In this last article of 2016 I’m going to share how you can be a winner in 2017, with canvassing, show and events and/or telemarketing. There’s one thing that separates winners from losers. We can spend a lot of time discussing strategic and tactical applications of canvassing systems, but at the end of the day, regardless of what canvassing system you’re following/using the one thing that will separate the winners from the losers is IMPLEMENTATION. Every canvassing system you can use will produce results. Despite what system you’re using it will produce results only if you implement and use it. The level of results will then be defined on the strategic and tactical methods of the system, but any system will produce results. This is evident in the fact that canvassers are still producing leads and appointments from the old models of offering an appointment first.
I started my canvassing career part-time as a 19-year-old college student on that traditional model of canvassing. Over the years though I’ve identified the ultimate challenges and roadblocks of that old-school system. I came to realize when I started canvassing the scripts were created by sales people. Most are hard core sales systems that strong-arm the prospect. It’s selling them an appointment, but too often the presentation feels like selling them the product or service.
So, I’ve lived on and taught the old model. In my first year in business for myself in the late 90’s we did over $2 million in home improvement business based on that old model. It’s only after becoming a full-time coach was I able to step away from working ‘in’ all aspects of the business, to working ‘on’ improving the results of the canvassing system. 4 ½ years ago, I identified and created a better model that was a complete paradigm shift of the traditional appointment first model.
In last month’s article, I recapped the year and the big breakthroughs my clients and members have experienced. To sum it up in a few simple statements, first we changed their ‘getting’ game. Canvassing and show/events and/or telemarketing has always been about getting leads and getting appointments. It’s also been about ‘getting’ the right people to get those leads and appointments, through face-to-face marketing in canvassing and shows/events. I changed the method of ‘getting’ those leads, appointments and ideal job candidates to do the job by changing the fundamentals of the game. The residual benefit has been clients and members who’ve experienced exponential growth over the past year or more, by implementing my lead and recruiting systems. There’s that word again… implementation.
The second big breakthrough was changing the training system. The way companies prepared marketers for the position. Turnover has more to do with the right type of training than the typical excuses managers make and blame it on the capabilities of the canvasser.
Third was in the tracking system. You can’t expect improvement unless you’re measuring results. This became more than measuring only bottom-line dollar results (sales), but became about measuring every aspect of a marketer’s activity results and coaching (leading) them based on micro-results rather than on macro-results. When you don’t know what areas they’re doing well on and those they’re not, you don’t have the accurate information available to you on how to coach them.
Fourth was the recruiting system. Everyone knows they need to recruit, yet most struggle in recruiting people. This is evident in the number of people their method of recruiting brings in, they train and turn over. The ratio traditionally is high on the turnover side and low on the retention. In 2016, I helped clients reverse that ratio. They kept more people than they were turning over because they had the right recruiting message to attract the right people.
That wraps up my conversation last month and it leads us into 2017. You won’t have all the information you’ll need only from this article though you’ll have enough information to take action. To this point my common message has been implementation. Companies who are successful (people who are successful) take quick and massive action. They don’t always know what the end will ultimately look like, but they know where they are and where they want to get to and always figure it out along the way. A pilot will plot a flight plan to go from where he or she is now to the destination. Along the way, they will encounter things that will take them off course, though without three critical factors they would not ever reach the destination. They need to know where they’re starting, where they’re going and having a plan to get them from one point to the other. The same is true for you. You know where you are right now and a good idea where you want to be and being a member in the Canvass King community is your plan for getting from start to finish. For some it takes longer, though it takes getting started.
“Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” -Napoleon Hill
“Start by starting.” – Meryl Streep, Actress
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe, Tennis Player
“The most important thing you can do to achieve your goals is to make sure that as soon as you set them, you immediately begin to create momentum.” – Anthony Robbins
“Fear melts when you take action towards a goal you really want.” —Robert G. Allen, Investment advisor and author
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” — Dale Carnegie, Author
Often, getting started is the hard part. The good news is you’ve already started. You’re a member (or at least following my teachings) and you’ve taken the hardest step. Next is implementing what you learn.
We’re only days away from a new year and a new start. I’m going to give you the strategy to get started in the new year.
