With the exception of a few states in the country most have gone through the daylight savings change. Soon it’ll be Thanksgiving and in parts of the country it’ll start getting cold. Canvassers will no doubt start to see a change in the canvassing environment and situations. At least they will in their own mind as the season changes.
A large part of how well or not your canvassing production has largely to do with how you approach the change. With daylight savings you’re going to see it getting dark around 5pm roughly in most parts, until March when we spring the clocks ahead again.
Knowing your dates and the changes in the canvassing environment allows you to prepare for the coming challenges. For example, if it typically was dark in your area around 7pm you may have canvassed into 7 or 7:30pm. It’s not uncommon as it gets darker that homeowners will not open their doors because they don’t know who the stranger is on their doorstep. Now, there’s a difference between when the homeowner doesn’t come to the door and you don’t know if they’re home or not. Or when you know they’re home and they won’t come to the door. When you know they’re home, and when you know they’ve seen you, there’s a very simple way to get them to acknowledge you and get them to the door.
When you know the homeowner sees you, with enthusiasm, wave your hand and say hello. Catching the homeowner’s eye and presenting yourself in a friendly, non-threatening way will obligate people to come to the door. I know this may sound obvious, but my experience with walking with many people in the winter season is most aren’t doing do this. Does it work all the time, no, but it will increase the number of people who wouldn’t have come to answer the door. Getting them to the door increases your chances of setting an appointment.
This is effective regardless if it is daylight or night time. But you need to amp it up when it’s dark.
With respect to addressing the drop off in production during the dark compared to when it’s light outside.
You have to make a decision as a canvasser what you want to believe. Canvassers tell me they see a drop off in leads this time of year because:
It’s the holidays
It’s dark outside
It’s too cold outside and they don’t want to open the door
They’re scared to talk to you
Do these things happen? Absolutely. However, you have to make a mental decision that you’re not going to accept these excuses. You get what you expect. If you expect failure before you ever try then that’s what you’ll get. Every great athlete goes into every game, or every good defense attorney enters a case picturing in their mind they’re going to win.
I can give you all the scripts, strategies and tools you need to succeed, but unless you have the right mindset none of my tools will do you any good. Not only is there a change in the daylight and temperature there also has to be a change in your attitude.
This is true regardless of what time of year, season or if it’s getting darker sooner. The key is in establishing need and want for what you’re offering. Regardless whether they’re ready now or in the spring, now is the best time to get the information you’re offering.
You have to play this game to win. And the way you win, especially now, around the holidays, is to get them the information now and then have the power and flexibility to take advantage of it when they’re ready, on their terms. Canvassing leads are about creating opportunities for you and the sales people. Without a properly prepared lead you won’t have anyone to present to. If you don’t have anyone to present to there is no sale. It’s a team effort. Canvassing is your job to get the lead (not sell the products or services) and create the opportunity for a sales presentation to happen. It’s then the sales function to close the sale… not while canvassing.
What incentives can you use during this season to entice the prospect to take action now? Once you establish need there’s only two other plausible objections, time and money. Once you narrow it down to time and money you apply those incentives you have in your bag of ‘tricks’ to get them to take action.
It’s a powerful ‘reason why’ they want to be looking into your opportunity right now rather than waiting until after the holidays or spring when the demand is high again. It’s about positioning yourself in the minds of the homeowner that fits within their present mindset. Think about the annual Lexus car commercials, “A December to Remember”. Who’s thinking about buying a luxury car at the holidays, especially as a gift for someone else? Despite it Lexus racks up record sales over other car manufacturers during the holidays because they’re entering the thought process already going on in the consumer’s mind.
The key is changing your own mindset and repositioning your presentation to fit the change in the season and your homeowner’s thinking. During my days running my own home improvement company and canvassing for leads we often had better production in December than we did in July, which is completely counter intuitive. The shift was in our mindset and a slight shift in our presentation.
Here’s a final tip for canvassing later into the darker hours. Wear a bright colored, reflective construction vest. The vest will immediately identify you as somebody other than a salesperson or stranger. It suggests you are either a construction worker or utility worker and puts the homeowner in a different thought process. They’ll be more receptive to answering the door.
Another tip is carrying a pocket flash light so you can see what you’re writing. Don’t assume they’ll turn on their porch light or that it works. And finally, use a pencil instead of a pen in the cold winter months. The ink in a pen becomes thicker, more viscous when it’s cold out. You never have to worry about a pencil not writing, unless it breaks.
Be sure to listen to November’s Art of Canvassing live Silver Telecoaching call for more material on this month’s subject.
If you have questions about the technique for handling cut-offs and how they apply to your specific business or canvassing system send your question to me at www.AskTheCanvassKing.com.