Finding Work With Canvassing. - Marketing & Sales - Contractor Talk

Finding Work With Canvassing.

 
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:20 PM   #1
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Finding Work With Canvassing.


In today's economy canvassing is a useful tool in finding business. I
would even go as far as to say it produces some of the best leads. Comparable to home show leads and telemarketing. Now it can't be
considered as good as referrals or, call ins from the yellow pages but,
it is a cheap and effective method all the same.
But, before I give You My 2 cents I will say the most important aspect of a successful firm is the ability to deliver the goods. A good reputation for doing quality work brings referrals and is the the single most important thing to do in order to ensure You can STAY in business. Sales are needed but, workmanship is paramount to survival.
With that said You do however, need sales to achieve Your goals financially. Canvassing is one tool You can use to achieve just that. When coupled with an effective ad campaign and a good reputation You
can achieve great results through canvassing.
Canvassing is sales at its core and should be thought of as Your first
impression on the potential customer. So, whether You will be sending a team of 3-4 canvassers out or, just canvassing on Your own for extra work. Remember to look Your best. Try to portray Your company in a manner that makes You look credible. If Your area requires permits then get them. Try using name tags on Your shirt or, company clothes
like hats or shirts with Your logo. Also, be very respectful when approaching a door. If a customer says not interested be polite and move on. You might ask if its okay to just leave a flyer and say You are sorry You bothered Them. But respect their privacy. No matter what try to look professional.
Print out some flyers with Your company name, Phone #, License #, and all the services You offer or, if You do too many to list just put a few of Your main services and anything that You want Your customer to know about You. Use credibility points like Find Us in the yellow pages or, Our company has a A+ rating with the BBB. Stuff like this helps to make Your potential customer see You as an expert and not a fly by night. Make sure You have a few business cards, and some literature on the products You offer.
Canvassing around projects that are currently in progress or, that has just been completed can be great especially if You have done a very good job on that project and the customer will back You up. Yard signs can aid in Your effort as well. You might tell the customer if anyone hires You as a result of looking at Their job You will reward Them with $100.00 or, a gift certificate or, something else. Just make sure the project is one You are proud of. If the work is interior or, something You can't see from driving by You can still use the reference and that can help You get in the door with Their neighbors. If You are starting out in an area where You don't have work You might try offering a special promotional deal and offer a reduced price in exchange for allowing You to put a sign in the yard for a couple weeks. You will also, want to find a neighborhood that has a need for the products You offer.
Now when You are ready to start. You should determine the area You will focus on with a map. Pick a street to start on and start knocking. I don't hit every house on the block. Look for keys like They have a need for windows or, roofing, or, something else. Also, They have a nice yard and nice cars. This shows pride of ownership. If the house looks ragged and the plants are all dead and it looks like a rental skip it. Look for potential customers that have a need. Also, if You see someone out in the yard planting flowers or, better yet doing some maintenance that is primetime to approach Them otherwise knock on the door.
When somebody opens the door a few things must happen and it should happen quickly. This way the person will not lose interest because You are rambling on. First determine if this person is the Homeowner or a renter. You could say Hi! I'm jim with Pioneer Const. and I am talking to homeowners today are You the homeowner? or, if You have done work in the area You might say Hi, I'm Jim with Pioneer Const. and We did some work at 123 pine st. so I'm going around today to invite Homeowners to drive by and see Our work! Whatever You decide to say make sure You determine if This person owns the home. If not hand a flyer to them an say no problem Sir' could You please pass this on to the landlord? have a great day sorry to bother You.
Once that has been determined You must now get quickly to the point. If the person turns out to be a homeowner You can then say something like well, I just finished some work at 123 pine st. and I would like to invite You to drive by and see Our work and I am also, offering a free estimate to tell You how much it would cost to have Your windows replaced as well. What time are You and Your spouse usually available? If they tell You what time close the lead with okay Sir so, I got You down for 2pm is Saturday okay? If He/She says yes then say Great! it only takes about 15 mins to get some measurements and give You Your free quote. Can I get Your phone # in case something comes up on Our end? Write down the # and the address and the time and that's it. You can work up any script that You feel comfortable saying but, be sure to cover things like is this a homeowner and writing down all the information. Be sure to leave any literature You have with the customer before You leave.
When You have set the appointment make sure to call back to confirm. I always call My Wife as soon as I leave the house and give Her the info so, She can call and confirm within the hour. Then She will call back again the night before and confirm again. Why? because We try to make sure They will both be there and if not She can set another time hopefully when that is possible. Keep records of everything that is said between You and the customer. Little tidbits of knowledge can be helpful when You or, a closer returns to make the sale.
This is just a little of what I do everyday and I hope it was of some help to those of You that are new to canvassing. If You have any questions about canvassing feel free to email Me and I will do My best to help You out.

Last edited by popagorgio; 09-02-2012 at 09:33 AM. Reason: removing phone #
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Old 08-26-2012, 11:19 AM   #2
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Re: Finding Work With Canvassing.


I have a canvasser using a very similar approach, I agree that it has been very successful.

We have been adding around 5 new accounts every week since we started doing this. Many of them have been repeat customers, and many have given our name out as referrals.

Great Post (hard to read without more spacing, but worth working through)!

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Old 08-26-2012, 12:33 PM   #3
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Re: Finding Work With Canvassing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearce Services View Post
I have a canvasser using a very similar approach, I agree that it has been very successful.

We have been adding around 5 new accounts every week since we started doing this. Many of them have been repeat customers, and many have given our name out as referrals.

Great Post (hard to read without more spacing, but worth working through)!
Thanks for the tip about spacing.