Here’s my philosophy on getting started. When I’m working with canvassers I teach them the fundamentals and then we practice the components one step at a time. For example, when I teach my canvassing presentation we work on delivering on the first time out the introduction at the door with live prospects. I’m not interested in them getting leads the first day but to just deliver an effective introduction. Here’s the surprise to most… they get results, they get leads. I get them started at the beginning and they learn it as they go by taking massive action. Theory remains theory until it’s applied. Book lessons remain in the book until they’re applied.
The Blueprint to Preparing for a Successful Year Ahead
“The key is not the will to win … everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.” Bobby Knight – retired men’s basketball coach at Indiana
This is all about taking action and getting prepared for getting started.
Blueprint Component #1: Lead Generation Scripts – You need your canvassing, show and event scripts in place to go get the leads and appointments. These are for your face-to-face (or outbound marketers). You must use my scripts because they don’t rely on old school salesy methods. I have four years of data to compare the results generated from my scripts against any other script. Mine out produces all others hands down. In addition, your scripts must be customized for your products, services and the industry you’re serving.
Blueprint Component #2: Phone Follow Up Scripts – This is for the follow up to leads and people who have set appointments. There are several ways you can follow up with people, but if I could only do one method it would be by telephone.
The Phone Scripts You Need
Once the lead is generated by the canvasser the first phone script you need is for the validation call. This is on the day the lead is generated. You validate the lead is qualified for the appointment for the product or service. It’s an additional step in qualifying (validating) the lead before it finalizes its place on your schedule. There are two tactical ways you can accomplish the validation call. The first is when the canvasser wraps up the conversation with the prospect. They can place a call to your ‘scheduling coordinator’ to validate everything on the lead and appointment is solid. This is a challenge for some companies because they may not have the people or resources to handle the calls when they come in. They can happen in waves or be sporadic so it can be a logistical challenge to handle those calls at the end of the meeting. The other option is to call and validate the leads all together after a working shift.
The second script is for the confirmation call. It’s easy to confuse the validation and confirmation calls as one in the same. The confirmation call is done when the appointment is set for a day or more out from the conversation at the door. This is done the day before or the day of the appointment. It confirms the prospect on the appointment. It can be more in depth than the validation call, though it’s important to confirm
The third script is resetting an appointment or the call to set script. The reset call is for situations where the appointment was set, but due to circumstances a presentation wasn’t done or completed. Your sales rep may have driven to the appointment and the prospect wasn’t there, or they had to leave during the presentation. The call to set is when the canvasser wasn’t able to set a definite appointment at the door, but did get the prospect to commit to setting an appointment at a later date. The follow up on this lead is intended to set an appointment, or the call to set.
Fourth is the rehash call script. A rehash call is made to a prospect who you’ve had an appointment with usually a couple days afterwards. A sales representative has had a full product or service presentation made to them, pricing was shown and they didn’t buy. This is the follow up on the prospect (not by the original salesperson) to rehash the communication and find out why they didn’t buy. Once you have a ‘reason’ you can return to the prospect with a different offer or opportunity. If you’re not doing a rehash call as part of your system, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
Blueprint Component #3: Tracking Your Marketing Activities – It can be done manually on paper and later entered into a spreadsheet or in an app on your phone or tablet. The key is you must be tracking activities. I’ve developed the pen and paper system and have recommended many clients the right type of apps currently available. Tracking lets you monitor bottom line activity benchmarks, but also how to manage your marketers and help them get better, i.e. get more leads and appointments. It’s also a great tool to let them know where they’re doing well, as well.
Blueprint Component #4: Clarify the Position – One through three are the foundational components for face-to-face marketing, now you need to create the position of marketer. It will include all the fundamental questions potential canvassers would ask, like, “What are the hours?”, “What does it pay?”, etcetera, more importantly it must include what role they will play in your marketing activity. Will they only be canvassers? Will they canvass and do show and events? Will you allow them to call their leads back? Will they float between canvassing, show and events and telemarketing? What do you expect from this person? You may not have enough lead or appointment flow right now to employ all these different positions, but you will, especially if you’re implementing my system as I have it laid out in this blueprint. You must be clear on the position in order not to confuse the job candidate. Also, communicate all the possibilities and opportunities that are available in the company. They may come in at an entry level position but may be motivated to eventually advance to another position you have available.
