7 Best Practices for Successful Sales Canvassing

With so many ways to reach customers remotely, door-to-door canvassing seems outdated and inefficient. However, effective sales canvassing is still widely used in sales today and is a tremendous way to comprehensively manage sales territory, get new leads, and hone in on your sales skills such as pitching, communication, and following up. 

Sales canvassing can be daunting without proper guidance, but with these tips for canvassing, you’ll know how to canvass like a pro and set yourself up for success in no time.

Sales Canvassing
7 Best Practices for Successful Sales Canvassing

What is Sales Canvassing?

You might be wondering, what is sales canvassing, and how is business canvassing different from political canvassing.

Similarly to campaign canvassing, sales canvassing involves initiating a conversation with a prospect or lead without a set meeting or appointment. 

Using different methods of sales canvassing helps you target and connect with various prospects. Using strategic and researched lists of individuals and businesses will help you find more people who can benefit from your product or service.

What is Sales Canvassing

The Different Types of Canvassing

While canvassing is usually thought of as being done door-to-door, it can also be done in the form of a cold phone call, mail/email, and even through networking. 

Before we can dive into how to canvass, let's explore these different mediums that can be used to canvass in more detail so that you can choose the right way for yourself. 

The Different Types of Canvassing

Cold Call Canvassing

Cold calls are a tale old as time. We have all at one point or another done them or at least heard of them. 

When canvassing through cold calls, a salesperson will call prospects after obtaining their phone numbers. These calls are unsolicited, meaning the salesperson will call their prospects without any prior agreed-upon time or arrangement. Cold calls can sometimes be tricky as you may not be able to catch someone at a good time, or at all. 

However, when done effectively, they are a great effort to drive and direct leads, sales, and even develop relationships

Cold calls are often aimed to get the prospect not to buy your products or services, but to agree to a face-to-face meeting to further discuss their needs and your products or services. 

Remember that cold-calling is an art, and pay attention to how you present yourself to keep your prospects interested. 

In-Person and Door-to-Door Canvassing

Door-to-door canvassing, or as we call it now, in-person canvassing, is another traditional method of sales canvassing. A few examples of this type of canvassing are girl scouts selling cookies, political volunteers encouraging you to vote for their candidate, or even religious leaders encouraging people to join their worship services.

While COVID-19 has put many door-to-door canvassing strategies on hold or dwindled them, it’s still an effective way to canvass

When doing door-to-door canvassing, you are visiting households or businesses of prospects that you believe would benefit from using your products or services. Similarly to cold calls, a door-to-door canvasser will canvass without a pre-determined meeting time and prospects have not requested any information or meeting from you. However, unlike a cold call, the added in-person element can boost your strategy as you can reach people in person and have more opportunities to connect with them.

Badger Maps is a great prospecting tool for anyone looking to do door-to-door canvassing. 

Badger's Lead Generation tool enables canvassers to effortlessly discover potential clients based on their industry and easily access their location and contact details. This makes finding the ideal prospects easier than ever.

Email and Mail Canvassing

Email and mail canvassing are more canvassing techniques that people can utilize to help them reach more prospects. While not as direct as the cold call or in-person methods, your prospects are still new prospects who are receiving your sales pitch or offer for the first time. 

Sales canvassing through email and mail involves the salesperson sending a written sales offer to prospects by email or mail. These addresses can be sourced through a convenient email finder. Many social networks similar to LinkedIn provide the capability for email sourcing and salespeople can find prospect emails through a LinkedIn email finder.

Email and mail canvassing is a great strategy as it allows the prospect to be able to take a look at your product or service and make their own assessment before making contact with you. This eliminates the pressure of making an on-the-spot decision, as well as it allows the prospect to feel more in control of the communication.

An example of this kind of canvassing is local restaurants and shops sending mailers with deals and discounts.

For tips on how to write the perfect sales email that gets responses, check out this helpful guide.


Networking is another form of direct sales canvassing, however, it can either have a face-to-face or an online connection with prospects through either events or using platforms such as LinkedIn

Networking more often typically occurs at events such as expositions, conferences, or festivals. Salespeople attend networking events because they know their prospective customers will also be at these events. 

For example, a wine company can attend a food and wine festival because they know that people will be wanting to purchase wine. Or farmers will attend farmers’ markets as they know people will be looking to find locally grown and harvested foods. Similar to the cold call, networking doesn’t always involve closing a deal then and there. 

Networking, used in tandem with sales prospecting tools, can help you get further meetings with potential customers and turn them into actual customers. Typically an exchange of business cards, phone numbers, and/or emails takes place to further the relationship before the full sales pitch.

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Benefits of Canvassing

Sales canvassing can be daunting for many, as it can sometimes force you out of your comfort zone and even result in rejection, but the benefits of being a sales canvasser are greater than the rejection or discomfort a salesperson might experience.

Sales canvassing greatly benefits businesses. During sales slumps or even economic hardships, canvassing can be just what many need to help you get those sales when leads are running dry. 

