It’s the time of the year when so many companies and canvassing managers begin to panic as they see the sun going down sooner day after day. The daylight savings time is nearing its end and many see it as a challenge because the amount of time their canvassing teams can be in the field shortens.
It shouldn’t be something you fear if you’ve planned for it well in advance. On November 6th was the end of daylight savings. It’s just darker earlier and shouldn’t be looked upon as darker times (that’s a joke), but not for those who aren’t prepared.
In addition to the end of later canvassing times it’s also the unofficial start of the holiday season. It’s this time of the year that distractions begin for prospects. The distractions are not real, but for most people they’re the excuse they use to put off until tomorrow what they could decide on today. Tomorrow is a metaphor for sometime other than today.
There are just a few full weeks to canvass without holiday interruptions for the rest of the year. This is the time to get your team’s mind focused in the right direction and create the urgency to niche out the remaining time left to crank up the efforts. Consider it being in the ‘red zone’, the bottom of the ninth, whatever metaphor you need to get people to be productive.
Think about it this way. The holiday season is the ‘vacation’ from work and you need to get everything wrapped up ahead of time before you can leave on vacation. In tomorrow’s team meeting if you told every canvasser they could have the rest of the week off … a vacation if you will, but they have to get their numbers in before they can leave. I guarantee you they’d be the most productive they’ve ever been. They’d be motivated. People are always the most productive before they leave on vacation. If you’re like me, everyday is worked and managed as if you were leaving on vacation tomorrow. Unfortunately, employees don’t have this mindset, until they’re faced with the reality of vacation.
Map out the remaining part of the year like it were preparing for the pending holiday season.
So, the big 3 distractions this time of year are:
- Daylight savings time ends
- Temperatures drop
- The calendar’s end is near
If you take a hard close look at any of these three none are really a distraction. They’re excuses or justifications for why they should slow down. Regardless, you still need to manage this time of the year and keep the productivity up.
Here are the 3 areas you need to address as a manager or owner:
- Planning the ‘off season’
- Get scripts pulled together
- Create incentives
1 – Planning the Off-Season?
Planning the off season means, what campaigning efforts will you do to keep canvassers focused and motivated through the holiday season and to end of the year?
I suggest you engage them in the building of that plan. They’ll be more committed to its implementation and execution. Have fun. Maybe have a party to plan for the off-season.
2 – Get scripts pulled together
Where ever you have people canvassing or contacting prospects, make sure they have the right scripts and are trained on them. If you move canvassers to phone room or shows and events (or vice versa), make sure they have the right scripts for the job they’re doing. If you don’t have those scripts, contact me and I’ll guide you in the right direction.
3 – Create incentives
Yes, I’m talking about bribery! What will motivate your people? Lexus, the luxury car manufacturer runs a ‘December to Remember’ campaign every holiday to sell luxury vehicles in a time of the year when car sales are notoriously low. Do you think Lexus would continue to invest millions of dollars a year in national advertising if the incentive didn’t work? No!!!
Cash, gift cards, vacations, awards and trophies … there are all kind of incentives and rewards you can give to people to motivate them. Motivate individually as well as a group. Throw a party and present the awards to people … everyone. Make sure everyone wins an award in direct proportion to their contribution and lead production. Keep in mind canvassers and show and event people are there to generate leads and appointments, not sales. Incentivize on what they can control. Leads and appointments.
These are suggestions on how to conclude 2016 strong.
Making 2017 Great!
Now, how can you take what you’ve done in 2016 and keep the momentum going into and through 2017?
- How is your team going to be set up?
- Where will you be putting personnel resources in the coming year? Which canvassers have shown improvement that may be ready to advance in responsibility? They may be able to do field training for you. How will you best organize and use the people you have?
- Consider your schedules
- How, when and where will you schedule people, but also where will you canvass and make appearances for shows and events?
- Recruiting efforts?
- B.R. (always be recruiting). The most frequent questions I get are about recruiting. Recruiting canvassers is no different than marketing for prospects. Recruiting is marketing. I have several articles in the archives available specifically about recruiting. As a member, you have access to the member website and to the archived calls and newsletters.
- Like recruiting, training is an ongoing effort. What new and continued training will you provide your team(s)? Structured and scheduled training, either internally or with me.
- Follow up efforts?
- The river of gold is in the follow up. My approach has revolutionized canvassing results, but it won’t procure every qualified prospect to an appointment. Even the best canvassers on my system will get 20%-30% of leads converted on the first set made by the canvasser to an appointment… best case scenario. So, what about the other 70%-80% of leads that don’t convert to an appointment? That’s where my private clients are making the greatest improvements in bottom line, fiscal, profit results. When every direct sales company doing face-to- face marketing is throwing those leads away by ignoring them; taking the attitude that they’ll get them next time, my clients are sticking with those leads, following up on them and converting them.