Also, for anyone who wants to know. I pay a
canvasser 8.00 per hour and I also give Them
a bonus of 20.00 every day They get Me 3
solid confirmed leads. I pay the 20.00 same
day.
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:05 PM   #4
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Re: Finding Work With Canvassing.


FYI,

I am paying $15/hour, no bonus, and I am hiring layed off, or unemployed salesmen, guys with experience, and can handle rejection. The guys are sent on a job or two to get a feel for what we do, as well they do a day or two canvassing with me or my ops mgr.

I give them a sales manual with Client lists, contracts, line cards, brochures, checklists, and basic pricing for some of the more basic services.

They will prequal any interested customers with some basic budget numbers, and if still interested, they will set an appointment, and gather some basic info from a checklist that they carry.

They will come back with me to see the sales call, and to reinforce what info is required, as well they must stop by any jobsite that they originate.

I am not sure that I want an $8/hour guy being my first impression. I know this is a bit more than just a canvassing program, but we do commercial only, and the guys that they speak with typically have a good understanding of what we do.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:19 PM   #5
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Re: Finding Work With Canvassing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearce Services View Post
FYI,

I am paying $15/hour, no bonus, and I am hiring layed off, or unemployed salesmen, guys with experience, and can handle rejection. The guys are sent on a job or two to get a feel for what we do, as well they do a day or two canvassing with me or my ops mgr.

I give them a sales manual with Client lists, contracts, line cards, brochures, checklists, and basic pricing for some of the more basic services.

They will prequal any interested customers with some basic budget numbers, and if still interested, they will set an appointment, and gather some basic info from a checklist that they carry.

They will come back with me to see the sales call, and to reinforce what info is required, as well they must stop by any jobsite that they originate.

I am not sure that I want an $8/hour guy being my first impression. I know this is a bit more than just a canvassing program, but we do commercial only, and the guys that they speak with typically have a good understanding of what we do.
Maybe that's the difference commercial vs residential home improvements?

The stuff You You describe would not work for finding home
improvement projects.

I would have a problem paying anybody 15 an hour to find leads
and any packet I give My canvassers would not include contracts.
Besides that I would never want a canvasser going by a jobsite.
Too many reasons to offer countering that theory.

Of course the only intention of this thread is to help others
who may not be as versed in this method of marketing. I have
no problem helping with any knowledge I may have. But, I will
not share where it is not wanted. Sorry to have hit a nerve.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:50 PM   #6
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Re: Finding Work With Canvassing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by popagorgio View Post
Maybe that's the difference commercial vs residential home improvements?

Sorry to have hit a nerve.
Not at all. I like your posts, I was just pointing out how I do mine differently and why.

There are a few other threads regarding canvassing in this forum, and from what I see, many are unsure how to go about the process. I am glad you shared your method.
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Old 08-26-2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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Re: Finding Work With Canvassing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearce Services View Post
Not at all. I like your posts, I was just pointing out how I do mine differently and why.

There are a few other threads regarding canvassing in this forum, and from what I see, many are unsure how to go about the process. I am glad you shared your method.
It can be difficult to do especially with no background in sales. Also,
integrity is something most contractors worry about retaining with
this approach to marketing and for good reason. Who wants to be
lumped together with kirby for instance?

But, with the right approach Canvassing can be effective.

I am here if anybody wants to ask questions or, needs advice on
canvassing. I have 20 + years experience doing this with ups and
downs. I have done this for Sears, Pacesetter, Woodbridge
Pioneer Const. and now for My own company. I also, don't mind
sharing. So anybody who has a question regarding canvassing
feel free to hit Me up. We are all in this together so, it is
nice to have somebody to ask once in awhile. I gather a lot
of technical knowledge from this site Myself and it helps Me
with the installation side of the business. (the most important side)
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:57 AM   #8
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Re: Finding Work With Canvassing.


Great thread guys
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:51 AM   #9
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Re: Finding Work With Canvassing.


Here is a tip.

Do not be afraid to canvass on a holiday.

I have always had great success doing this. Simply put, people are
home. But, it takes an etiquette to do it properly.

1. if You see people having a party or, other form a celebration
DO NOT APPROACH. If They approach You. just feel it out. If
they ask for an estimate. Go for it. if not just listen to the person
talking. Maybe You will get to leave a "flyer with the buyer"

2. Holidays are some of the best days for saturating an area with
information about Your company. Go to an area You have not
canvassed yet and flood it with info! Customers are home so Maybe
in between movies They will open the door, grab a the flyer and
think "wow! I need to get an estimate."

3. The right time to canvass is a time when people are least likely
to be disturbed doing something like sleeping, or, having a dinner
or, something else. I like to go from 10 am to 12 pm, break and
then from 1 pm till 3 pm. Btu, this can adjust on other holidays
to meet some special situations.

I know there are more intricacies but, I can't give away all My
secrets. I still have to work

just thought I would post this as some people might have a phobia
or, just not aware that holidays can be a great day to canvass.

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Old 09-06-2012, 11:13 PM   #10
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Re: Finding Work With Canvassing.


Canvassing is hard to do. It takes tenacity and commitment. It is a
real PITA. You face rejection, slumps, streaks, "mother-lodes" highs
and lows. But, it is cheap marketing with potential for very high
returns.

I like to motivate Myself by setting goals. I always kiss My Wife and
tell Her bye before leaving for work and I tell Her "one before the sun
goes down baby" I set out to sell 1 project a day. Do I always hit that
mark? Not always but, it helps Me to focus on a short term goal.

If anybody else has an example of ways to motivate Yourself please
share. I would be very interested to hear Your thoughts.

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