Canvassing can also prove to be economical for businesses, as it typically doesn’t require much extra money or time to hire people, as most businesses use their existing sales departments, such as sales managers and salespeople, to participate in business canvassing. In addition to this, marketing teams can also prove effective canvassers for creating written and/or visual canvassing materials. 

Canvassing also provides the opportunity for salespeople to learn and hone in on valuable skills that will help them in all aspects of sales. Some of these skills include improving communication with customers, learning how to create effective sales pitches and presentations, learning in-depth about the company’s products and services, and even learning how to handle rejection better. 

Canvassing in general has never been easier with the help of Badger Maps. With its sales territory management feature, you don’t have to worry about accidentally canvassing in a fellow rep’s territory. Additionally, you get access to useful features to generate leads, optimized routes, CRM integration, follow-up reminders, and more. 

7 Best Practices for Canvassing

1. Set Goals for Yourself

Reaching out to people can be difficult, so make sure you understand why you’re contacting them in the first place and set goals for yourself. Maybe your business hopes to grow its client list by 5% each quarter, or maybe you work for a new company looking to simply attract first-time customers.

It’s also essential for you to set daily goals within those overarching goals. For example, maybe you have a goal to call 500 people by the end of the workweek and obtain contact information from 25% of those calls. So your daily goal would be to receive contact information from about 25 people–this makes the goal seem more manageable and realistic. 

Whatever your goals are, reasoning is important, and identifying a purpose at the beginning can be extremely helpful, especially when creating your sales pitch.

Use our guide to learn how to create a 30-60-90 day territory plan to scale your new territory without missing a single step.

2. Identify Target Prospects

To increase your chances of converting prospects into leads during canvassing, it is crucial to begin by understanding your target prospects. Before initiating your canvassing efforts, take the time to identify prospects who would genuinely benefit from your product or service. This strategic approach enables you to target the right audience and maximize the effectiveness of your activities.

Take the time to learn about a prospect’s pain points and interests that can be leveraged to create a more effective sales pitch.

To compile a prospect list effectively, you must have a clear understanding of your customer base. Identifying your target markets and prospects is a critical aspect of sales canvassing. Possessing the necessary insights about your customer base and its characteristics allows you to streamline your efforts toward qualified leads, saving valuable time and resources

One sales tool that can help you identify your prospects is Badger Maps. This app can help you spot your best opportunities quickly by displaying your target prospects on a map. Using Badger Maps’ game-changing colorizing and filtering tools will help you save a lot of time planning your canvassing strategy. 

Badger Maps’ filters are fully customizable, giving you the freedom to visualize accounts based on priority, type, next steps, or any other field that suits your needs.

Ready to hit the road after reviewing your mapped accounts? Simply use the Lasso tool to select the accounts you wish to visit, and all the work will be done for you! You now have an optimized route at your fingertips.

Drive 20% Less. Sell 20% More.

3. Create a Sales Pitch

After you’ve outlined your goals and identified a target market, create a pitch that you’ll use when contacting them. Your pitch should clearly show the prospect why your product or service is perfect for them and how it will meet their needs

Your pitch should also touch on all the elements that will help you reach your goals.

Creating a sales pitch ahead of time can also help you prepare yourself and ease any anxieties you may have from cold calling or knocking on doors. If you’re calling many people within a day, this can also be a time-saving practice that helps you stay focused and organized.

If you’re a sales manager leading a team that often canvasses, consider creating a sales playbook where you share scripts and pitches that salespeople can follow when making calls and visiting businesses.

4. Be Prepared

Stay Nourished and Hydrated

We all know this feeling. It’s been a while since lunch, you are getting kind of cranky, and you are approaching the realm of hangry. If you are on edge or agitated, you will not see positive results, so stock up on produce, protein, and water to stave away starvation.

Effective canvassers care for themselves because they are ambassadors who should be and appear vibrant and healthy. If you need to find a quick bite to eat, you can search for any type of restaurant or cafe and easily add it to your route using Badger Map’s places tool. 

Take Breaks

Canvassing can be a taxing process. The strain of travel and personal contact can negatively impact performance and morale. Taking periodic breaks has been proven to increase overall productivity, so be sure to canvass some park benches or a comfy spot on a lawn. If you’re cold-calling or emailing from your desk, be sure to stand up regularly and stretch or take walks around the office, or even head outside for some fresh air. 

These breaks are a great opportunity to check in with the office, follow up with promising leads, or go over your favorite sales canvassing tips. Anything you do to take a break is a chance to recuperate and prepare yourself to visit or call more prospects.

Use Visual Aids

When employing various canvassing techniques, the utilization of visual aids or social proof can be highly beneficial. For door-to-door or networking sales, incorporating visual aids can effectively showcase your product or service and demonstrate its functionality. Visuals have a captivating quality that can enhance the impact of your sales pitch. On the other hand, when reaching out to consumers through emails or postal mail, including customer testimonials becomes essential. 

Incorporating visual aids can take different forms, such as physical products, samples, illustrations, graphics, or videos. Each of these options offers unique advantages, and through diligent research of your target audience, you can determine which visual approach is most effective in capturing their attention and generating interest.

5. Always Follow-Up

Following up is one of the most important things you can do as a sales professional if you want to close more deals.

