First, let me say thank you and congratulate you at the same time. There are thousands of companies in the country who are direct sales oriented and who use canvassing as part of their lead generation efforts. I’m plastered all over the Internet with videos and information and I talk with people every day who are not part of my coaching program, or part of the Canvass King movement, but you are, and for that I say thank you. At the same time I congratulate you because you’re part of only 1% of the people who actually value their time enough to invest time in getting better. Regardless of whether you think you’re successful at canvassing or not, know that you’re better than 99% of the other people who are doing the same thing you’re doing every day, knocking on doors, meeting and greeting people at shows and events in the effort of acquiring leads. Now, let’s get to work!
In sports you keep score for only 1 reason, to know if you’re winning or losing. You must keep score too. You must know if you’re leading or trailing. If you’re ahead, by how much and why; if you’re trailing, by how much and why, and what needs to be done to get ahead.
My goal in this article is to show you how you can double your numbers, with the same staff. However, this will not be for some. This will not be for those who are ‘set’ in their ways or are desperate and looking for the ‘quick’ turn around. It takes time and critical thinking to be successful with managing and measuring your numbers.
The traditional offer in the canvassing introduction is for a free estimate and I taught this, even built my own home improvement business on this model, but I’m steering all my private clients to my new method, which is what I call the new movement for canvassing. The traditional model works for some, but there’s only a certain number of people we’re going to be able to capture for a lead by trying to move the prospect into an appointment in the beginning of your presentation. It’s indisputable that it’s getting harder to get leads so it’s time for a new method. For most prospects the traditional approach (for a free estimate in the introduction) puts people into a sales situation they’re not ready for. You want to make sure you don’t put the prospect into a ‘bad’ or uncomfortable situation where their natural instinct to resist you kicks in… it’s the fight or flight instinct. It’s the “I’m not interested” response you get all too many times following the traditional methods of canvassing.
My new movement is simple, rather than offering a free estimate first, we’re offering to send them a free information guide or packet. It’s positioned that it’s going out to everyone and not targeting them as a prospect, but a recipient of this free information. You can take a person who would ordinarily object to a presentation and now agree to receive free information.
I’m going to use canvassing numbers, though you can adapt these for show and events as well. There are 2 sets of numbers important for you to track the front end and back end of canvassing.
The front end numbers include:
Benchmark #1 – Doors reached: How many doors will a canvasser reach in his or her shift? These numbers vary based on neighborhoods, weather, time of the season, etc., but there’s a benchmark number you should be setting and tracking. This number will be affected by how much time the canvassers are actually canvassing. For example, their shift may be 4 hours, but they may only be in the neighborhoods 3 hours after you discount travel to and from the neighborhoods.
Secondly, what time-frame are they canvassing? Before I go on ask yourself how many doors does a canvasser reach in an hour? Before you go any further here, get a number in your head. How many doors do you think one of your canvassers can reach in a single hour? I’m often surprised when giving seminars or a training class how many people think they reach.
Based on my work, a canvasser can average between 18-23 doors an hour based on the number of people being home that you can actually talk to.
Benchmark #2 – Contacts made: How many people will actually open the door? This is pretty straight forward but the contact is impacted by being qualified which leads to the next benchmark.
Benchmark #3 – Contacts made qualify for your products or services: There are many variables on this based on the company’s products and services. Dividing people into owners and renters, for example impacts home improvement companies. Or the prospect may already have the work done and there are no other product options available.
Take for example your canvassing team is in the office preparing, role playing and then traveling out to a neighborhood, canvass and then travel back to the office; let’s say they get a solid 2 ½ hours of actual canvassing in and you take my average of 20 doors per hour reached the canvasser should reach 50 doors (Benchmark #1-Doors reached).
On average, 30% of the doors the canvasser will reach someone will open the door and respond to the knock that would give you 15 people respond (Benchmark #2-Contacts made). Of the 15 people they contact 20% of them will not qualify (Benchmark #3-How many people qualify) for the product or service you’re canvassing for because they’re not the home owner and don’t have the authority to make decisions on the house, or they are the homeowner but there’s no opportunity.
These numbers are very important to communicate to canvassers, especially new ones. When they’re in the office role playing that they aren’t going to talk to someone at every door they knock on. It’s extremely important to set their realistic expectations, that not every door will be answered. It’s quite possible they could canvass for an hour and make contact with 2 people and 1 doesn’t qualify, but in the next hour the numbers can flip flop. Knowing these numbers help keep canvassers motivated when they know the realistic expectations for how many people will be contacted and qualify. So, 12 people out of 50 doors knocked actually qualify for an opportunity to obtain a lead. That’s a realistic number. This is a very powerful tool for you as a manager. It allows you to establish expectations in your canvasser and at the same time measure their activity and be able to identify areas that need addressed. (You can hear specific details on the live Silver Telecoaching call on how I explain how to hold your people accountable to these numbers).
