Canvassing a Business Park
If public speaking is the number one fear of people, then making door-to-door sales calls has to be a close second. In just a few hours I will go with a client of mine to try to drum up business for him. Like you, this client has a great set of skills, great talent and a great portfolio. He just needs to get his stuff in front of more people, and this is one of the most direct ways that I know to help him develop relationships.
Here is what I have learned in the past when doing door-to-door canvassing in a business park.
The purpose for this visit isn’t to barge right in to see the owner because that is really off-putting to most people. Instead I make the purpose of the visit to learn what I need to do to get an appointment. I know that a lot of trainers/coaches would not agree with me on this point, saying that I move too slowly. I’m taking more of a long-term view here rather than a high-volume turn-and-burn approach.
- Nine times out of 10 I meet a gatekeeper at the front desk (Always be nice to these people or you are sunk). The people in these front desk positions are quite attuned to fielding salespeople, so I usually do not take the tact of asking to see the person in charge.
- I ask what the process is for getting to speak with the owner / person in charge. You learn a great deal from the answer to this question.
- I also ask what days of the week are good for getting a short appointment, and I emphasize that I am usually looking for only 10-15 minutes. The important part here is that I’m not looking to give the owner my life story. All I want is a simple face-to-face meeting where I have a chance to make a connection.
Why Not Use Social Media?
Given all the hype on using social media, email marketing and networking events to generate business, you might ask why not use one of those methods. Simple, for small businesses that have only 1 or two people, I have found that there is just no better way to quickly get the ball rolling than phone calls and face-to-face conversation. You can send out emails all days long, but you won’t get far unless you follow up the emails with a phone call.
“Yeah, I got your email. You know we were just talking about [insert your service here — redoing our website, remodeling the kitchen, buying a new copier]. Why don’t you stop by the office sometime next week?”
For the small business owner I have found social media is a great tool that you want to use with a more traditional sales approach such as follow-up phone calls or walk-ins.
As long as there are no last-minute complications today I plan on posting an update this evening of the results of what happens during today’s walk-ins. Stay tuned.