Until now companies have either completely neglected following up on the leads they’ve captured, or they follow up on them randomly, haphazardly. Meaning they have no organized system directed at converting that lead to an appointment. I’ve talked about it for years and of all the companies I’ve coached privately only a few have successfully built a follow up system. A SYSTEM, not a smattering of things thrown together and sent out at random. I can count these clients on less than one hand.
That’s now changed. I’ve built the system and partnered with the country’s leading Customer Relationship Marketing company (CRM).
I’ve built the system for follow ups, including digital and direct mail pieces that will go out to a lead automatically once they’re entered the system. It’s a set it and forget about it system. Leads will get followed up on while you sleep, and better yet, without you having to think about or manage it. A truly plug and play system.
Imagine communicating with 70%-80% of the leads you have right now and having a percentage of them contacting you to set up appointments, without delegating any labor to it or spending a moment of your time or aggravation making it happen. A lead is entered and in 3-months, 6-months or a year later they call and say they want to set up an appointment. It doesn’t matter when they contact you, rather that they do automatically. Think about what kind of an impact that will have on scheduling? What impact will it have on sales and production?
Now, that’s for the leads you capture. What about the 70%-80% of the doors you reach where you don’t get to talk with a prospect? I can pretty much guarantee using my system you’re going to capture a large percentage of the people you actually talk to as leads (not all as appointments, but a lot of leads). You can’t however get a lead from a prospect you don’t talk to, right? Wrong! That might have been the case yesterday, last week, even last year.
I’ve talked about spotted leads in the past. This is ideal for the exterior home improvement company. You knock on the door and no one answers and it frustrates you because you can see older windows, warn siding, gutters leaking, etc. an opportunity for you, but there’s no one home to talk to, no one to get a lead from. The spotted program is all about recognizing opportunity with those prospects you haven’t been able to meet and talk to. You capture their street address and enter it into a system as a spotted lead and then go to work following up on it. Again, the challenge for most with spotted leads has always been the follow up. Most companies can enter these spotted leads into a computer, but they didn’t have a system to follow up on them. Until now.
With my new partnership, I’ve created the ‘IP Digital Campaign Program’. We now can target a lead based on their IP address. If they have a computer or mobile device and are connected to the internet, based on their physical address we can identify their IP address and target them with digital advertising, based on the specificity of the spotted lead. For example, if you identify they need replacement windows they’ll receive banner ads on their computer on these specific products or services.
This will work with any company. It doesn’t have to be a home improvement company. It can target homeowners for any purpose. It’s ridiculously inexpensive. It would be similar to sending targeted homes a direct mail flier or postcard, but instead of showing up in their mail box, your ad shows up on their computer. A pest control company created an IP Digital Campaign and sent out 78,500 impressions. An impression is your ad showing up on a website they’re visiting. It’s not your website, any website they visit. This is different than digital retargeting ads. Digital retargeting is where a prospect first visits your website and then your ad follows them and shows up at other websites they visit. It’s the creation of omnipresence. Unlike retargeting, my IP Digital Campaign Program doesn’t require them to have to visit your website, your ads just show up.
The pest control company that sent out 78,500 impressions invested $1,570.00 and generated 54 sales from the targeted leads. The average pest control service is $400 per year. The impressions (or ads) can be controlled when and where they show up for the prospect. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to incorporate this kind of a program, especially if they’re generating a lot of leads and those leads are left to wonder aimlessly without attention; at the company who would at least investigate the prospects and possibilities for them.
I talk about a lot of other possibilities and applications for this follow up program on the live Silver Telecoaching call.
Think of how many opportunities are being missed every day between leads captured and not scheduled and those not connected with, but opportunities exist. This should at the minimum cause you to find out more about how this can benefit you. You and I should have a conversation to discuss the opportunities available to you based on your canvassing efforts and the number of leads you’re capturing now, and could be capturing. This is truly managing your business by the numbers. This is your opportunity to get in on the ground floor of this opportunity before others in the industry become aware of this system and its popularity and price potentially goes up.
That’s why you’re connected here, to be kept up on the newest developments for our businesses. As I’m connected to so many companies and opportunities across the country I can make these kinds of opportunities available to you, as a member of the Canvass King family.
So here, right now, you have a game plan to prepare for this off season, plan for the next season and introduce a new aspect to your canvassing business that can catapult results for 2017.
If you have questions about preparing your off season, next season or just want to know more about my new, done for you follow up system or IP Digital Campaign Program, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (216) 588-1337.
I remain committed to your canvassing success,
Chris Thompson, The Canvass King