Canvassing

 
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:11 PM   #1
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Canvassing


I headed to Columbus, Ohio, yesterday to observe door-to-door canvassing training first hand. In case you are wondering why I would spend close to $800 in flights, hotel and rental car fees to learn about this topic, it is because I hate it so much! If there is one form of marketing that irritates me more than telemarketing, it is people knocking on the door of my home to sell any kind of service.

But i learned how a local roofing contractor is willing to commit serious resources to the process -- and could see how this method of selling, in certain circumstances, may be an answer to contractors struggling to find business in the current economy.

I welcome your comments and observations here
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Old 11-26-2008, 02:23 PM   #2
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Re: Canvassing


We've tried it... didn't have the "right" people doing it... didn't work for us.
Let us know what you find out!


~Matt

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Old 11-26-2008, 02:50 PM   #3
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Re: Canvassing


I can see instances where the approach could come across as warm and friendly rather than intrusive. For instance, there is a gentleman that runs a car tuning service down the street from my office. Every once in awhile he'll drop in, say hi to everyone and leave a box full of muffins and some flyers. A couple of our people have gone to his shop as a result. It works because a) he's giving us something and b) he's making us aware that his business exists, but he isn't pressuring us into buying anything.
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:35 AM   #4
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Re: Canvassing


In the South it works!
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:00 AM   #5
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Re: Canvassing


We all need space and private time away, stay away from my home, please...........Its enough will all the junk mail and telemarketing, radio
TV....

Thats a quote from a customer to my attempt many yrs back but like I always say if it works for you, do it........just stay away from my home....
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Old 11-27-2008, 09:25 AM   #6
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Re: Canvassing


It's always amazing to me how unfriendly parts of our country are. I love Texas and Texans!
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:58 PM   #7
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Re: Canvassing


IT works
and always will, people love face to face especially if its something they need, when i started of doing commercial fence its the only way to go, and then i cut dead trees for a while and 90% success there, i wanted to do roofing for a while i know i can drive around all day for 2 weeks and sign jobs for the whole year doing a roof in 3-4 days tops with 2 guys
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:14 PM   #8
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Re: Canvassing


What is the secret to making canvassing work? How do target where to go? How do you decide where not to go? when do you go? What materials do you use? What's your door approach?
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:59 AM   #9
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Re: Canvassing


Based on my experience in Columbus I'll answer some of this but you need to figure out this with a little more work than these questions:

1. Obvious need which you know but client may not: Hail storm damage hurts certain types of roofs and not others. You are a roofing contactor, and know which homes require because of roof type and design;
2. Clearly visible qualifiers: The roofs are visible from outside! You know which areas have been hit by the storm.
3. Large enough market potential: Storm hits entire metro area; lots of turf to cover! (or you are working a job already within radius; you can cover neighbouring houses easily.)
4. Someone else pays the bill. Inusrance. You have know the insurance rules so can get a buy-in from homeowner.

Here the advantages of canvassing are obvious. I don't think cold canvassing would work so well for interior renovations or fixes unless you have some referenc epoints already in the neibhbourhood. You may be able to use it in conjunction with referral and other connection points.

(I am not a canvassing expert; this is just what I saw first hand.)
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:35 AM   #10
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Re: Canvassing


There are 2 things I want to point out regarding this canvassing program you followed.

The success rate will be there, because the home owners not only have a need for the roofing and siding services, but also the potential for someone else to be footing the bill, ie; their home owners insurance company.

There would be significantly less success if a cold caller was trying to get the home owners to come up with the funds out of there own pocket.

Secondly, the person doing this large scale program has an ulterior motive. Mike Feazel is head of the RSI, "Roofers Success Group International", which is going to soon be having a seminar for their members, with an option for the membership to "Purchase" the canvassing program from them, so in essence, the investment he is making for his company is going to get reimbursed by the down the road packaged sales to the RSI membership over the course of several expo's.

