Q&A from August 2014 Webinar

Our most recent home improvement webinar "8 Key Ingredients of a Successful Canvassing Program...Revealed!" was a hit, and as a result we will be concentrating a large portion of our Profitability Summit on this topic.

Here are responses to some of the questions that were not covered during the program.

Q: How do we hire the right people starting with the right canvassing manager?

A: Start with a simple premise - - generally what are you looking for is:

  1. Someone who can do the job (history/experience).
  2. Someone who will do the job (behavior/adaptability to the language of canvassing).
  3. Someone who fits the organization (structure/performance required).

We utilize a behavioral profile simply administered which enables us to determine if the applicant has the behavior to do what we ask to be done, how they react to structure and stress, and whether they are adaptable to following a script. If you’re going to work with a “crew” you need someone who has a background and history that fits and also the discipline that is required.

Q: Last year we heard you say that canvassers should not set their own appointments but call into the office. We tried it, got a lot of push-back, and it didn’t work. Can you explain why this is better and how it’s supposed to work?

A: The push-back usually comes from the fact that it’s different from what they have been doing in the past, and change requires patience. It is the canvasser’s role to stimulate the prospect to the point of approval. It is the responsibility of someone in the call department to make sure the appointment is set by a standard required by the company. The call center should have a “log” of what dates/days and times are available.

Q: One of our owners says we can’t use your profiles when we hire because it’s illegal.  Is that true?

A: We get this question frequently. A behavioral profile is not a test - - there is no pass or fail. It is not used as an instrument to disqualify. The instrument and the method we use examines behavior and that which is adaptable to your specific business. To our knowledge this is not excluded under EEOC regulations.

Q: When the canvasser calls into the office and goes over the questions you suggest with the homeowner, does the confirmer set the appointment on the spot by speaking with the homeowner then - - or do they call back later?

A: It’s worth repeating, the canvasser’s role is to present and sell the “value of the visit”. The canvasser will have asked questions and taken appropriate notes. He should then turn the call over to the person in the call center whose job it is to confirm the requirements. The confirmer should create the appointment based on standards such as:

  • Will all interested parties be present?
  • Has sufficient interest been generated on the “value of the visit”
  • Did the confirmer sets the appointment on one of the open time slots and on a day when a salesperson is available?

Q: What is the closing ratio of canvassed leads and can you please provide an actual suggested method of paying a canvasser?

A: This is covered in depth in the recording or our latest webinar - - but if you have any additional questions, contact us at 703.591.2490.

Q: Is pirating a current canvass crew advisable?


A: By pirating we assume you mean hiring those who are already working for others. The big issue is, how will you know they’re efficient, well trained, or meet your requirements? Just because they are already canvassing doesn’t make them a great prospect for your canvassing department. Canvassing crews often work best when they’re trained by your system with your values and with your structured requirements. Frequently those who are pirated bring with them bad habits or a work ethic that met the requirements of the previous employer and may not meet yours.

Q: What type of manager or field leader should we look for?


A: It should be someone who understands the canvassing role and has an abundance of history interacting with people.  The knowledge of the task has to be coupled with discipline. The manager or field leader you hire should be willing to go through your basic training then work in the field as a canvasser to show the merits of their ability before they are officially offered the job.

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