13 Practical Field Sales Canvassing Tips for 2021

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Table of Contents

What is Sales Canvassing?

Sales canvassing is when you initiate contact with a prospect or lead that you don’t have an appointment set or meeting scheduled with. In other words, you’re going in cold. Sales canvassing is done both face-to-face or calling on the phone and involves qualifying prospects and pulling a list of target prospecting customers that would benefit from your service or solution.

I prefer to see getting leads while canvassing as a blend of art and science.

Sound a bit crazy? Well, just hear me out:

The artistic side of canvassing expresses the technical skill of communication in order to build a relationship at the door with a complete stranger…all in about 7 seconds and then nurture them into a lead. It’s an articulate song-and-dance between:

The canvasser as the artist;
The person at the door as the canvas; and
The words used, representing the various colors of paint.

All of these harmoniously come together to form the masterpiece — an appointment.

On the scientific side, a canvasser uses a certain blend of words and proven facts to present an opportunity to the person at the door. It’s as if:

The canvasser is the mad scientist;
The person at the door is like Egor; and
The words used are the ingredients and give instructions on how to make the magical, bubbly potions.

Together, through chemical reactions, these form the final product— an appointment.

Sounds like a bedtime story you read to your kids, doesn’t it? But, by thinking of canvassing in different ways, it helps you see it from various perspectives. This raises your own awareness and enables you to get better results at the door because you are able to see the process through a different set of eyes, the person at the door.

Sales Canvassing Tips

So, with heightened awareness in combination with the following canvassing tips you can get more leads while canvassing:

1. Set activity-based goals.

Canvassers should be trying to make a certain number of contacts each day in order to keep the pipeline flowing. These are the controllables. When there are goals at the forefront, it keeps canvassers focused and efficient. SPOTIO’s Router Planner is a great way to help maintain focus.

2. Identify quality prospects

This starts by knowing who your ideal customer is. Identify prospects that would benefit from your product or service before you start canvsassing to give yourself a better chance of turning prospects into leads.

A simple way to accomplish this can be done using SPOTIO’s sales intelligence tool, Lead Machine. You can pull and filter wide variety of data (200+ attributes) such as, neighborhood information, phone number, household salaries, credit capacity, and property types to find the most qualified prospects to start working in the field.

If you’re selling solar, as an example, you want to be able to identify homes that are owned (not rented) and don’t already have solar. Lead Machine puts this information at your canvassers fingertips.

3. Map sales territories

Once you have the prospecting criteria in place, it’s time to map and assign territories so that reps or canvassers have enough prospects to work, and that they are not treading on each other’s toes.

SPOTIO’s Territory Mapping tool enables you to:

  • Map out your entire territory on an actual map and break territories down by zip-code or create zones based on economic potential
  • Track all sales activities
  • Add leads
  • Record feedback received at the door
  • Use real-time data to determine where to knock next
  • All data sent back to your manager, so no time is wasted reporting back

Territory Mapping Software. Sales Territory Mapper

4. Polish your canvassing script.

Scripts are created to make your job easier and give you a proven system, based on principles that work. It is very important to remain conversational with the person at the door to build trust so that when you ask for the appointment, it’s like the person is taking advice from a trusted friend.

Give yourself some freedoms to edit the pitch to make it your own, while following the basic script your manager has taught you. You are not a robot and potential leads don’t expect you to be because they see a human on their doorstep. So, personalize your engagement with people at the door.

Make small tweaks that fit your personality to demonstrate to the person at the door that you identify with them and understand how your product or service will solve their main issue.

5. Be prepared.

Decide and commit to maintaining a positive attitude. The more positivity you radiate, the more positive people will be around you. And, with such happiness in the air, it’s really hard to say “no” or respond negatively.

Being prepared doesn’t have to be complicated:

  • Be nice;
  • Be genuinely interested in the potential lead at the door;
  • Respect all potential leads’ time;
  • Nurture your “not interested” or “not at this time” leads; and
  • Follow through on everything that you promise at the door.

6. Use data to make decisions.

Real-time data to track your sales activities, based specifically on your canvassing efforts, will lead to understanding the true impact of your canvassing performance.

To get more leads while canvassing, you need consistency and proficiency based on actual data, not some made-up numbers or playing a guessing game of where to knock. Consider tracking the following daily metrics and analyzing them to gain more knowledge on where to knock, what types of neighborhoods yield the most leads, etc.:

  • Total number of leads generated;
  • What territories yielded the most leads;
  • Number of leads that scheduled appointments; and
  • Which leads to add to your follow-up program.

