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Tips on Successful Canvassing

AKenward91

New member
Messages
4
Location
London
Hi all,

I am new to this forum and to WFP in general. Appreciate some of you will have been cleaning windows for decades and have developed all the know-how over a long time. I am just starting out and am eager to get going. I ordered all my equipment necessary for WFP from my Van. Now i need to canvass. Never done canvassing in my life. Just wondered if there were any tips or ideas that you found helped you? 

 

Master Jedi Alejandro

Premium Member
Messages
1,399
Location
Scotland
Be brief and to the point. I use to say 

‘just wondering if you require a window cleaner’. Make sure you look smart and don’t be afraid to chat to them a bit while you’re their. Also, my flyers have a wee space I can write the price which is nice and handy, especially for houses you can’t seem to get in

 

AKenward91

New member
Messages
4
Location
London
Thank you both! Thats geat advice having a flyer to post with a quote. Did you find it successfull posting flyers? I dont want to annoy people, i never pay much attention to flyers that come in my door, but im sure thats not the same for everyone. And yes i will definitely have to not let it get me down. Can imagine theres alot of work involved with a lot of knockbacks. 

 

Master Jedi Alejandro

Premium Member
Messages
1,399
Location
Scotland
Wear a hard hat as you will get some nasty replies so don't let it upset you. 
Got a belter yesterday, in a store (which was empty, by the way, so not like I was intruding on customers). 

First I walk in. No one about but can hear someone in the office through the back.  After waiting a few minutes I lightly knock the table.

"Ohh for F***ks Sake!"

"Hello! Just wondering if..."

"No we already have someone. There's the door!" She says, pointing. She really didn't appreciate it when I said,

"No problem, have a great day!" ?

Remember kids, manners are free!

 

Jaygti

Well-known member
Messages
352
Location
South east
I found canvassing far more successful that leaflet dropping. 
The vast majority of householders will be polite and say no?

Dont waffle and get straight to the point as mentioned above.

I actually quite enjoyed it after the first couple of houses. You get a big buzz every time you get a new customer.
 
I seem to remember that you should expect to get  on average 1 new customer per hour. Not sure if this is true or not

 

Apw1210

Well-known member
Messages
3,802
Location
Devon
Hi all,

I am new to this forum and to WFP in general. Appreciate some of you will have been cleaning windows for decades and have developed all the know-how over a long time. I am just starting out and am eager to get going. I ordered all my equipment necessary for WFP from my Van. Now i need to canvass. Never done canvassing in my life. Just wondered if there were any tips or ideas that you found helped you? 
1, Do it yourself 

2, Smile and be courteous but not pushy 

3, you'll need around 2500 leaflets but don't giveaway business cards as they cost more 

4, glossy quality paper A5 leaflets are effective, Bi-fold are easily misplaced 

5, don't waste lots of money on embroidered everything. It's not necessary 

6, have an A4 by day diary 

7, stay away from GoCardless until you are well established or don't bother 

6, have a QR code printed on a leaflet linked to a business Facebook page

7, websites for first starters aren't necessary as they suck funds 

8, be mindful of social distancing, No cold caller local authority stickers or window cards, medical shielding notices 

9, keep notes of which roads, houses, you've canvassed

10, if a potential customer whilst canvassing wants their windows doing then there's no time like now. Tell them you can do it immediately 

Just a few quick tips of the top of my head 

Austin 

 

Jaygti

Well-known member
Messages
352
Location
South east
Also remember it’s a business arrangement. 
They are Not doing you a favour by using you to clean their windows, anymore than you are doing them a favour in cleaning them. 
Your not a charity case. 
They are paying you for a service that they  need or want.  

 

AKenward91

New member
Messages
4
Location
London
Thank you all for your great advice! Just waiting for my gear to be delivered, once it is i will go canvassing, dont want to canvass for a job i cant carry out. 

 

Jaygti

Well-known member
Messages
352
Location
South east
Thank you all for your great advice! Just waiting for my gear to be delivered, once it is i will go canvassing, dont want to canvass for a job i cant carry out. 
I would. 

