot in the door can be applied as either a long term strategy or an immediate tactic. The following are illustrative examples.


Asking for something small that the other person is likely to grant to create a friendly environment such that the other person feels bad to deny a second larger request.
We're going on vacation next week, could you keep an eye on our house?
Actually, we also don't have anyone to look after our dogs, could you feed them and walk them three times a day?


A salesperson for an outsourcing firm pitches an excellent price to take over a single business process that is a pain point for the customer. The customer accepts and the salesperson uses this relationship to pitch much larger deals spanning hundreds of processes.


Accepting any kind of work from a firm that you really want to work for as a long term approach to securing the job you really want. The idea is that once your on the inside you can network and impress people with your work. For example, accepting casual work in hopes of going full time.


Consulting firms commonly try hard to get a few consultants placed at a major firm so that they can attempt to grow their footprint. The first consultants sent to such an engagement are typically highly skilled with an ability to build relationships and sell the brand.

Razor & Blades

Razor and blades is a business model that involves selling a product that consumes proprietary supplies. The razor may be sold cheaply as a foot in the door with the hope that customers will purchase blades on a recurring basis.

Product Ecosystems

A series of products and services that work together such that once you buy one it is to your advantage to buy more. A central element of the ecosystem may be sold cheaply as a foot in the door to cross-sell a broad array of compatible offerings. For example, a mobile device that is part of an ecosystem of apps, media, data, accessories and peripheral devices.

Free Trials

Free trials are a foot in the door to get a customer to use your products and services. For example, a software service with a free trial may quickly become difficult to leave as you begin to enter data and integration the software with other things.


Prototypes and feasibility studies are often used as a foot in the door by salespeople or employees who want to influence strategy. For example, a product manager at a beverage company wants to launch a non-alcoholic beer but faces resistance. As a foot in the door, they propose a low cost project to develop an initial formulation and test it. This gets the strategy moving and they can grow it from there.

Contact Details

A marketer or fundraiser that asks for something small and then asks for contact details that can be used to pitch much larger offers.
Could you donate $2 towards cleaning up ocean plastic?
Can I get your contact details for our monthly newsletter about environmental issues?


Asking an influencer if they will try a free product or service to give you feedback. If the feedback is positive, ask them for a testimonial.


Foot in the door may be used to sell memberships such as customer loyalty card programs.
Would you like a free 1 year warranty with these shoes?
Sure, I guess.
Would you like to join our members program for points towards free stuff?


Foot in the door has many variations that are ethically questionable or prohibited by law in some jurisdictions. For example, asking someone if they will participate in a survey about the environment when you are actually planning to sell them solar panels. People commonly perceive foot in the door as objectionable when your second request has nothing to do with the first.
Overview: Foot In The Door
The process of asking for a small agreement first before seeking a larger agreement.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about sales.
Account Management
Ambiguity Effect
Bargaining Power
Bias For Action
Bliss Point
Business Relationships
Buyer Persona
Call To Action
Choice Architecture
Churn Rate
Closing Techniques
Complex Sales
Concept Selling
Conversion Rate
Curiosity Drive
Customer Lifetime Value
Customer Motivation
Customer Needs Analysis
Customer Persona
Customer Profitability
Customer Relationships
Customer Retention
Customer Satisfaction
Customer Service
Deal Desk
Decoy Effect
Default Effect
Fear Of Missing Out
Figure Of Merit
Final Offer
Hard Selling
Ideal Customer Profile
Lead Generation
Lead Qualification
Low Ball
Marketing Channels
Message Framing
Needs Identification
Negotiation Process
Nudge Theory
Objection Handling
Personal Selling
Pricing Strategy
Product Differentiation
Product Knowledge
Promotion Strategy
Sales Activities
Sales Analysis
Sales Channels
Sales Data
Sales Development
Sales Efficiency
Sales Force Automation
Sales Goals
Sales Management
Sales Metrics
Sales Model
Sales Objectives
Sales Pipeline
Sales Planning
Sales Process
Sales Quotas
Sales Risk
Sales Skills
Sales Strategy
Scarcity Marketing
Soft Selling
Solution Selling
Trade Fairs
Willingness To Pay
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.


An overview of influencing with a bunch of examples.


The definition of credibility with examples.

Staircase Wit

An overview of staircase wit, a common thinking pattern.

Weasel Words

The definition of weasel word with examples.

Charm Offensive

The definition of charm offensive with examples.

Small Talk

The common types of small talk.

Agree To Disagree

The definition of agree to disagree with examples.

Managing Up

The definition of managing up with example techniques.


The basic types of listening.

False Dilemma

The definition of false dilemma with examples.


An overview of sales with examples.

Buyer Persona

An overview of buyer personas with detailed examples.


A list of common negotiation strategies.

Negotiation Tactics

A list of common negotiation tactics.

Business To Business Marketing

An overview of business-to-business marketing with examples.

Customer Value

The definition of customer value with examples.

Final Offer

The definition of final offer with examples.

Solution Selling

A guide to solution selling.

Customer Relationships

A guide to customer relationships.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map