In this article, we will review some common best practices for canvassing. Canvassing and face to face contact have proven to be the most effective way to engage people in campaigns. You'll find that most skills in good communication apply.
1) Track your conversations and doors you've knocked.
2) Have a goal and know your contact rates. In an average neighborhood, you should be able to knock on 20 doors/hour, and contact about 6 people/hour. Rates will vary depending on your contact list and area so adjust accordingly.
3) Know your best times. Early weekday evenings tend to be the best time to contact people at their homes. Canvassing typically does not happen before 9am or after 9pm.
This is arguably the most important skill in canvassing. People are more likely to engage in conversation with someone that is friendly/approachable, and also enthusiastic about their message.
Stay on message but speak from the heart
Campaigns will typically have a standard script for canvassers to learn. This should be used as a guide so that canvassers stay on message and speak succinctly with confidence and knowledge. Once you know what to say, you're able to focus on how to deliver the message.
Don't rush and listen
Speaking at a steady pace allows you to deliver your message clearly and confidently, and makes the interaction more conversational.
Nonverbal communication is important
Use your body language to demonstrate friendliness, and confidence. Stand up straight and keep eye contact. We recommend keeping your Organizer mobile device or other materials at your side and not in front of you to create less distractions. Dress presentably with a campaign shirt or identifying name tag.
Canvassing is a skill so take time to practice.