Just tell them your back in the area in 3 weeks and you’ll do them then. ??
 

Get yourself a two week head start. 

 
Last edited by a moderator:

JakdeDiamond

Member
Messages
69
Location
Buckinghamshire
I would. 

Just tell them your back in the area in 3 weeks and you’ll do them then. ??
 

Get yourself a two week head start. 
This is exactly what I did, I'm imagining your gear is here now so be interested to hear how canvassing went. 

I went out and canvassed, got a handful of customers and got started the week after the kit was due in. You don't want all the kit hanging about and nobody to go clean ?

 

ched999uk

Well-known member
Messages
2,966
Location
Lancashire
This is exactly what I did, I'm imagining your gear is here now so be interested to hear how canvassing went. 

I went out and canvassed, got a handful of customers and got started the week after the kit was due in. You don't want all the kit hanging about and nobody to go clean ?
How's your canvassing going? We will be starting to canvas in less than 2 weeks ?, well actually I think we will just start with leafletting at first, get a bit of confidence ? 

 

JakdeDiamond

Member
Messages
69
Location
Buckinghamshire
How's your canvassing going? We will be starting to canvas in less than 2 weeks ?, well actually I think we will just start with leafletting at first, get a bit of confidence ? 
Haha yes Ched I bet you can't wait!! Looking forward to hearing how that's going for you pal. 

I've actually been moving into a new flat and it's been super stressful so haven't managed to canvass my new village yet,  (moved in on Saturday) but my old village which is only 15 mins away was canvassed fully. 

I've got 12 regular custy's there for windows every 6 weeks which doesn't sound like much but I'm happy with considering I can only work 2 days a week on ext. cleaning at the moment until I cut down my full-time work. 

I've also had a lot of one off jobs like gutter clearing with the guttersucker junior. I find this to be really easy work and a good chunk of money and would say I have done maybe 8 houses now. 

Pressure washing I've only had a couple of custys but disappointed with my last job, lots of lichen didn't remove so I've got some hypo and going back free of charge to give it another go.. my image is professional and premium so don't want to just do 'good enough' if that makes sense?. 

I've got Tuesday/Wednesday booked off work so going to take 3k leaflets all around the new village and start building up around here now hopefully. It's a lovely area and seems like I can do really well here hopefully. 

Thanks for asking mate. 

 

ched999uk

Well-known member
Messages
2,966
Location
Lancashire
Haha yes Ched I bet you can't wait!! Looking forward to hearing how that's going for you pal. 

I've actually been moving into a new flat and it's been super stressful so haven't managed to canvass my new village yet,  (moved in on Saturday) but my old village which is only 15 mins away was canvassed fully. 

I've got 12 regular custy's there for windows every 6 weeks which doesn't sound like much but I'm happy with considering I can only work 2 days a week on ext. cleaning at the moment until I cut down my full-time work. 

I've also had a lot of one off jobs like gutter clearing with the guttersucker junior. I find this to be really easy work and a good chunk of money and would say I have done maybe 8 houses now. 

Pressure washing I've only had a couple of custys but disappointed with my last job, lots of lichen didn't remove so I've got some hypo and going back free of charge to give it another go.. my image is professional and premium so don't want to just do 'good enough' if that makes sense?. 

I've got Tuesday/Wednesday booked off work so going to take 3k leaflets all around the new village and start building up around here now hopefully. It's a lovely area and seems like I can do really well here hopefully. 

Thanks for asking mate. 
Cheers for the reply. I am looking forward to actually getting out and about, bit apprehensive as it's all new but that's just the way it goes at the start. Used to own holiday apartments so am used to dealing with custys, although nearly all were great people so was relatively easy. First arrivals were scary but after 15 years we had seen most things ? Have all my kit now, just a couple of last bits and bobs to sort but all bought I hope! Think I have spares for everything and contingency plans ? Sounds like it's a mission to Mars ? 

Were you just leaflet dropping or door knocking? How many leaflets did you drop to get 12 custys?

12 custys are a good start, especially as you only have 2 days. Have you 1st cleaned them all yet?

