One of my first 'real' jobs... and still my favorite job of all-time... was as a door-to-door canvasser for a large environmental group.
They'd drop us off in a neighborhood each evening. We'd knock on doors and raise money. And sign up new members.
I did that for almost three years. Although I almost didn't make it past the first night.
My first night, I raised a grand total of five bucks! That wasn't good.. even for a first night.
The office director later on told me that she almost didn't ask me back.
But she did. And lucky for her that she did. As over the
next three years, I raised a lot of money for them.
At the time, they didn't really have a set method they
taught canvassers for raising money.
You learned by observing an experienced person for a
couple of days. Then you'd go out on your own.
Most did their 'own thing.'
It often felt to me that the most common 'recipe' for success
was to simply to hope and pray you'd run into someone who
liked the group. Someone who'd write a big check for you.
Sometimes that worked. Often it didn't.
Now I've never been a big fan of basing success on hope.
Not even back then.
And I wanted to be successful at what I was doing, even
if it was knocking on doors.
At the time, I'd go to the library, and check out books on
subjects that I thought would help me get better.
Mainly books on business and sales.
One of the books I stumbled upon was a book written by
an old advertising copywriter... from the turn of the century.
The book was "Scientific Advertising", by Claude Hopkins.
What hooked me right away was that that book was the only
one I'd ever read that talked about canvassing.
At the turn of the century, focus groups and telephone
surveys didn't exist.
According to Hopkins, advertising agencies would send
out armies of canvassers, door-to-door, to conduct their
The canvassers would interview people, mainly housewives,
about products that the agencies were advertising.
Then, the agencies would use that data to craft their
It occurred to me that since I was knocking on doors
every night, I had my own, built-in market research
laboratory at my disposal.
And Hopkins' book, "Scientific Advertising" was filled with
all sorts of sales priniciples for me to 'test' in my 'laboratory.'
I tried new techniques every night. I threw out the things
that didn't work. And kept the things that did.
I didn't realize it at first, but I was in the process of
developing my first word-for-word script.
The better the script got, the more money I raised.
By the time I really got it down, I found myself raising $500
to $1000 a night... when the average was $100 a night.
However, it took me almost a year and a half to really
get it 'down pat.'
Now... when I started my Valentine's Day cart last month, I
didn't have a year and a half to come up with a sales process
I had two weeks.
Actually less. If I was going to make any money, I needed to
make it work right away.
So I relied on some advice my first supplier told me about
selling. He told me...
"There are THREE elements necessary for a sale..."
1) "Like and Respect"... which gives you the opportunity
to talk with the customer;
2) "Logic and Reason"... which allows the customer to
justify their purchase; and
3) "Emotion"... which is the actual reason the customer
And he said a good script needs all three elements.
Theirs had all three. Which is why theirs worked.
When I needed to script the selling process for our Valentine's Day product... first thing I did was build
these three elements into our sales process.
Once we integrated all three, as if by magic, our sales
Customers that wouldn't have bought, started buying.
The ones that were going to buy, bought more.
The selling became pretty easy...
Over the next few emails, I'm going to share with you how I
built these three elements into the sale of my Valentines Day
That way you'll become more familiar with the three elements.
And you'll get a better idea how they work to enhance the
actual selling process.
So stay tuned...
Next email: "Building Like and Respect"
P.S. Are you looking for a mall kiosk or cart concept with
a selling method already established for you?
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