This could well be the most valuable article I’ve written. Success and failure is something that happens in the 6 inches between a person’s ears. No one can rise above the self image they hold of themselves. A person without confidence in themselves or in the systems they use will not be successful. So let’s start by defining confidence.
con-fi-dence \ ‘kan-fe-den(t)s, – dent(t)s\ n (14c) 1a: a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances b: faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way, 2: the quality or state of being certain: CERTITUDE.
That’s Webster’s definition (not Wikipedia). Confidence is more mental than physical. It’s about how you think and feel about yourself and your circumstances. The right system, training on that system and proficiency with the system will create confidence; enough for a canvasser to step out of the van and into a neighborhood to knock on doors, or to meet people at the local home improvement store or fair or event. Confidence comes from being prepared. Most role playing I see trainers doing only throws canvassers fast balls. In baseball, every batter is looking for the fast ball. It’s straight down the pike and easy to hit. Unfortunately pitchers, and prospects, like to throw curve balls occasionally. That’s why batters learn to hit curve balls as well as fast balls.
Prospects don’t want to be put into a sales situation. That’s why they throw curve balls at canvassers. That’s also why the old canvassing offer of a free price quote doesn’t work. From the start it’s designed to put the prospect into a sales situation. The script and offer telegraphs this. It would be like the baseball catcher telling the batter what pitch he’s telling the pitcher to throw before he sends the pitcher the sign.
Every canvasser hopes for the fast ball, the prospect who responds perfectly, but the prepared and confident canvasser can deal with the curve balls too. Preparedness (and confidence) comes from more than memorizing and spitting out a script.
I’ve identified 5 different categories where canvassers will experience less than perfect responses from prospects. More microscopically, there are 12 individual situations divided up within those categories. Depending on your product/service category you may have more or less. The important thing is to identify what the unorthodox situations your canvassers will face and then develop specific scripting for each.
I said it earlier, confidence comes from being prepared. With my baseball pitching reference I used only the fast ball and curve ball as example, however, the professional pitcher generally has more than 2 pitches in his repertoire. You should too, the professional canvasser. You should arm yourself with the tools you need to handle each situation they’ll encounter. These situations that can stand in your way of getting either the lead or an appointment. They’re the only measure of success or failure as a canvasser. They’re what you’re measured on.
Here are the 5 categories (and 12 scenarios) I’ve identified and developed scripting and systems for, and teach my clients.
Category #1 – Preoccupied outside the home
- Outside activities
- Driving in or out
Category #2 – Preoccupied inside the home
- On the phone
- Eating dinner/entertaining guests
Category #3 – Being watched
- Group congregation
- Sitting on the porch watching you approach
Category #4 – Conditional situations
- No soliciting
- No spotted opportunity
Category #5 – Unorthodox situations
- Confrontational prospect
- Cuts you off
- Won’t open the barrier door
- Engages you in idle conversation
You can use these as a basis upon which to develop scripts of your own. If you have questions or would like clarification on any of these, submit your questions to me at http://www.AskTheCanvassKing.com
I remain committed to your canvassing success. How about you?
Chris Thompson, The Canvass King