Great that the addons are already being used and starting to pay for themselves. We are just starting out window cleaning only to see how it goes, no idea how many leaflets we will need to distribute or how quick you can drop them. Last time we did leafletting was about 20 years ago (different business) and I can't remember how long it took. 

Don't worry about not getting the finish you expected - it's how you recover that matters. The fact that you are not happy and going back to do additional work to get a good result should make custy happy. Also it's a learning curve so next time you can factor in hypo and extra time in case it's required!!!

Do you think you alone can get 3K of leaflets done in 2 days? 

It's good that you are happy in your new area, good luck with the leaflets.

 

JakdeDiamond

Member
Messages
69
Location
Buckinghamshire
Cheers for the reply. I am looking forward to actually getting out and about, bit apprehensive as it's all new but that's just the way it goes at the start. Used to own holiday apartments so am used to dealing with custys, although nearly all were great people so was relatively easy. First arrivals were scary but after 15 years we had seen most things ? Have all my kit now, just a couple of last bits and bobs to sort but all bought I hope! Think I have spares for everything and contingency plans ? Sounds like it's a mission to Mars ? 

Were you just leaflet dropping or door knocking? How many leaflets did you drop to get 12 custys?

12 custys are a good start, especially as you only have 2 days. Have you 1st cleaned them all yet?

Great that the addons are already being used and starting to pay for themselves. We are just starting out window cleaning only to see how it goes, no idea how many leaflets we will need to distribute or how quick you can drop them. Last time we did leafletting was about 20 years ago (different business) and I can't remember how long it took. 

Don't worry about not getting the finish you expected - it's how you recover that matters. The fact that you are not happy and going back to do additional work to get a good result should make custy happy. Also it's a learning curve so next time you can factor in hypo and extra time in case it's required!!!

Do you think you alone can get 3K of leaflets done in 2 days? 

It's good that you are happy in your new area, good luck with the leaflets.
Thanks Ched, absolutely mate, you can never be too prepared! Having spares is a great idea and having seen you on here and YouTube comments I'm sure you are well prepared and raring to go! 

Originally I built my first 9 from door knocking and got 1 from when they saw me doing the neighbours (after they said no originally a week before) and 2 more from leaflets. If I am honest I just haven't been banging out the leaflets as much as I would like. All are first cleaned and every one of them took longer than I expected. I am traditional and I like to make sure the job is done as good as I can so that means frames and sills get a lot of attention. Custy seem to love it but I do take a very long time compared to some figures on here! 

My plan is to knock as often as I can, but evenings were I feel run down from two jobs or just not feeling the social aspect I will lean more towards the leafletting side. Not afraid of knocking but it's noticeably more exhausting! 

I'm sure you will love window cleaning, out of the jobs I have done it is the most enjoyable for me, even with the ladders. Gutter clearing is also very satisfying when you get a good clump of moss out! ?

Regarding leaflet speed I did 400 in a couple of hours before, I think it was @Apw1210 who mentioned a kitchen spatula and using it to poke them through the letterboxes, great tip! 

It will be a long couple of days but I think it could pay off just getting my name out in the town. 

Thank you Ched, I will definitely have to factor in hypo time and also cost into my next quotes. It is funny because I'm certainly one of the most expensive window cleaners around here but my add ons I believe might be being under quoted. Scared to say bigger numbers I guess due to never really earning this much P/h before! Got to get over that!

Thank you mate, can't wait to hear how you get on!

 

Apw1210

Well-known member
Messages
3,802
Location
Devon
Thanks Ched, absolutely mate, you can never be too prepared! Having spares is a great idea and having seen you on here and YouTube comments I'm sure you are well prepared and raring to go! 

Originally I built my first 9 from door knocking and got 1 from when they saw me doing the neighbours (after they said no originally a week before) and 2 more from leaflets. If I am honest I just haven't been banging out the leaflets as much as I would like. All are first cleaned and every one of them took longer than I expected. I am traditional and I like to make sure the job is done as good as I can so that means frames and sills get a lot of attention. Custy seem to love it but I do take a very long time compared to some figures on here! 

