I feel like I am in confession, forgive me blog audience it has been 2 weeks since my last confession.  But we have had Andra and the grandkids here and Mason dominated the computer, and we have played games in the evening and….. well I know there is no excuse so I will do 3 hail marys.

Pat and I went out again tonight for our door to door canvassing for funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.  I now have respect for the poor 7th day adventists and the Jehova Witnesses that have to do this all the time.  If you cannot handle rejection, you will have a problem with door to door canvassing regardless of the subject. 

Many years ago I took training in what was known as Cold Call selling.  Basically the equivalent of door to door selling only in my businesses it was cold calling on possible commercial accounts.  In my personal selling carreer this was never needed but when I was a Sales Manager I would take my junior sales people out in their territories and practice cold calls.  There were some techniques that I learned in my training that still work today. 

In those days as a manager the cold calls were more an exercise in training and not important in actual results.  I had salesmen that had $50 million dollar accounts so not gaining a $1000 account on a cold call was not that big a deal.  For my junior sales people (I had both male and female reps over the years) it was probably more traumatic. 

I did have some equivalent to cold calls on major car companies over the last 10 years but they were meetings that had been scheduled by others and with the only expectation of getting our company name across and no expectation of getting a sale, so no sense of failure.

Now, as I said, we are going door to door for funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.  Last year I was disappointed by the number of people that did not pay anything and did not really enjoy the experience.   In other words I was upset by what I thought was failure to sell although we did achieve more donations than our predecessor.

This year we are taking a different attitude.  As we go door to door we are trying to make the experience one of meeting the people regardless of donations. I am using the old techniques of  trying to connect with something that you see immediately when you meet.  A feature in the yard, a picture on the wall, the Royal Wedding just something to get past the cold call.  Another key technique is to take a step backward after introducing yourself to be less intimidating (it works)

Big difference between my old sales calls and these is that Pat is so organized she has every address from last year and the results from our calls last year.  I could only have hoped that one of my reps were this well prepared. 

We still get 2 out of 3 houses that give a rude “no” or “I gave at the office” but the other third has turned into nice chats with nice people.  Taking longer to do our territory, but the evenings out are fun and interesting.  Like the days when I was taking junior reps out on training, it really does not matter if we make a sale or not it is just the experience and apparently I have a skill in gab and Pat follows on in the conversations just as if we are at a cocktail party.  Still I think this year we will get more money than we collected last year.