The next benchmark is from the qualified prospects. How many leads do they get?
Benchmark #4 – Leads obtained from qualified contacts: How many leads you gathered from qualified prospects that have a need or would benefit from your product or service? This includes all prospects who accepted to receive the information guide. Accepting the information guide the prospect qualifies themselves regardless of their time frame of scheduling a price quote.
Let me clarify my definition of a lead. What is a lead? With my system we gather the contact information first with the information offer before setting an appointment. This also includes call to sets. I identify a lead based on these 3 criteria:
- There’s a product or service the prospect qualifies for
- There’s a need and/or interest (even if it’s not immediate)
- You have contact information to follow up with the prospect
Continuing with our example of 50 doors reached and 12 people who were qualified the canvasser should get above 50% of them for a lead. I would expect the canvasser to get at least 7 leads (58% leads to qualified prospects).
Benchmark #5 – Leads converted from a lead to an appointment: How many leads that accepted to receive the information guide (lead obtained) were able to be converted to an appointment on the spot? (My second offer is for an appointment in the Canvass King system).
Of the 7 leads obtained out of the 12 qualified prospects the canvasser should get 1 solid appointment. That equates to .4 leads per hour. So you can look at the canvasser’s ratio of appointment setting in two ways.
- Qualified prospect spoken to into an appointment. In our example that would be 1 appointment for 12 qualified prospects equates to 8.3% appointment ratio.
- Or another way to look at is 1 appointment out of 7 leads obtained equates to 14% appointment ratio.
Most appointments are recommended to be confirmed within 24 hours before issuing to a sales representative for a sales presentation. Once this is done the handoff of the lead is now to the sales department. This now goes to what I call the back end numbers or sales results.
The Back End numbers include:
Once the lead is issued to a sales rep you now move into the backend numbers of canvassing.
Presentations made. This is the actual sales presentation. This number isn’t dependant on whether the lead closed or not. You’re measuring how many presentations were made.
Next, did the lead close, for what dollar amount, average sale and the net business on that sale? The back end numbers aren’t the focus here as those are out of the canvasser and canvassing department’s hands.
Before I continue, understand the numbers I shared for these 5 benchmarks are not based on the traditional canvassing model, offering a free estimate to prospects. That model averaged 1 appointment a shift, but missing out on many leads because those prospects were turned off by the canvasser because they were not ready for an appointment.
This is where the Canvass King movement has become the game-changer for my client’s canvassers. My approach, changing the offer, takes the pressure off the prospect and creates the ability to obtain more leads by eliminating resistance. Using the same benchmarks, measuring canvassers using my offer we’re still getting about 1 appointment an hour, but here’s where the big difference is, in addition to that 1 appointment we’re also getting 6-7 qualified people to say yes to our offer, because it doesn’t put them into a sales situation. It creates more opportunity. The difference, less than 10% of leads captured through traditional methods and over 50% of leads captured using my system.
Based on experience and proof, at least 25% of those leads, who are followed up on and nurtured, will set an appointment. This is how you can easily double your production and sales. Add this up day by day, week by week, team by team and you increase your production exponentially. My private client, James Hardie, the world’s largest manufacturer of fiber-cement siding implemented this system in 2 of their offices in the first year and another 4 offices in the second year and it has been growing production ever since. Keep in mind; they’re a manufacturer, not the end seller of their product. They’ve doubled sales of the product through contractors on my system. In December 2014’s Silver Telecoaching call I did a complete review of my system. If you’re a Silver member or higher, you will find the call recording of me discussing my system in the archives.
You can continue to do the same things the same way and you’ll always get the same numbers. It requires new strategic approach to change your business. That’s why I stated at the start of the article, this is not for the people who are stuck in their ways. Yes, James Hardie is a large company with a lot of people and a lot of money to implement, but I’ve done the same for a small 1-man window company in California who tripled his business in less than a year. The size of the company doesn’t matter, they key is your belief system in being able to succeed or not.
Here’s a comparison of everything I’ve shared to this point, in 2.5 actual canvassing hours.
|Benchmark #1-Doors reached||
|Benchmark #2-Contacts made||
|Benchmark #4-Leads captured||
Another way to look at this is that following the old-school methods of canvassing you set the canvasser up to fail almost 92% of the time, as opposed to 42% failure rate; or, 8.3% versus 58% success rate. Either way you look at it will take a toll on a canvasser. Aside from the production and dollars, these numbers impact turnover rates in your department.
I’m a firm believer the difference between success and failure happens in the 6-inch space between your ears more so than in the mechanics of the systems. The numbers I shared herein will have more to impact the shift toward success than anything else you can implement; for you and/or your canvassers. You can be 2, 3, 4 times more profitable, leading a happier life, have a better and more focused business than the companies that are doing millions of dollars a year operating as a meat market; and aren’t nearly as profitable.
Committed to your canvassing success,
The Canvass King