In my own experience as a canvasser I learned that when conducting a business where the sales amount to five dollars or over (as, for instance, while fitting and taking orders for spectacles and eyeglasses), it was an excellent idea to hire some good, straight, honorable, up right man in the community,-of no less than 50 or 60 years of age, and whose face was thoroughly familiar to everyone in the this indicate,-to accompany me from house to house, and introduce me to the people.
An old soldier, who, perhaps, was on the pension list and who had no business of importance, would jump at the chance to take a job of this sort for a few days, at from $1.50 to $2.00 per day and board himself.
About the first things such a man is interested in is to learn, as soon as possible, whether or not his employer is conducting a square, straight business; and as soon as convinced that such is the case there will be nothing that will take more delight in them to make this fact known to every household.
By this means the canvasser has no trouble in gaining access to every residence, and the interested manifested and confidence shown in whatever he has to offer is once noticeable, besides when your man is once interested and perfectly satisfied as to the legitimacy of the work he unconsciously becomes a walking advertiser for the cause.
Evenings, when about town, he is constantly being questioned as to the character and methods of the man whom he is engaged with. By this means scarcely a day will pass that from 1 to 3 desirable customers are not made.
In many instances, especially where I felt that I had secured the services of an extra good man, who was energetic and had considerable influence, I paid him a commission, with a guarantee of a stipulated amount.
If possible to do so I would manage to engage a man who owned the horse and buggy, and after having spent a week or more in town where my work have proven entirely satisfactory, we could work among the farmers with better results than if I had not previously canvassed the town.
Uncle JP is giving you some grand advice about canvassing and about any kind of sales in general. Any salesman, whether he is a traveling one or not, will know that attempting to enter any new region can be very difficult. This is the case, for example, even if you are starting a new store or restaurant in a region where you are not well known.
In this case, uncle JP recommends that you use a local person to boost your sales and to instantly gain great credibility. He recommends that you hire a local person, perhaps someone who is retired but is well known in the community, and to use that person to help you promote your business. Now isn’t this great advice, this is a perfect way to introduce yourself to a community, by using a person who is well known locally and who is well respected.
I would recommend that you find a local seniors Hall or perhaps a seniors club somewhere and find someone who is energetic and wants to do something entertaining and fun. Uncle JP recommends that you make sure that you show the person that you want to hire that your business and your products are good so that this person realizes that you have the best interest of his community in mind and that you have a product or service that the community can benefit from. Once this person is on your side and wants to do a little extra work, you can hire this person at a decent wage to help you canvassed and promote your product in his or her community.
A person like this can be invaluable because he or she is a person that is already known and respected by the community and as such can provide instant credibility for your services or product. Even while this person is not on the clock, they will most likely keep advertising your business because if they are truly enthusiastic about the product that you are selling, they will be eager to spread the word about their fun new job and the interesting new company that they are working for. Treat this person right, and this person will be your greatest asset in this new community.
Uncle JP recommends that you put this person on commission if this person proves to be an exceptionally good promoter. This will add an added incentive to this person’s work and will also give the senior a perhaps much needed extra income. People in their senior years are eager to work and participate in a worthy cause and can be a great asset to you if you allow them to be. They tend to know their community very well and can be very loyal to you if you convince them that you have a worthy product or service.
Uncle JP finally tells you that this is a great way to begin any kind of canvassing or promoting of an even larger area. He recommends that you hire someone who has transportation and can then begin to increase his canvassing area, which should be far more successful because of the fact that he has already created some following in his own neighborhood.