7. Use qualifying questions.

As soon as you make contact with someone at the door, start the qualification process of transitioning them over to an actual lead, even if the person at the door is just a little interested. Here some examples of qualifying questions to consider and record the answers in Spotio:

  • Does the person at the door need your product or service?
  • How are they solving this problem now?
  • What are their top priorities in a solution?
  • What results would you like to see?
  • Are they happy with their current solution?
  • What’s their budget?
  • Does the person at the door understand and see the value it will provide by agreeing to the price point?
  • Is the person at the door able to commit to a certain amount of time for the appointment?
  • What would prevent us from becoming partners?

By qualifying people at the door and then transitioning them to a lead when canvassing, you ensure your product or service solves a major issue for the person. The person will either respond by scheduling an appointment or saying they’re not interested.

To gain more leads, be sure to put everyone who was “not interested” in a follow-up program and nurture them so that you and your product or service stays top of mind. Also, when they are interested, they will know to contact you.

8. Transfer leads to reps

The handoff is important. Canvassers have worked hard to qualify the prospect and deem it a lead, so it’s important the transfer from canvassers to salespeople is smooth and that all details about the account are conveyed to the rep.

SPOTIO knows the “art of the transfer” and helps your sales canvassing team master this with features and functionality to help streamline and organize this step.

  • All notes taken are automatically transferred to your CRM, automating the tedious task of logging activities
  • Any communication channel (call, text, email, visit) a canvasser used is documented in SPOTIO
  • Lead data and activity history of every lead is captured

9. Integrate with a CRM.

CRMs are notoriously despised by your field sales teams due to the extra work it requires to keep contact records up-to-date and populated with accurate information. But what if there’s an intuitive mobile application that allows salespeople to easily log activities on the fly and have that data automatically populate your CRM?

SPOTIO’s Mobile CRM connects seamlessly with your system of record to capture activities and notes from the field back into your CRM. Now, all prospect and account records are up-to-date, giving reps full context when re-engaging with leads.

10. Leave sales collateral at the door.

As soon as you knock on the door, place a door hanger or flyer around the door where it is stable and most likely to be seen. This serves two purposes:

  1. If the homeowner answers the door, it will serve as a reminder of your visit; or
  2. If no one answers, it will serve as a notification that plants a seed in the homeowner’s mind that you were at their door and why.

By pre-engaging potential leads with collateral about you and your company, you automatically get the homeowner thinking about you and what you are offering (and reduce the chance of rejection). When you follow-up, it will be easier to convert them to an actual lead because they have already been introduced to you and your product or service.

11. Always follow-up.

When a person at the door responds with “I’m not interested,” it doesn’t mean they will never be interested. The potential lead is not telling you “no,” he or she is telling you “not yet.” So, dedicate yourself and follow-up with them until they become a qualified lead, which in the long run, yields getting more leads while canvassing.

With SPOTIO Autoplays, you can set up a series of outreach sequences by a variety to communication channels (calls, texts, emails, visits) to automate the follow-up process. Simply template out scripts for emails and texts, set the intervals you want the messages to go out, and BAM, your follow-up sequences will fire automatically without any manual work from canvassers or sales reps.

Keep prospects engaged and your product or service at the top of their mind.

Creating Autoplay sequences removes the guesswork of “What do I do next?” – or – “Who do I need to follow-up with today?”, ensuring no opportunity falls through the cracks due to lack of follow-up.

12. Knock on the right door.

Just because a door faces the street doesn’t mean this is the door that the homeowner uses on a regular basis. To increase your door open rate, knock on the door that looks like the most accessible and most used.

Check for these signs to determine if there may be another door to knock:

  • No mailbox or mail slot in the door;
  • A build-up of newspapers/flyers around the door; or
  • A pathway or driveway that leads to another door.

Bonus Tip: Think safety first! Always stay visible from the street. Never go around to the back of a house alone, even if you believe the back door is the most used door.

13. Don’t get discouraged.

Getting prospects on the hook is hard work. It requires persistence, creativity, and pure grit. This isn’t easy and giving up is all too tempting.

Some advice on how to eliminate frustration and shorten what can be a lengthy back and forth, or worse, non-responsive prospect is to make sure you keep your pitch short, relevant and valuable.

Interact with prospects like real people, not like a sales goal; showing them that you want to help creates trust. By establishing a relationship based on empathy will prove dividends to your success.

Don’t give up! It’s like they say, nothing good ever came easy.

Level Up Your Sales Canvassing Today

Every neighborhood is chalked full of potential buyers for you and your team to go after, which makes sales canvassing they key to growth. It takes time and effort, but when a plan is in place and your team has the tools they need to help automate, organize and simplify the selling process, your bottom line will thank you.

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Spotio is the #1 field sales engagement and performance management software that will increase revenue, maximize profitability, and boost sales productivity.