Welcome to the first Canvassing Update for the New Year 2014. With the start of the new comes new opportunities and what you make of it. When I coached a team of my own canvassers I’d always tell them that the new year brought a clean slate. Everything that happened in the previous 12 months was done and over with and there was nothing we could do to change it, but we had complete control over what was yet to come. I know that may sound cliché, but its actually true. The future hold what you make of it.
That leads me to the subject of this Update article, which is coaching. You as a manager or owner hold a major obligation to your people to lead them to where they want to go. In the last article I wrote about goal setting to help your canvassers set their goals, in this article I’ll show you how to coach people to achieve and attain their goals.
Here I’ll get into the nuts and bolts of how I coached when I ran my own home improvement company and how I coach private client’s canvassing teams, when I’m on site with them. I want you to be able to effectively breakdown a canvassing script to a canvasser in a coaching environment. So your people can quickly go out and get results.
If you haven’t read my last article on goal setting, I’d suggest you go back and read that article in conjunction with this one. It would also be helpful to review the recording from the live call.
Now, before I go on, there’s something you have to understand. No matter how good your system or how good a coach you are, there will be canvassers that just won’t take to your coaching. There are those people that can’t be lead and you can’t let these few people inhibit the success of the rest of your team; because you are responsible to a team of people. Yes, the team is made up of the individual canvassers, but the overall success of the team will be dependent on you and your leadership. You can’t let a few people’s lack of ambition and motivation chip away at your enthusiasm. This is just part of what you do and where you’re at as a manager.
My Coaching and Teaching
Every great coach and teacher has his or her playbook. It’s their guide, their game plan for the direction they’re taking their students and/or team. It’s rolled out at every meeting, during every coaching session with people; it’s the coach’s bible. Without it you’re just floundering along aimlessly trying to reach a destination that has not been defined. It would be like getting in your car to make a cross-country journey without having a roadmap to follow. Your playbook is how you ‘do’ things around here.
When I start with a new canvasser I start with my script. I print out a copy for people and hand them out. It could be 7 to 10 pages and includes each script of my 5 step system, including how to handle objections and rebuttals, how to capture the lead and how to wrap up of the conversation.
For a new canvasser this can be pretty intimidating because often they don’t have any experience canvassing door to door and they think they have to memorize all 10 pages. I always ask if they’ve ever used a script before. It’s important to find this out because it’ll tell you if they have any predispositions to having and using scripts. Even if they had a good script at a previous job it’s not uncommon to hear some negative feedback about having to use a script in a sales presentation.
All this is conversation you have with canvassers preceding the training on the script. Once I’ve had this discussion I’m ready to start coaching. I have a 4 part method for training on the script.
1. Have teams of canvassers read through the words of the presentation script
2. Demonstrate how to navigate the script in a presentation at the door
3. Breakdown the psychology and methodology of each component of the script and presentation
4. Then roll play, practice, drill and rehearse the presentation
These steps all take place in the office before they hit the streets. Next, take what they have learned and immediately apply it in the field. Put them into the game and have them practice their presentation in actual situations. I tell the canvassers that I’m not interested in them getting a lead, but I want them to experience delivering the presentation with actual prospects; if they get the lead, great, but that’s not my objective. I have to get them past their rookie jitters. Asking a person who’s never knocked on a door before this is a pretty big task to ask of them. True accomplishment is achieved in small steps. A powerful moment is naturally created when they experience accomplishment in the field; the residual benefit is confidence. They become more confident in themselves and in the script and presentation. My coaching process gets the canvasser past their natural fears and barriers more effectively than trying to force them into applying it all at once.
You’re teaching them 2 things, the macro and micro view of things. If you analyze my coaching method I’m giving them the big picture view from above the presentation and process. For example, seeing how the entire presentation is given and then breaking down each minute aspect of it.
In conclusion, the best thing you can do as a coach to nurture people is to invest time and interest in them. Demonstrate you care about and genuinely want to help them to grow. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle-bustle of the day and business, but it’s in the time you invest with them that will pay the biggest dividends in the long run. Invest in your people and the return on investment will be rewarding, not just the financial return, but the dynamics it will create in the culture of your company. The students will become the teachers and as time goes on it will be an unstoppable force that will be self-directing and take care of itself.
If you have any questions about this month’s article you can go to www dot AskThe CanvassKing dot com and submit your questions. I receive them directly and answer each personally.