Smart way to implement your own marketing system and get payed back exponentially, if you ask me.

Ed
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:43 AM   #11
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Re: Canvassing


Ed:

Mike Feazel is indeed a smart business person although he never alluded to this objective in our conversations.

Certainly I learned a lot including some surprising developments arising from my visit (not my responsibility!) which added some variety to the picture but which I cannot report publicly. You can get clues in a somewhat oblique blog posting.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:15 AM   #12
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Re: Canvassing


Quote:
Originally Posted by Publisher1 View Post
Ed:

Mike Feazel is indeed a smart business person although he never alluded to this objective in our conversations.

Certainly I learned a lot including some surprising developments arising from my visit (not my responsibility!) which added some variety to the picture but which I cannot report publicly. You can get clues in a somewhat oblique blog posting.
Oh Mannnn!!!

Now I am going to have to go back and re-read everything once again to see what is between the lines, huh?

Thats okay, because I enjoy reading your blog postings Mark. You have many great and interesting topics. They are never a wasted effort or time spent unwisely.

I always highly recommend your site to other posters who are not aware of it.

I wonder if I ask, Pretty Please....., if I might get some further private insight on your insinuation regarding the surprising developments that unfolded?

Ed

Last edited by Ed the Roofer; 12-02-2008 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:41 PM   #13
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Re: Canvassing


I never had much faith in marketing over the internet for my electrical contracting business but a very wealthy friend of mine decided to let me in on some of the tricks that big companies use to get you to purchase from them. The first step does require some sort of a canvasing campaign. We adapted a sort of canvasing/direct mail marketing/ internet marketing approach. This was the sole reason for us making an additional high 5 figures this year. I've help a few other local guys get the same type of program set up and they are having the same results.
The money that you spent to travel I'm sure was well worth it, hopefully you will implement what you learned

Matt
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Old 12-02-2008, 04:43 PM   #14
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Re: Canvassing


So Matt, tell us about this program. How does it work?
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:13 PM   #15
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Re: Canvassing


The way the system works is really quite slick. You see what so many contractors do is they advertise to get a job, the job gets done, and a card is left with the client in hopes that the contractor will be remembered the next time service is needed. Some might take that a little further and maybe mail out something every no and then. Still that's not that effective because the time between your inter action is far to long. There isn't enough time put into building a relationship of trust. What we have done is put together a system of web based tools that allows us to send out a monthly newsletter to our past clients. We use direct mail campaigns to attract new clients they are given the chance to get a free ebook to down load just for signing in. We have been able to serve entire neighborhoods using this system. What great is you can control who is recieving your marketing message. If your interested in more detail send me an email and I can forward you all of the information that we use.

matthew@theemc2group.com

Have a great day
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:57 PM   #16
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Re: Canvassing


We tried it a couple years ago, other than breaking in a nice pair of dress shoes I did not reap any benefits. Armed with the Phil Rea training CD, a handful of door hangers (in case people were not home) and a smile I knocked on doors for hours. After I failed I brought one of my subs along and the two of us went door to door with the same results. I had another one of my subs try it without any luck....he even send his wife out for hours on end without any luck. I finally gave up on Phil Rea's CD and tried the Alside canvassing program......well sort of not really a word for word following of their program......same results--nothing.

Overall the people behind the door were very nice but we were not able to set appointments and sell any jobs. From time to time I drive through the neighborhoods that we canvassed in to see if anyone had the work done-- maybe 2% (rough estimate). I'm not sure if people from New England are different than the rest of the country where canvassing works well but IMO the methods that we used sucked.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:32 PM   #17
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Re: Canvassing


Quote:
Originally Posted by dougchips View Post
We tried it a couple years ago, other than breaking in a nice pair of dress shoes I did not reap any benefits. Armed with the Phil Rea training CD, a handful of door hangers (in case people were not home) and a smile I knocked on doors for hours. After I failed I brought one of my subs along and the two of us went door to door with the same results. I had another one of my subs try it without any luck....he even send his wife out for hours on end without any luck. I finally gave up on Phil Rea's CD and tried the Alside canvassing program......well sort of not really a word for word following of their program......same results--nothing.

