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Do You Enjoy Canvassing?


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I'm looking to gain an extra £200-300, so I'm planning on canvassing, never really had much joy canvassing when ever I've tried, so all ready I've got a negative attitude and not much motivation, but alot of it is down to me thinking I'm just naff at it, so just a few questions to all you salesmen out there to give me a hand :-)....


Is its a good idea to dress really smart? Or just smart casual?

Do you have a fancy pitch, or are you very simple and to the point?

If customers refuse do you just leave it or do u try and counter them and try politely persuade them?

Do you post flyers on not at homes or do you just call back?

If you knock 5-10 houses and they say we have a window cleaner, do you assume he does most of the area and leave or do you keep knocking?

Also what do you guys do for pricing? £1 per window?? Or less per window?

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Very good questions, cant wait to see the answers from the experts, advertising and canvassing is very much part and parcel of any business especially window cleaning. In order for the customers to come to you, you have to advertise and in order to get your face, van, business and services be seen you have to canvass. This is where your questions come into play, in my opinion; keep it simple, 'Advertising' put some signage on your van, create a Facebook page and setup a web page. 'Cavassing' Cold Calling works well, you learn alot about the area, customers and other window cleaners and gaining new customers while getting your face out there. ..Look this is just my view I too am waiting for other replies. Good luck with your business.

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I canvass every single house in an area even if people are saying they have a window cleaner. I find there is always a lot of houses he won't do in the street. its not very often a window cleaner has the whole Street. I have had a huge amount of work just by simply leaving a very professional looking business card as well, even if they say no when you call as its there as a reminder if they change their mind. also I had some t shirts printed with my business name on them so people know right away you are a professional not just a cowboy cleaner earning beer money. hope you find this helpful.


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Guest pdale
Is its a good idea to dress really smart? Or just smart casual?


Dress smart ... first impression goes a long way. This doesn't necessarily mean shirt and tie, but you need to look professional.


Do you have a fancy pitch, or are you very simple and to the point?


Very simple and straight to the point with a smile (which goes a long way), people do not hear straight away so mention 'window cleaning' two or three times in the pitch ... ' I'm setting up a window cleaning service to the area, i'll be here on (whichever day) cleaning windows in the street and wondered if i can include you on my round?' ... however it's the close that's more important than the introduction.


If customers refuse do you just leave it or do u try and counter them and try politely persuade them?


Customers generally give a reason for there refusal ... if they have another window cleaner that they are happy with, then i believe its bad business to price cut, so generally leave it.


However you can generally tell if there is an interest. The most common objection is that they want your leafet/card and ring you back, this is where the close is important, which is why i state in my pitch the day we will be on the street ... that way they will begin to feel that they are missing out, so then hit them with we are going to be here tomorrow, next day, whichever day, they then feel they have to give a yes or no.


If they are still undecided there is generally an objection that is their mind, it is up to you to find this out ... it could be something as simple as they do not know how you will get access to the back, or it maybe that they feel they have to be in and will be at work ... which is why you need to talk to them and find out what doubts they have, if it's something simple and you can solve it by saying something like 'we'll clean them, leave a note and call back for the money', then you have overcome their doubt/objection.


Do you post flyers on not at homes or do you just call back?


I post flyers if the windows are dirty. Personally i don't call back as it's easier to knock doors one after the other and i maybe missing out on other doors later in the evening. As evening is your prime time knocking, calling back on those who are not at home in the day meaning jumping a few doors between one and another is in my opinion wasting time ... however others do have different opinions on this.


If you knock 5-10 houses and they say we have a window cleaner, do you assume he does most of the area and leave or do you keep knocking?


Keep on knocking ... 5-10 houses is nothing to assess an estate, you may turn the corner and he doesn't clean down there. I generally find that window cleaners do not work a whole estate, unless you find a national or large firm on it, which in my experience is more common in the London areas than anywhere else.


Also what do you guys do for pricing? £1 per window?? Or less per window?


There is a formula that goes around that works on £1 per window and £2 per patio, but it really depends on the size of the window, whether it's leaded etc. Pricing tends to come with experience, figure out how long the job is going to take you and work it out based on your hourly rate ... sorry i can't be anymore help on this, but it really does come with experience.

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what pdale said. I've been canvassing for the last few weeks an hour or so every now and then. Picked up 40 customers so far and more everyday.


I make sure I dress smart, have a diary, pens and flyers with me in a plastic case. Engage in conversation if I can and be friendly but not creepy.


