Qualified Remodeler Magazine

AUG 2015

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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than test their knowledge of the script. Test their endurance, commitment and work eth- ic. Lots of people can learn the script but can't handle the physicality of knocking on 100 doors in four hours at the "double quick." Many trainees would love to earn $25 per hour (including bonus) like our average producer, but they aren't committed to do- ing what's necessary to earn it. You need to have a program which enables you to fnd out within two weeks. QR : Are there rules or standards for the canvasser and the lead produced? DAVID: We do not permit canvassers to schedule appointments. They call the ofce and qualify the commitments in front of prospects before putting them on the phone to schedule. A non-negotiable script serves the customer and helps boost the demo rate. Many canvassing organizations don't write enough leads; the larger problem is their demo rate. Most organizations demo 10 to 30 percent of their leads. Using these dis- ciplines our clients typically demo 45 to 55 percent. We present this graphically to our clients with a video series titled, The Science of Successful Canvassing. Prospects have to agree that (1) they have a need for your product and want a price; (2) they have to commit to the agenda; (3) they have a minimum amount of time and know who will be present before the ofce is contacted. Then we schedule a specifc time. QR : Thank you David, and I encourage our readers to visit the complementary Yoho Blog where dozens of questions about this subject are answered. n David Alan Yoho is a senior account executive with Dave Yoho Associates www.daveyoho.com. His client base consists of large and medium-sized companies who manufacture, distribute and sell retail home improvement projects to consumers. He is a popular speaker at industry functions and has authored numerous articles on the subjects of marketing and selling. David is featured on the recently released DVR series titled The Science of Successful Canvassing. a successful program? How do they apply to smaller companies? DAVID: Obviously having the right people perform a designed task is primary. The wrong candidates will dilute your production, lower morale and increase turnover. You'll have less time to coach up your average pro- ducers. Lower producers usually write lower quality leads. Interview by phone when possible. Identify verbal skills. Can they speak intelligently (diction, grammar) at or above the customer's level? If not, end it there. Can they deliver a con- versation persuasively and personably? Will they command attention and respect? Assess their attitude towards work and people: Are they courteous, mannerly and respectful? Do they live more than 30 minutes from the ofce or meeting place? How would they get there? What's their income history, ability to work odd hours and income expectations? If you detect confict in any of these areas, do not consider hiring. Preferred traits are a major consideration. They include optimism, presence, conf- dence, curiosity and assertiveness. You want a determined, thick-skinned, "manageable maverick" who can act autonomously, work at a fast pace and maintain eye contact. Our clients use a behavioral profle to help them determine who matches the es- sential traits; it's easy to be misled during the interview. QR : What are the elements of training and coaching that go into attaining success with those recruited for this role? DAVID: We fnd that most often the train- ing program provides too much information about the product, and it makes the task conversational. It's a lot more than that. Therefore, the average canvasser is ill-pre- pared to succeed. We recommend three days of tough, basic classroom training to identify those who cannot or will not perform efectively. We do not allow canvassers to graduate unless they can deliver the script verbatim. Otherwise you nullify your standards and enable mediocrity from day one. Do more excursion into canvassing. Frequently this can lead to expansion into more sophisticated canvassing systems. QR : This sounds simple enough. Is the success ratio higher in older, more es- tablished home improvement companies than it is in smaller companies? DAVID: Most of our clients failed at canvass- ing before we met (some more than once). None of them were able to pinpoint why they were unproftable. We resolve this by devel- oping one single measurement throughout the system — the paid "man-hour," comput- ed on canvassers only. Establish costs, fore- casts and budgets by the hour. Pay bonuses on either "issues" or "presentations" based on the number of hours to obtain one lead. You'll be paying bonuses based on what it costs you to obtain the lead. In larger organizations canvassers, team leaders and managers need to understand the impact of their performance, which is based on proft and loss — not the number of leads. With a consistent and valid system of measurement, there are no surprises. QR : So how does an organization begin the "plan to execute" stage? What are some of the basic cautions? DAVID: Someone at a high operational level — not the canvasser or team leader — makes the marketing decisions (neighborhoods, saturation, frequency, etc.). You also have to limit the number of products canvassers solicit for. You will need a wall map of your entire territory broken down into ZIP codes and zones. Research and document the ordi- nances, regulations and details on local law enforcement for each zone. The eam leader needs a master map in- cluding planned neighborhoods. Trade driv- ing time for canvass time at every opportuni- ty. At least two-thirds of the canvasser's paid hours should be spent "knocking." QR : Your company has for some time been creating and executing successful canvassing programs for large compa- nies. What are some of the key elements in 54 SPECIAL SECTION: HOME IMPROVEMENT PRO | August 2015 QR QualifiedRemodeler.com

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