My plan is to knock as often as I can, but evenings were I feel run down from two jobs or just not feeling the social aspect I will lean more towards the leafletting side. Not afraid of knocking but it's noticeably more exhausting! 

I'm sure you will love window cleaning, out of the jobs I have done it is the most enjoyable for me, even with the ladders. Gutter clearing is also very satisfying when you get a good clump of moss out! ?

Regarding leaflet speed I did 400 in a couple of hours before, I think it was @Apw1210 who mentioned a kitchen spatula and using it to poke them through the letterboxes, great tip! 

It will be a long couple of days but I think it could pay off just getting my name out in the town. 

Thank you Ched, I will definitely have to factor in hypo time and also cost into my next quotes. It is funny because I'm certainly one of the most expensive window cleaners around here but my add ons I believe might be being under quoted. Scared to say bigger numbers I guess due to never really earning this much P/h before! Got to get over that!

Thank you mate, can't wait to hear how you get on!
The spatula trick is old school and works flawlessly. The best additional tip to add to that is a simple wrist lanyard as it stops you posting it through the letter box or dropping it whilst pre folding leaflets prior to poking through the door.

I used a recycling sp gadgets gopro one I had spare

20210528_160431.jpg

 

ched999uk

Well-known member
Messages
2,966
Location
Lancashire
The spatula trick is old school and works flawlessly. The best additional tip to add to that is a simple wrist lanyard as it stops you posting it through the letter box or dropping it whilst pre folding leaflets prior to poking through the door.

I used a recycling sp gadgets gopro one I had spare

View attachment 24761
The spatula trick is a good one. Saw a funny vid on it from Green Pro. 

We actually decided to go with very thick A6 sized leaflets so we might not need a spatula but if we do the lanyard idea is a great one, cheers. 

That spatula looks 3D printed? Can you share the stl files or a link to thingiverse unless it's one you have created that is.

 

JakdeDiamond

Member
Messages
69
Location
Buckinghamshire
The spatula trick is old school and works flawlessly. The best additional tip to add to that is a simple wrist lanyard as it stops you posting it through the letter box or dropping it whilst pre folding leaflets prior to poking through the door.

I used a recycling sp gadgets gopro one I had spare

View attachment 24761
What an invention ? love it. 

The spatula trick is a good one. Saw a funny vid on it from Green Pro. 

We actually decided to go with very thick A6 sized leaflets so we might not need a spatula but if we do the lanyard idea is a great one, cheers. 

That spatula looks 3D printed? Can you share the stl files or a link to thingiverse unless it's one you have created that is.
Oh nice, thick ones will feel quality and should stand out! 

 

ched999uk

Well-known member
Messages
2,966
Location
Lancashire
Whatever method you use [leaflets,doorknock etc ] ALL will work if you overdo the effort by several times on what you had in mind.Say you had in mind door knock for 3 hours on a weekend ,instead do 9 hours spread over several days,,,,week in week out .So many go all out in the first session get weak results and bale try something else. Its Guaranteed to work but only  if you overdo the effort several times over [at least x3] 

A friend of mine put out 2500 really pro flyers got not 1 call, but if shed put out 8000  or 18000 over a month or 2  the enquiry calls would have followed for sure 
Cheers for that. Have no idea really what return to expect. Was hoping for 1 or 2% maybe that's a bit optimistic but as long as I get some it will be a start. 

Have a few ideas for different leaflets so if first 4K don't do well we will try version 2 ? 

Good to know that persistence pays off.  

Have a great Bank Holiday.

 

Pjj

Premium Member
Messages
10,940
Location
Cornwall
It’s been many years since I have needed to canvass for  work but what I found worked well was door knocking and speaking to people no flyers needed introduce yourself ask if they have a cleaner would you like one explain what you will do and the frequency, I picked up 400 jobs in just 4 months and I started in November so not the best time of year . Any flyer that comes through my door goes straight in the bin don’t Evan read it , but if someone knocked on my door offering a service that I wanted I would probably take them on especially if you have a rapport with them but a flyer stuffed through the door doesn’t make you stand out from the crowd .

 
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