Pricing is different, even with the same style houses on different streets. Where an old cleaner has been and gone they want me to work at £10, where I would have said £15 but I'll still take it for know and change prices later if needed. I tend to price on the high side, my first week I did way to many first cleans cheaply. Not again!


In my area, the big houses all seem to have a window cleaner but that doesn't stop me asking. People may have just moved in or have never had the need for a cleaner. The smaller £10-15 hosues are where I'm getting most of my business at the moment, I just keep an eye out for dirty windows and make sure I knock on every door in the area. If people are not in I always leave a flyer, had a few calls back because of this. I will canvass the whole area myself then in a few months I may leaflet the area again just to remind them I'm here. :)


My sales pitch is simple. "Good Evening, i'm a local window cleaner, are you looking for a cleaning service?" or " Good evening, my names Colin, I'm from Aylesbury Window Cleaning. We are working in the area, would you be interested?". I swap between these, change it up a little every now and then. See what works best. If they refuse, I offer them a flyer, thank them for their time and walk away with a smile. No pressure sales, I want them to remember me as professional if they ever think to call me.



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Guest pdale

Another thing to add in particular when starting out is to look at the type of houses on an estate. When I canvas for someone i can virtually guarantee that they want me to hit an estate filled with houses with small, plain and straightforward upcv windows, these houses are generally the type that was built in the 80's and 90's, usualy there is a big estate of them (every town has them) ... however you can guarantee that every other window cleaner has the same idea and these estates are swamped.


I'll still knock them if the window cleaner wants it knocking, but in general the most success are the types of houses that are a bit more complicated for the window cleaner, for instance houses with 5 sided bays, or houses that are leaded, maybe built 50 plus years ago ... these type of estates generally have less window cleaners on them, than those with windows that are easy. Also main roads generally get more success as the windows get dirty quicker because of the dirt from the road.


It really depends on whether you are expanding or starting out ... if you can afford to be picky and have enough work then stick to those estates with easy windows, but if you have little in the way of work in my experience you can get twice or three times the amount of work from those that look a little complicated.

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  • 2 months later...

Canvassing is the best thing once you get the swing off it, I love it. here you go guys just some of my tips


The first tip which is quite possibly the most important is to get your mindset correct, a few ways I would look to do this would be to set 1 or 2 days aside solely for canvassing purposes and would recommend them to be a Friday (10-8) and Saturday (10-2), do not clean on these days. It’s hard to switch off and fully focus after a hard days cleaning. You also get more time to get a feel for an area.


Another good thing I find is to listen to some music on route to the knocking zone, with some off my personal favourites being Yeah Yeah Yeah's Heads Will Roll, P.Diddy Badboys For Life, Black Betty by Ram Jam, and Call Me by Blondie. I find this gets me psyched up, I'm sure you may have other songs. Try it you may be surprised.


The second tip I would like to offer is think about your appearance, personally casual works well for me, plain jeans, polo t-shirt and comfy shoes. If you have a works t-shirt wear it as this gives you more credibility.


My third tip is to travel light and keep it simple, 3 pencils, 1 notepad, 200+ cards and a bottle of drink is all I carry.


My fourth tip is to get an easy script together and practice it until it flows fluently and easily, keep it very simple.


My fifth tip is to make a note of who is out and either go back in the evening or on a Saturday, keep to the same route you went the first time.


Ringing the bell


You are now ready to walk up that drive and to ring that doorbell; I promise you that the very first doorbell you ring will be the scariest doorbell you have ever rung. Do not panic even if you totally mess it up don’t worry you’ll never ever see these people ever again and they won’t know you messed it up. Every no you get is one step closer to a yes, just keep going.


It’s also very important to speak slowly and clearly, if you speak too fast people will not listen to what you’re saying but how fast you’re saying it.


Whilst at the door stand sideways on facing the main house window that way if the curtain twitches you can see it and from the inside of the door you look less intimidating. This will increase the chance of the door opening.


Once the door opens greet the customer with a smile and welcoming manner, be fun and enthusiastic, hand them a card and make your pitch quick and flowing, show them with your finger exactly what you’re proposing to do. If they say I’ll call you, take the flyer back and say can I just put my name on the card whilst doing this keep pitching, it buys you some more time to win them over.


Yes please


O.K this is the moment you've been waiting for and sometimes it can come totally out of the blue but don’t be too surprised as people do genuinely want it.


Take all the relevant details and either set it up as your just turning up on a set day or that you will text them the night before. Explain the criteria of being on the round, frequency and payment options. Throughout this whole process keep eye contact and smile.


The best tip I could offer is you must knock a lot of doors and be prepared to hear a lot of no thanks.

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