Sometimes we get so busy doing what we do we overlook communicating with everyone else the ‘why’ we do it. If people don’t understand why we canvass than it’s difficult to point the team in the right direction.
Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw said, “The problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
You may know exactly why canvassing is a part of your company’s lead generation and you may think you’re communicating it clearly, but you should never assume that others understand what you’re communicating. The proof is always in the performance. If the performance isn’t where you want it to be then it’s time to look at the coach. A great coach takes credit for the team’s failures and gives away all the successes. It is the canvassers who ultimately produce the numbers, but it’s their coach that guides them. Without the right guidance, the team will struggle to succeed.
Last year I spent a great deal of time going through the management side of canvassing and referenced the book, “Semper Fi”. In it I detailed how the US Marine Corp recruited and trained Marines and drew the correlation between the Marines and canvassing.
If you spent enough time on my calls and in my coaching you know I spend a lot of time dealing with the tactical side of canvassing. For example, when the prospect says this you say this; when a particular thing happens then you do this. That’s tactical and it’s important, but you also must spend as much time addressing the psychological side of canvassing. If everyone is not on board with the direction the ship’s going you can’t get everybody moving in the same direction. The bigger issue and importance for discussing this with your people is ultimately for their benefit, it can reveal the potential and opportunities available to them.
Here are the top 10 reasons why you want to canvass:
Canvassing is a numbers game and when you have the right people and system in place you can control the quantity and quality of leads. Inbound leads are like a thermometer and fluctuate by the temperature of the market. Canvassing is like a thermostat where you can turn up or down the temperature on your activity. Canvassing is the game changer for the members and clients I work with.
When you’re in other media you’re competing with all the other media ads. These methods rely on the prospects to determine what’s different between you and the other ads and honestly customers are not very good at making decisions. Getting face to face with prospects gives you the opportunity to demonstrate how you’re different, better. The best sales conversations you can have with prospects are those you have in person, face to face, belly to belly, and toe to toe. Mass media marketing is a one-sided communication. This is a shotgun approach to marketing.
With a profile of your ideal prospect you can target them at least geographically. Advertising in mass media you’re blanketing a wide audience a majority of which will never be prospects.
The cost isn’t necessarily the amount of money you shell out up front for the mass media or canvassing, but the return on investment you see in exchange for the money you shell out up front. Print, television, radio and live shows can cost you a lot of money up front. These are ‘pay to play’ marketing avenues, where as canvassing is a lead source you can start out small at first and ramp it up as the leads and business grow. You can start out small and grow at your own pace. As the income grows so too can your size and reach.
As a manager you’re always performing a balancing act. You have hard costs for the business, you have sales people and leads and you have to constantly be juggling these things to stay in check. Once again, with only traditional inbound lead sources you have to spend money to attempt to increase the number of leads, but with canvassing you can quickly add canvassers as demand increases.
Think about the predictability of the geographic locations of inbound leads. You can’t predict where the leads will be located. It can keep sales people hop-scotching back and forth all across town running appointments. Instead of managing the scheduling of the leads on the backend with inbound leads with canvassed you can manage the appointment schedule on the front end when the leads are captured. It raises efficiency and lowers expenses significantly.
What is your unique selling position? What do you offer that no one else does? It’s a key thing that positions your company as different from others and these USP’s are difficult to communicate in other forms of lead generation let alone getting the prospect to understand the differentiation (think again of George Bernard Shaw’s early quote). It’s all about changing the prospect’s perception of you and perception is reality.
8-Trust & Credibility
There’s no greater way to build trust and credibility than with face to face communication. Building this kind of trust can’t be accomplished any other way.
Most of the people we approach through canvassing are by nature passive because most haven’t already considered what we offer so these leads have shelf-life. It may take a little time to nurture and develop the leads into clients, but it’s a lead that no one else has and we can be the only one communicating with them about our product or service because we made the first contact.
10-The Farm System
In major league baseball, teams develop players through their farming system. The same is true with people you’re recruiting as canvassers. When I was canvassing in college my boss came to me and said he wanted me to move into sales and start running the leads. I was concerned about the move because I thought they required a different set of skills, but he told me that if I could canvass then I was qualified to perform any other job in the company and he was right. This is to speak nothing of the life skills canvassing develops in a person.
That’s why the company canvasses, but it’s equally important they understand why they canvass. I’ve written and spoken on this largely in the series of coaching calls and articles I did last year when referencing with the Marine Corps’ training methods. You can also listen to the audio from the live Silver Telecoaching call on February 26, 2014.
If you have questions about this subject, you can submit it directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.