When you read that, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Money! Right? That’s logical because of who you are, your position and what you do for a living. Your responsibility it to bring leads, money and work into the business to keep it healthy and growing. However, my meaning of ‘Investment’, in this article, and as you’ll find, is only partially about financial investment. There are 3 other factors you as a manager or owner must invest in canvassing to be successful … time, specialized knowledge and money.
The area of direct door-to-door marketing I find so many clients frustrated by is recruiting and hiring. Finding the right people. I’ve covered this ground before and I’m going to cover it again, because it’s so critical to the health of the business.
What I share here is based on over 20 years of frontline experience doing the door-to-door marketing myself and helping countless companies recruit and hire successful canvassing teams. Then converting my experiences from what I’ve learned and then bringing it to others in all types of businesses.
Unfortunately, there’s not a one size fits all way of recruiting. I know you’d like to have one magic ‘thing’ that will produce all the results, but it doesn’t exist. Thinking there is one absolute way of doing this successfully is simply stupid and lazy thinking. If you follow this line of thinking and hoping, you could put it on autopilot it will lead you to emanate failure.
I’m a systems guy. I’m the first one to advocate putting a measurable and repeatable system in place. And believe me, there are systems for doing recruiting successfully, but there’s not a one size fits all system.
The second mentality I see companies take is thinking there’s one person who can have the answer. A question I get a lot is, “Can you find us a manager?” They think the answer is in a God-like person who has the experience (and super human powers) to accomplish what they haven’t been able to. They think a head of a department will solve the problem, to handle the things needing to be done they don’t have time to do. This is pinning your success on the hope they have the skill to do all the things necessary. Hope is not a strategy (or system).
I’m a proponent of hiring a manager, but it’s highly unlikely the person you find will be familiar with my system for getting leads. Anyone from within the industry will operate on the old-school methods of face-to-face marketing. My system is a paradigm shift in approach to lead generation and appointment setting.
Lastly, companies have varying needs for their door-to-door marketing needs. These factors play into how you will recruit accurately to make choices and decisions on your process.
Lost In The Forest
Recruiting is often a function or responsibility within a department, like canvassing or sales. Recruiting should be a department unto itself. It’s as valuable an aspect of your business as leads and sales; if not more important, because it’s the funnel that feeds the beast. You can’t get lost in the idea that recruiting can be handled casually, or as an additional thing on your plate. It requires much more care, skill and nurturing than enough companies give it.
You’ll notice from the start of this article I used the term ‘investment’ in reference to the time, knowledge and money. Investment has many definitions. For my purposes here it means: to make use of for future benefits or advantages.
The Investment of Your Time:
Let’s look at what you should be investing time into. These are functions necessary to eliminate the dependence on ‘hope’, or hoping that great candidate will be recognized or, worse yet, will take action on their own. Under normal recruiting circumstances, when you actively recruit through traditional means you’re contacting people who are looking for a job. In reality, the best candidates are not looking, but that’s a subject for another time. Recruiting is the act of going out and looking for your people. It’s similar to scouts who identify and watch athletes and actively try to woo them to their team or franchise.
Recruiting requires your time to make:
- Phone calls (either inbound or outbound).
- Smiling and dialing. You have to make a lot of phone calls back to people who respond to your recruiting message.
- Posting recruiting ads (online or offline). This includes the time required to create and write the ads, identifying outlets and vehicles for your ads, then contacting, negotiating and placing the advertising.
- Proactively recruiting by calling prospective candidates on job boards.
- Actively foot canvassing; passing out and posting fliers.
- Recruiting training or referral marketing. A lot of successful recruiting happens internally; marketers recruiting their friends. You must teach your people how to do this.
- Creating the recruiting communication materials.
- Tracking results from your recruiting activity.
If you quickly add up how much time these 8 areas would require, you can understand why I say recruiting is a department unto itself. Direct sales training teaches that a sales person should always be closing (ABC). I advocate that you should always be recruiting (ABR).
This only scratches the surface with regard to the time needing invested into successfully recruit face-to-face marketers. I encourage you to listen to the live Silver Level Telecoaching call I did on this subject. On the call I go into more detail on each of these ‘time’ investments.
This is only one category of your investment. Next will be your monetary investment.
The Investment of Money:
These are the areas that will require a commitment of funds to conduct a successful recruiting effort.
- The first is having or hiring a recruiter
The first part of investment is budgeting for this person (how much you will compensate them to perform the job) and then establishing expectations (how much you should be investing into this person). The can be the same investment, but there is a difference.
Here are some numbers you can use to work with. 2%-4% of your budget should be allocated to recruiting. If your goal is to generate $100k in revenue this month you should plan to invest $3k in recruiting this month (using 3% as middle ground for example purposes). You’re investing to build a team that will generate $100k per month. I break this 2%-4% down to an extreme minute level on the recording of my live Telecoaching call. It’ll be important to review this because I discuss how the compensation of this person can and is wrapped into other functions and responsibilities of this person. From the foundation of the compensation it can dictate what you may have to do on the frontend of your business to allow you to invest the time and money in the proper recruiting. It can define if it’s time to raise prices. It adds to complexity of what I’m discussing here, but the allocation of money for this specific function, or how you calculate and budget is vital to making successful recruiting work.
- Referral Marketing
There are a number of ways you can manage the internal marketing for referrals, with regard to things like bonuses and rewards to employees to refer into the recruiting pool. In addition to communicating and training people how to do this you cannot rely entirely on them to get it done. You still have to lead the effort, as with any other recruiting activity.
The Investment of Specialized Knowledge
I’ll reveal the secret that’s being hidden in plain view. Specialized knowledge is what brings the first 2 investments together. Experience is invaluable. Through experience the specialized knowledge on everything I’ve pointed out so far is the most important aspect. My clients hire me because of the specialized knowledge I posses about face-to-face marketing. There are a lot of people out there promoting and selling what they do. Each has specialized knowledge and that knowledge is based on their experiences… successful and unsuccessful. I think you learn a lot more from your failures than from your successes. Think about your own situation. You probably know a lot more ways how not to do something than you do ways to do them successfully. It’s what led you to me. Through your own circumstances you sought out a solution to a problem and you found me. You probably studied me from a far, investigated if what I was saying and promoting had any foundation and when you did, we connected. You found my specialized knowledge to be of value to you.
Of all the areas I’ve mentioned so far, with regard to the investment of time and money, you need experience (specialized knowledge in how to do these things) to do them efficiently and effectively. For example, writing recruiting ads, negotiating rates for ads, talking with recruits, painting the right picture of the job in such a way it’s enticing to the right candidate (selling the higher concepts), laying out and communicating compensation plans that are beneficial to all involved… and the list goes on. This is specialized knowledge you develop from years of experience; or you hire it, as many of my members do, and become private coaching clients.
If you put the ‘investment’ into the time, money and specialized knowledge you need to have, when it comes to recruiting, you will have a consistent, successful, repeatable system in place for your company and department; particularly for your outbound face-to-face, door-to-door canvassers and sales people.
You’ve made an investment, in money and time, to be here each month to develop the specialized knowledge needed to continue to be successful and outperform and out produce your competitors. You’ve chosen to be a member in this, the Canvass King community and I want to personally thank you for your continued commitment. A commitment to yourself and to the industry as a whole. I wish you continued success. If you have questions, comments or concerns with anything I shared here, don’t hesitate to contact me at either firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at (216) 588-1337.
I remain committed to your canvassing success,
Chris Thompson, The Canvass King