Canvasser Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Canvasser, or Poller, is responsible for visiting residential neighborhoods or public areas to gather information about the public’s perception of a topic. Their duties include passing out fliers, asking members of the public to fill out surveys or provide signatures and persuading people to adapt their perspective.

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Canvasser duties and responsibilities

A successful Canvasser needs to present his/her employer’s products, services or ideas to the widest number of people. This requires excellent communication skills, customer service and marketing knowledge. They also need to love traveling, have an in-depth knowledge of the offer and be persuasive. 

Here are examples of a Canvasser’s duties: 

  • Memorize and recite sales scripts and statements prepared and provided by the employer
  • Go door-to-door to introduce the employer’s offers to potential and existing customers and make cold calls to follow-up, make pitches and process orders
  • Demonstrate a vast knowledge of the product, service or policies being canvassed to convince people to buy the proposals
  • Get information, such as contact details and signatures, from potential leads and clients for follow-up
  • Confidently answer questions and rebuff excuses to meet objectives
  • Recruit, train, onboard and mentor new Canvassers
  • Attend industry events and exhibitions including fairs, rallies and shows
  • Consistently meet daily and weekly quotas for client information and signature acquisition 

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Canvasser Job Description Examples

What does a Canvasser do?

Canvassers typically work for political campaigns to gauge the public’s perception of a Politician. They can also work for construction companies or marketing firms to spread awareness about a public works project or product. They visit neighborhoods, public parks or shopping malls and ask members of the public to share their opinion or sign petitions. Their job is to gather information by making phone calls and going door-to-door on behalf of their employer. They may also be responsible for asking people for donations if they work on a political campaign.

Canvasser skills and qualifications

The best canvassers have excellent interpersonal skills and can deliver information persuasively. They have impeccable marketing experience and are good at starting and maintaining meaningful conversations with strangers. 

Here are important skills and qualifications to look for in a Canvasser:

  • High school diploma or equivalent 
  • Excellent communication skills including eloquence, active listening and interpersonal skills 
  • Sales experience, including the ability to learn about multiple products and sell without being aggressive
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and be able to travel extensively
  • Ability to work within a team and independently based on employer requirements
  • Good time management skills to fulfill quotas within a specific period
  • Must have physical stamina to stand and walk for long periods, meeting and talking to people 

Canvasser salary expectation

A Canvasser earns an average salary of $17.12 per hour. Canvassers work during the weekdays and on weekends depending on the employer. They may also have to work during holidays, especially if the position relates to a political event or charity. Many Canvassers do not earn employment benefits, but organizations offer bonuses and other incentives if they meet or exceed quotas. 

Canvasser education and training requirements

Most Canvassers require only a high school diploma or its equivalent to get employment. Candidates must have a valid driver’s license and should be at least 18 years of age. Except for political Canvassers, who must be registered voters, most candidates require no previous experience. 

The employer will provide a rigorous, but short-term, on the job training delivered by an experienced Canvasser to help new employees achieve objectives and meet quotas. The training can last up to three weeks and teaches sales techniques such as the use of scripts, persuasion and communication skills. 

Canvasser experience requirements

Canvassers must be able to drive, walk and stand for long periods and routinely talk to people about their products, services or ideas. They require a working knowledge of GPS software, maps and other navigational tools. 

A successful Canvasser must be able to use paper tools such as coupons, flyers and clipboards. They will have a good memory, create sales scripts and be adept at persuading people with their personality.

Job description samples for similar positions

Here are job description samples for Canvasser related positions:

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Frequently asked questions about Canvassers

 

What makes a good Canvasser?

A good Canvasser is someone who has a passion for the cause they work for. They have a personable nature that allows them to connect with members of the public and encourages members of the public to listen to what they have to say. They also enjoy being physically active as their job requires them to stand and walk for multiple hours at a time. Further, a good Canvasser remains courteous and positive, even when they experience negative interactions with the public.

 

What are the daily duties of a Canvasser?

On a typical day, a Canvasser starts by participating in one or more meetings about the goals for the day, tasks to complete and assignment locations. They work in groups or by themselves, walking through residential neighborhoods to leave flyers and talk with residents. They return to their employer’s office once they achieve they meet or exceed their quota. Canvassers complete cold calls in the office to help obtain further information from constituents. They also enter data into spreadsheets for their employer to use in future research.

 

What should you look for on a Canvasser resume?

When reviewing resumes for a Canvasser position, you should look at a candidate’s previous work experience and relevant qualities to determine if they’re suitable for the job. For example, a resume that highlights a candidate’s previous work experience as a Sales Representative, Salesperson or Brand Ambassador can indicate that they have the right background to engage with the public and persuade them to support a project or cause. It also means that they have a strong personality that enables them to keep going, even after they face rejection.

 

Who does a Canvasser report to?

Canvassers typically report to Canvassing Managers. These professionals work as part of political campaigns and corporations to oversee canvassing initiatives. Canvassing Managers help train Canvassers by providing them with sales tactics and scripts to use. They also assign Canvassers to residential areas or public places and hold them accountable for meeting particular quotas. These may include reaching a certain number of signatures, donations or sales.

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