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What is Cold Canvassing?

Cold canvassing is a sales tactic where a sales person cold calls across a territory or list of target prospects with the primary goal of collecting information. Of course the investment of effort and time is set into motion with the ultimate goal of generating leads and increasing sales, but that larger goal is put on hold and the focus is primarily put on gathering details in order to separate the suspects from the prospects.

There are some great benefits to shifting from selling and move more toward canvassing.

Trigger Less Guardedness

When you cold call a prospect, they will answer the phone with their guard at a medium level. They do this when they answer a call from someone they do not know as they are trying to protect themselves while they figure out who you are and what you want. And everything that you do and sayduring a cold call will either make the prospect’s guardedness increase or decrease.

The great thing about cold canvassing is that it is somewhat of an indirect approach. You are not directly calling to sell something as you are more so calling to collect information. Of course, your ultimate goal is to sell something and the prospect may know that, but when you present yourself as just trying to gather information in place of trying to sell something, you can stand to decrease the prospect’s guard and this can help to improve your ability to establish cold calls.

Reduce Cold Call Anxiety

It can be very common for sales professionals to experience some amount of cold call anxiety when it is time to make cold calls. Another benefit of cold canvassing is that it can help to decrease any lingering anxiety.

One of the reasons that anxiety can build is that in some ways, there is potential for a slight conflict when making a cold call when the primary goal is to try to generate a lead. You are trying to sell something and the prospect does not want to be sold to so in many cases, you can start out on a different page from the prospect and you have to work to bridge that gap.

When canvassing, the gap is not as large as you are not trying to sell anything as your primary goal is to just gather some quick details. And the prospect may have a firm stance on not buying anything, but they may not have as firm of a stance on not sharing any information. As result, it is an easier call to make and this can help to decrease any cold call anxiety that may exist.


Collect Valuable Information

One of the keys to success in selling is being able to gather information from the prospects. When you cold call to try to generate leads without collecting information first, you might be trying to sell to prospects that are not qualified and you might not have the right messaging or strategy in place.

When you perform cold canvassing first, you collect valuable information and this can help you to make sure you are selling to the right prospects and that your approach and messaging is tight.


Launch Pad Solutions provides web-based sales training helping sales pros to incorporate cold canvassing into their strategy.

This article was published on Friday 06 July, 2012.
Back to main topic: Sales Prospecting
Sales Prospecting is More Than Cold Calling
How to Prospect for Clients
Building a Prospect List to Improve Sales Prospecting
Three Steps for How to Develop Prospect Leads
Three Steps for How to Find Prospects
How to Win More Business
How to Improve Telephone Sales Calls
Benefits of Using a Prospecting Guide
How to Increase Your Sales
Sales Strategy for Leaving a Voicemail
Building Your Cold Call Email Strategy
Get to the Decision Maker for Sales Maximization
Improve Over the Phone Sales
Keys to Powerful Sales Messages

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