Overall the people behind the door were very nice but we were not able to set appointments and sell any jobs. From time to time I drive through the neighborhoods that we canvassed in to see if anyone had the work done-- maybe 2% (rough estimate). I'm not sure if people from New England are different than the rest of the country where canvassing works well but IMO the methods that we used sucked.
Exactly and that will happen every time. No one likes to be sold anything but if they need it you want your name or brand to be on the top of their mind. When you approached all of those homes you were doing it cold, you didn't offer them anything other then your service. Would you like to have someone knocking on your door asking if you want to buy something? I know I hate that.

The point is that you didn't establish any type of a relationship with the person, nor could you using that approach.

Matt
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:53 PM   #18
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Re: Canvassing


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Originally Posted by electricohio View Post
Exactly and that will happen every time. No one likes to be sold anything but if they need it you want your name or brand to be on the top of their mind. When you approached all of those homes you were doing it cold, you didn't offer them anything other then your service. Would you like to have someone knocking on your door asking if you want to buy something? I know I hate that.

The point is that you didn't establish any type of a relationship with the person, nor could you using that approach.

Matt
I only get the JW's and some guys trying to sell meat out of the back of their truck knocking on my door and I hate it as well! I would have to be "in the mood" for their goods/services and have the money sitting around for their goods/services.

Matt, I think the point is that canvassing works well for some people in some areas of the country. Over the past few years people have posted on this site about how well canvassing works for their company. In fact a few months ago some guy was going from company to company spreading his secrets and members here were raving about the results. Speaking of which, where are they now? Unless people are blowing smoke about their results then it could only be:
1. My approach.
2. The people in my area are not suckers for door to door salespeople.
3. The people do not see a need for my goods/services.
4. The people do not have any extra money for my goods/services.
5.
6.
7.
(I'll think up more excuses, give me time)

"The point is that you didn't establish any type of a relationship with the person, nor could you using that approach. " <---I'm not sure if you are suggesting that I should establish a relationship before I knock on their door at random. If so, how would you go about this?

Why does it work for some and not for others?
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:15 PM   #19
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Re: Canvassing


The process is actually very simple but it does take time. You can't expect someone to warm up to you and want to use your service the minute they meet you. This is all about a system.

I have a presentation that I give that compares products VS systems
Think of McDonalds
What would you say they have the best of?
Hamburgers?
or sales system
marketing system
and distribution system

The point is you don't need to have the best product to sell billions of what ever your selling
You do need to out think, out market, out sell, and out smart your competition.
Now if you read the above and think that I am telling you that I am advocating taking any type of shortcuts or and type of unethical business procedures you are wrong. I would hope that everyone reading this forum is every bit as good as the next contractor. The point is to make your self different then the next guy offer something that your competition is not. The process I use involves a number of internet sites to accomplish how I market. I am happy to share the process with anyone who wants to know how I have done it. I will tell you however it does require a bit of work, certainly not a get rich quick program, but it will endear you to your clients were they will actually be very loyal to you in what ever business you have. Feel free to e-mail me at matthewshields1@gmail.com I can explain the process that we use.
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:57 AM   #20
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Re: Canvassing


Quote:
Originally Posted by dougchips View Post
In fact a few months ago some guy was going from company to company spreading his secrets and members here were raving about the results. Speaking of which, where are they now? Unless people are blowing smoke about their results then it could only be:
I went and saw this members operation first hand. In a few hours I witnessed them book 7 leads for roofing, siding, and windows. IMO it does work if you do exterior work, because it's easier to see from the street which houses are in need of your companies services.

However if you do interior work (like me), you'll find it much harder to implement this program. I tried it for 5 weeks, and had very little luck with my canvasser's. I did get a few phone calls from the door hangers we left behind though.

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