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Canvassing is one form of personal selling. Involves direct contact of canvaser (salesman) with potential buyers (customers), whose main goal is to conclude a contract of sale of goods or a contract for a specific service. During canvassing following actions are performed: direct information, propitiation and convincing buyers by the representative of the company (canvasser), closing of sale and purchase of products by the customer.

Canvassing process

Canvassing process is performed sequentially in following phases:

  • Exploration and classification of potential customers and prioritization of choice.

In order to select customer, canvasser use phone books, newspaper ads, business correspondence as well as information collected from suppliers or bankers. After the selection of potential buyers, canvasser determine hierarchy of potential value (probability of closing sale with customer). willingness to buy) using computerized Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Potential customers are divided according to: the potential and willingness to buy.

  • Initial contact - preliminary visit to establish a list of buyers worthy of further effort.

Before the first meeting with the buyer canvasser (salesman) should use all available sources of information to get to know the buyer's preferences, needs and his personality. An important role in this stage plays the right clothes of canvasser, his punctuality and personal culture.

  • Presentation of the product. In this stage canvasser presents a detailed and more general benefits arising from the use of product. Canvasser first try to attract attention to the customer, then his interest, arousing desire for product and finally persuade him to purchase. During the product presentation of the prospective buyer is encouraged to touch and try the product (if possible).

There are three types of presentation: prepared, oriented to the needs of the buyer and formulated, which is a combination of the first and the second type.

  • Execution of presentation, creating interest, answering to the objections, fighting off allegations and stimulating desire.

An important role in this stage play a canvasser. He needs to properly present product, he should not only convincingly speak, but he should listen carefully and watch the reactions of the potential customer. During the presentation between canvasser and the buyer, customer often discuss, when he is not convinced to what is offered to him. Canvasser should skilfully overcome the objections raised by the customer, respect his opinion and get his feedback.

  • Closing the sales, that is, persuading customer to make an order. After discussions and presentation follows the time to complete the transaction. This stage ends up with a purchase - canvasser should pick up and interpret the signals sent from the customer indicating his willingness to termination of and finalize the sale.
  • Checking progress of the order. Canvasser controls the process of the contract fulfilment. He checks compliance of shipped product with the order, and ensures the timely delivery.
  • Following the sale, after the transaction. Last stage of canvassing involves various after sales processes. After the transaction, canvasser maintains the conviction of the buyer, that he has made a good decision.

Canvassing team management

Canvassing (or so called personal seeling) involves managing of the work of canvassers (salesmen) visiting or calling potential customers. Cooperation between canvassers and coordination of their work is the responsibility of the management of the sales department of the company. Managing the sales process in which salesmen spend most of their time in the field is difficult or even impossible, so managers give them large margin of freedom.

Before managers create the organizational structure they should specify the strategic objectives of sales, customer categories and frequency of meetings and tasks of sales team. Equally important is the assumption that the planned structure is specific for sales force and is not based on the existing structure of the company.

Canvassing network preparation

Creating a network of canvassers, management should take into account not only the scope of responsibilities of workers and company policy, but a number of other things, such as:

  • specialization:
    • According to the geographical criterion,
    • According to kinds of goods,
    • According to market segments - business division,
  • the number of intermediaries between the salesman and the leadership.

Canvassers control system

  • when costs of canvassing is covered by company, there is a need for frequent and accurate control as it can lead to the escalation of expenditure
  • when costs of canvassing are included in their commission, the problem of expenses escalation rarely occurs, because salesmen take care of their reduction..

Subject to control are not only the costs, but also the plan of action. Canvassers are required by management to deliver reports, about each journey or periodic. It is also necessary to keep in touch with canvassers to discuss the issues raised in the reports, it increase the employee's sense of the importance and has positive impact on the formation and maintenance of team morale.