It’s both an efficiency and effectiveness issue.
Should we canvas for Initial Appointments or use the phone? In environments that require a lot of appointment setting with new targets, it’s a question that gets asked a lot. So what’s the answer?
We believe that it depends on how we answer these ten groups of questions:
- How comfortable are we at picking up the phone and asking for an appointment? The less comfortable, the more canvassing makes sense as many sales professionals seem to find it easier to pick up the phone and make a subsequent call into a company they’ve physically visited.
- How many new names do we need to add to our target list each month? If it is a lot, purchasing lists makes more sense as canvassing takes a lot of time.
- Are we prospecting into a reasonably sized territory (a couple of zip codes) or something larger? If we’ve got a multi-state territory, for instance, canvassing is more problematic as travel begins to take up more time.
- What do we sell and does everyone use it? Canvassing makes more sense if everyone uses what we sell. If not, is it difficult to tell from the outside of a business whether they would use it? If we are vertical market focused, in most cases there won’t be a geographic concentration of businesses that use what we sell.
- What is the typical size of the business we sell into? The larger they are, the more difficult it is to get in without a scheduled appointment.
- Related to that is the level of the person we want to meet. If we need to meet with a ‘C’ level executive, then the larger the business, the more difficult it is to canvas. In a smaller business, it is easier to get to them.
- What is the average size of our sale? There is a correlation between the cost of making a sale and the value of the sale. Canvassing is more expensive when one takes into account the cost of driving around and the cost of our time.
- How much are we out on the street anyway? If we are out and about every day, or at least three days a week, then building in some time to canvas makes sense.
- How much would the receptionist know about what we need to ask? The more common the information we need to know to qualify, the more canvassing makes sense.
- Security challenges. Since 9/11, canvassing in bigger cities can’t work as security precludes us from getting into many buildings.
In our opinion, canvassing does makes sense in certain situations. However, in almost all situations, once you’ve made the initial visit, making subsequent attempts to set the appointment should be made via phone as it is way too expensive to continue to drive to a target to attempt to set the appointment.
If you’d like to read about how to conduct the attempt to set the appointment, click here to be taken to a blog that addresses that.
If you’d like more information on why no team of sales professionals has ever failed to at least double the number of Initial Appointments they were setting after going through one of our programs, give us a call or drop us a line. We love talking about the challenges of appointment making!
Caponi Performance Group and Contact Science jointly market the telephone prospecting and cold calling solution called Coldcalling101™. It is the only comprehensive solution to solving the biggest barrier to success in most selling organizations—the inability to secure enough Initial Appointments to begin the selling process. We accomplish that through simultaneously addressing both the efficiency and effectiveness of the process. We can be reached at 817 224-9900 or at email@example.com. You can also find answers to many of your challenges in our books: Contrary to Popular Belief, Cold Calling DOES Work! Volume I: Effectiveness, The Art of Appointment Making and Volume II: Efficiency, the Science of Appointment Making.
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