In fact, 80% of deals require 5 follow-ups to close. The bottom line? If you’re not following up, you’re losing deals.

This is because most prospects are hesitant when talking to salespeople and tend to be naturally resistant. But with a little persistence, the extra effort will pay off. One extra contact could make the difference between you crushing your quota or having your quota crush you.

There is so much power in a follow-up. 

So, it’s important to know when and how to follow up.

The timing of the follow-up is crucial if you want to make a big impact. Don’t let the prospect have a chance to forget— follow up right after your first meeting or call to keep the information fresh. The first follow-up can be as simple as an email, phone call, text, or invitation. The medium you use is up to you.

Leveraging technology is a great way to stay on top of your follow-ups and make sure you never miss an opportunity simply because you forgot to contact a prospect.

Using technology to keep track of follow-ups will work in your favor. Looking for a software that allows you to prioritize accounts, keep personalized notes on each prospect, and pick a date for the next follow-up is a great place to start. You’ll never miss another opportunity to follow up and seal another deal.

The great news? Badger Maps integrates with most major CRMs and its follow-up feature allows you to work straight from the app, instead of jumping back and forth between several different apps. Make following up and tracking prospects hassle-free with Badger Maps.

Successful business canvassing is easier than ever with a software that optimizes important areas of your everyday life as a salesperson. 


“CRM usage increased more than 50% once our sales team adopted Badger”

Ken Buck

Regional Sales Manager, Danaher

6. Be Understanding

This might be hard to believe, but not everyone is going to love hearing from a stranger knocking on their door, calling their phone, or even sending them emails. As a canvasser, your job involves interrupting people’s days, something that can lead to annoyance and frustration. 

Keep it short and sweet, and hit the road if you are not welcome. Canvassing can teach you a ton about what works in sales. Be sure to use every success, and more importantly, every failure as a building block. Mistakes are important, but not if you continue to make them. These sales canvassing tips are a great start, but personal experience is the only way to hone in on exactly what works for you.

7. Don’t Get Discouraged

Don’t let rejection ruin your entire day. You shouldn’t expect to win everyone over immediately. 

Acquiring prospects can be challenging and it demands persistence, creativity, and unwavering determination. The temptation to give up may come, as the process is far from easy. But the most important thing to remember is persistence. It may seem nice to quit, but when there is more to sell, never give up.

Keep your pitch concise with valuable points only and treat prospects as genuine individuals rather than mere sales targets, as it builds trust and demonstrates your intention to assist. Cultivating relationships grounded in authenticity and empathy will bring you success in the long run.

Additionally, worry and anxiety obstruct a lot of sales, so don’t stress too much about the “nos.” Best of all, you can use each “no” as another reason to get more “yeses.” 

As a strategy for increasing your conversion rate, identifying and overcoming objections is a great path to success. 

Remember, stick to your plan and stay optimistic and you will see success in no time!

FAQ section

1. What does canvassing mean in selling?

Canvassing in sales means contacting targeted prospects through research and communicating with them through cold calling, in person and door-to-door, email and mail, or networking without an arranged meeting and pitching your product or service to them to buy.

2. What is the purpose of canvassing?

Canvassing is used to tap into new prospects and initiate contact so that they know about your product or service and are more likely to consider your business as a solution.

3. Does canvassing work for sales?

Sales canvassing does work, as it is a way for businesses to find new prospects, gain new customers, and sell more. Canvassing also works, as even if you cannot successfully make a sale, the canvasser develops various skills including polishing their pitches, learning more about their product or service, and gaining confidence in their communication and presentation skills.

4. What is the method of canvassing?

Canvassing has multiple methods: cold calling, in-person and door-to-door, email and mail, or networking canvassing. The method you use depends on what works best for you and your business and the amount of time you have available, as email and mail, and cold calling can be done in between existing business meetings and at your desk, meanwhile, other methods require you heading out of you’re office. 

5. How do you succeed in canvassing?

Succeeding in sales canvassing is all about setting goals for yourself, identifying who your target prospects are, creating a sales pitch, being prepared, always following up, being understanding, and staying determined when the going gets tough. Stick to these best practices and you’ll be successful in any type of canvassing scenario.

6. Do canvassers make good money?

Sales canvassing is no different than sales. There are plenty of opportunities to close deals and make good money, but you have to stay determined and prepared. How much you can make? Well, that depends on how your company pays its salespeople. It’ll be useful to you to review your compensation on your own or with a manager or HR member before beginning anything if you’re unsure. But remember, sales is not always about the money, it’s about helping people find the right solution for them. 


Sales canvassing plays a vital role in the growth of businesses. It offers an extensive pool of potential customers, allowing companies to expand their customer base by reaching out to and establishing relationships with new prospects. 

Apart from benefiting the business itself, salespeople who engage in canvassing gain valuable experience and develop and refine their sales skills which can help them become top performers.

Following canvassing techniques like these will help you tune and adjust your canvassing strategy so that you can be confident you’ll always be at your best.

There are endless opportunities in each neighborhood, you just have to go out there and get canvassing! 

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