The Art of Canvassing

The following procedures are designed to insure successful sales canvassing of AreaGuides.com products: 

1) Spend a day or two driving around your target territories and make notes regarding areas of high concentrations of businesses. In many cases the best areas are in historic or old town sections. There are often a lot of owner operator businesses there. Make a list of your target areas within your territory and prioritize them with the most concentrated areas at the top of the list. Using a map may be helpful also. After selecting the first area to work drive to that area and find a convenient place where you can park your car all day. Now, you have a place to park and an area to work. Make sure your sample book and/or laptop are in order and start canvassing. 

2) Do not set appointments. Appointments are too time consuming and will interrupt your canvassing rhythm. If you feel you must set an appointment set it for first thing in the morning or at the end of the work day. The best way is to tell them you'll be stopping by from time to time and you'll keep them posted as the site grows. This way until they sign up they'll start to feel they're missing out on something. They need to start thinking this is important and you're serious about making this effort a success. You want everyone to join in. Tell them there is strength in numbers - especially on the Internet. Remember, every page we build we register with the search engines and since every page is linked back to the business menu it becomes another entry point into the site.

3) Canvass door to door talking to everyone. Get business cards of all decision makers. Sometimes in order to get to the decision maker I'll ask the clerk who do I need to see to get authorization to publish photos of their business on Frederick.com? Many times they will go and get the owner. Always try to look official and have the camera hanging around your neck.

4) Everyone you meet should be greeted by saying: "I'm with AnneArundelCounty.com (or the name of your territory). I would like to show you the community guide for your area and bring you up to date. This is a who's who for your area." Your actual words will vary but the message is this is a community effort and we are asking for their help and support. When they learn that all they have to do is pay the annual fee and we do most of the work they will actually be relieved that they don't have to do more.

Special Note: You need to get across the point that this is their guide and they should be a part of it!

5) If you find a prospect who is willing to listen use the sample book. Open it right away and show them the homepage. They don't trust sales people but the book and the webpage samples are REAL! When they see their neighbors are in on this they will want to join in too. Always point out that joining the community guide is a great way to reinforce their position in the community and a perfect way to network with other area businesses. Just the fact that you'll put a sample of their webpage in your sample book (or include on your Laptop) and show it to everyone you talk to makes this a good value!

6) Try not to spent more than ten minutes with any prospect. If they are interested ask them for a commitment. Tell them the only way we can lock in the next spot in their category is with a completed sponsor's application and a check. Tell them we can have them on the site as soon as we have the building materials for their page and if they join now we will register their page with the Internet search engines at no additional charge. ASK for the sale. Tell them you have the camera with you and you can take the photos and get started with this now! Don't let them put you off by saying the place is a mess. Tell them you'll retake any photos they are not happy with. The key is to get them on now. If the prospect does not sign up see them the next day and the day after that. See them every day until they become convinced you are serious about this community effort. Every time you see them let them know who has joined the site. Keep them posted on your progress. Ask for their help! After all it is their community guide.

7) After you have sold about 40% of the decision makers in a given area move on to the next best area in your territory. Then do the same thing there. But once a week go back to the previous area and try to mop up some more sales there.


Sample Script

Hello, Iím Craig Shipp with Frederick.com. I would like to show you how we are working to promote Frederick and drive traffic to local businesses. (open sample book ASAP)

Our website is located at Frederick.com (point at address in top right corner of homepage sample). When you log onto Frederick.com you are greeted by this homepage (point at page). Then, any of the commercial buttons on the page will take you to the Business & Services Menu (point at the buttons).

(Then turn to the list of categories) Say: The Sponsor listings are first-come, first-listed. Sponsors pay $575 per year to join in Ė thatís less than $2 a day and you can lock in your piece of valuable Internet Real Estate!

In return for a sponsorship your business is listed on the menu in the spot you now own and we produce a webpage summary of your business including three photos, a logo and a link to your website if you have one. (show several samples)

If you join today you can be the number one printer business on the site. Long-term that position will be valuable to your business.

Now, I know many people approach you each day trying to sell you something. But please realize this is special. There is only one Frederick.com and you can own part of it! And, as part of the deal Iím going to build you a quality webpage about your business, put it in my sample book and show it off all around town!

All I ask is you try the site for one year and let me work to make this happen for all of us. This is a team effort and with your help we can do some great things with this site.

Just think of the amount of positive information about our community we can convey locally, regionally and worldwide!

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Also see: Daily Tasks - Building a Successful Community Website + Equipment