The one thing you have over everyone else in your industry is that you have been you all your life. No one has the experience or knowledge like you do. They’ve not seen and done the things you have, nor have they figured out how to apply those developed skills and apply the experience you’ve gained. With that said I’m going to make a presumption. Upon your initial reaction having read what I just wrote you may say, “so what?” “How does that help me?” It helps you a lot. You are underestimating the value of your earned education. I’m not talking about any formal schooling you have, I’m talking about what you’ve learned through the school of hard knocks. Your learning through doing. Canvassing is not an easy career, but it’s one that teaches life lessons unlike any other profession and there are others out there, believe it or not, who desire the same career path you followed. They may not know it consciously, but when they hear it, when they see it, they’ll know it in their heart. It’s like love. How do you know it when you’re in it? You just know it. You can’t necessarily explain it, but you feel it in your gut. Telling others of your story contains the triggers that will help others find what they’re passionate about. When the right ones find you they’ll be an advocate for life. You will have helped a select few recognize their chief purpose; the thing that will fullfil their lives.
Understand your story isn’t going to appeal to everyone. It’s probably going to repel more than it will attract, but you only want those it resonates with. Those people are your army of canvassers. Those that you turn away so be it; let them be on someone else’s army. Let the direct sales company down the street recruit them. Let them invest their time and money in them only to have them leave in 6 weeks. You want to build your own tribe.
A Greek mathematician from 300 BC named Euclid had a significant impact on the development of the history of mathematics. Many of his theories exist in the algebra taught today. He deduced the principles of what is now called Euclidian Geometry, originally derived from the set of axioms he wrote. The first of his axioms is, “Things that are equal to the same thing are equal to each other.” His use was in mathematical sense, though I believe it is a universal, self-evident truth. More simply, to me, it speaks of affinity; what we have in common with one another; things that are equal to the same thing are equal to each other. Your story, your experiences, your success and your failures connect with others and unless you communicate them you’ll never really connect with the ideal canvassers you’re looking for. Ask yourself, who are you really looking for? You want people like yourself. They must have the attitude, work ethic, desire and drive you have. If you’re striving for anything less you’re fooling yourself.
The message I see so many recruiters putting out into the job market is so much like every other recruiter’s message. When you communicate with potential people with your story you’ll instantly be different. When you connect with the right people you’ll instantly gain influence over them. There’s no college curriculum that can teach your expertise and experiences; only life can.
I recently worked with a private client to recruit canvassers here in the Cleveland/Akron area. I worked with them on creating the job ad, handled the inbound calls off the lead and put the inquiries into a group interview. Then I conducted the group interview for my client. On the call I shared my story of how I got started in canvassing and where my career led me. We had 6 people scheduled for the group interview. Of those 6, 6 actually showed up for the meeting. In the meeting I spoke of what the job entailed, how challenging it will be, who it is and isn’t right for, the possibilities for advancement and the life skills the job will teach them and how that will benefit them the rest of their life. I spent a little time on the compensation, but not a lot. Of the 6 in the interview we offered to hire 5.
After the interview my client talked about how differently I handled the meeting and how much time I spent on the realities of the job and what was expected from them on the job. He told me that, truthfully, he’d have spent a lot more time covering the compensation and how much money they could make. He was surprised at the difference in response from the first inquiry call all the way through hiring them.
Your job is to create the proper self-image and craft your story so you can share it with everyone; and keep telling it. You will tire hearing your story long before anyone else.
I provided my story in my printed Canvassing Insider Newsletter, which is mailed to all members with the CD recording of the call. You can use that as a template or roadmap in creating your own story. Craft your own story. When I say ‘craft’ I don’t mean create or fabricate elements of it. I mean craft as if you were building a home; design it from the ground up using the facts. Don’t leave anything out. You’ll be surprised that the smallest details will have the biggest impact on people. People connect through your messes more than through your successes.
You don’t get what you want in life, you get what you expect. The traditional recruiting model is to paint a rosy picture for applicants. I’m sorry, but no ‘white wash’ can cover up how challenging canvassing can be. On the other hand, no amount of embellishment can truly convey how rewarding and gratifying the work can be.
You must connect with people where they are in their life and then show them the path to where they want to get. Connection is in the messes not the successes. Take the time to truly read my story and identify the elements that connect with the reader or listener. There are components within it that they can identify within themselves. I connect with where they are right now, through my story; I then take them to where they want to go. It may be a valuable exercise lesson if I dissect my story and discuss the methodology behind how and why I include it in my story.
I’ll challenge you with an exercise. Take your training and recruiting and look at the key points you want to make and attach your own personal story and experience to them. The key is to be consciously aware.
I spent a lot more time and gave detailed examples on my live Silver Level Telecoaching call. If you’re not a Silver member, click on the link to the right to discover the benefits of Silver membership. If you’ve not already ordered my, The 5 Reasons Why Companies Fail Canvassing and The Canvassing Numbers Report click on the link to the right. You’ll also receive $533.84 worth of valuable canvassing bonus information. Part of the bonus is membership in my Silver Level Telecoaching 2 months free. If you order the DVD and Report now, you can receive the audio CD from my most recent Silver Level call where I talked about using your story.
Should you have questions about this or earlier articles you can write me at www.askthecanvassking.com.