Blueprint Component #5: Dedicated Boot Camp Style Trainings – The final component of this blueprint is a dedicated boot camp to indoctrinate new people to your systems. This must be planned in your system so you can move people into it. This is not only for new people, but also for current marketers. Remember, you must inspect what you expect. When your inspection detects (because you’re tracking not only results, but also activities) the need for guidance, coaching and retraining you have the boot camps already in place to move people into it. Successful people take massive action and successful companies operate on systems. A regularly scheduled boot camp must be part of your corporate system.
Blueprint Components Tie into Your Recruiting Message
Earlier I talked about your recruiting message. The 5 blueprint components I just outlined play into your recruiting message and here’s how. It gives you a complete view of how a canvasser will be successful in your system (with your company, unlike at others). You have a defined blueprint to success. I guarantee you no one else has this to communicate to recruits, unless they’re a Canvass King member or coaching client. This helps you with the tactical aspects of coaching your marketers, but it also helps you with communicating (attracting) your target canvasser. This will help you clarify your messaging in recruiting. This is the stuff prospective recruits really want to know, yet few companies ever communicate.
The Truth Bomb
Now, for the most important thing I can share here. This isn’t a step 1, 2, 3 system as I’ve provided so far in this blueprint, rather more a philosophy. If this isn’t in place, then none of what I went over in this article will matter.
You must love the business!!! That’s it. That’s the truth bomb. There’s the business of marketing and there’s the products and services of the business, but if you’re going to be successful at this you have to love the business.
I use sports analogies often, more specifically football. I’m a huge Ohio State football fan and OSU alum, but also a Cleveland Browns fan. Currently, as I write this Ohio State is about to play in the semi-finals for the national championship. The Cleveland Browns just won their first game of the season with a 1-14 record as they go into the last game of the season. They’re two ends of the spectrum for two different teams. One team has had a winning season (OSU) and the other a miserable losing season (Browns). Despite which team you talk to, players or coaches, each will tell you they love the game. They’re committed not only to the game, but the preparation for it. Yes, at the end of a single game winning and losing matters, but regardless of the outcome every person on the staff loves the game, and they’re committed to being the best at it. Yes, there’s a lot of money to pro’s and the promise of money for the college players, but it’s the love of the game that truly motivates them all.
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I love selling and when I started canvassing for a home improvement company at 19 years old in college it was my launching pad into sales. To this day, I love reading about marketing, business and selling. I’m one of the only canvassing coaches that goes out and canvasses with my students… I love it. It’s in my blood and will be until I can no longer do it. Now, truth be told, I’ve never been in love with the home improvement industry. I had my own company and did very well in it, but it really wasn’t where my heart lied, if you will. Don’t get me wrong I work with a ton of home improvement companies, but the value I bring them is in what I love doing… face-to-face marketing and how to implement systems to make it work at every level of the business. When I had my home improvement company I was directly involved with the products, installers, customer services sales as well as the marketing. Today I get to focus entirely on the marketing and business building with members and clients. It’s where my passion is. My business now is helping owners, marketing managers, canvassing managers and canvassers build and implement the systems that make them successful in those products and services.
My business takes me away from my wife and three kids. I fly across the country and battle airlines and airports and security and all the headaches that go along with it and I do it because it I love it. Yes, I get paid to do what I do, but if you talk to any highly successful person, the level of financial success is in direct proportion to their love (and commitment) to the business. If you’re going to do anything great in your life you must be completely consumed in what you do. There is a balance for those of us who have families, though it is possible, despite what experts might tell you, to balance your life and be committed to more than one vocation or interest.
In closing, I’m committed to your success. I thank you for being a member in the Canvass King community and I expect 2017 to be your best year yet. With that said I’ll circle back to how I started the blueprint, with Coach Bobby Knight’s quote:
“The key is not the will to win … everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important.”
Prepare to be successful in 2017. I will pick up this conversation with you in the New Year.
Have a happy and safe new year celebration.