In the last two articles and videos in this series of three on canvassing I explained the need to canvass, and how to open the conversation. We have moved on from those who are Against and identified the ‘Do Not Votes’ and ‘Undecideds’. But how do we deal with Supporters or strong possibles, and convert those that can and will, into helpers in some way, shape or form?
It might seem blindingly obvious, but the simple thing is to ask nicely. It amazes me how people forget to ask when they come across a really keen supporter, but then I have sometimes forgotten myself.
So we have their vote, but for those who could and would, how to convert them into helpers.
The first rule is make sure you are not asking too much. People are so busy these days, so there is understandably a reluctance to get involved in new commitments. So make it clear it is a non-onerous task – delivery of leaflets to say 100 or so houses in their neighbourhood once or twice a year and once or twice in an election.
The second rule is explain the need. Even if you have been involved in UKIP for years, to most people UKIP is a new popular phenomena – in effect a new political party, and we are building virtually from scratch, so say that.
Explain we are getting organised in this area ready for the coming elections. To get our message across we need a large number of people each to do a small amount of help. That way it is sustainable. We have divided the area into blocks of about 100-150 houses. Would you be prepared to help us with the delivery of literature to a few houses in this area, once or twice between now and the election and again once or twice in the election?
As long as you keep what you are asking down to a non-onerous level, some (but not all) supporters will help. Remember to take all their contact details including telephone and email.
If the property is a suitable site for a poster say something along the likes of: “I see you have a great site on this road – would you be prepared to allow us to display a poster here at election time?” Confirm whether it will be a window poster, a board in the garden or fence, or both.
For those who are unable or are disinclined to help, then the other way they can assist with a small donation or by joining UKIP. Have membership forms to dish out (there are also slips on most of the leaflets). But leaflets and election campaigns all cost money. We don’t get money from Trade Unions, Big Business or Russian Oligarchs; we rely on members and supporters for this.
Finally, if you are a supporter with just a little time on your hands please E-Mail your local UKIP branch and say that you would be happy to deliver about 100 leaflets twice a year or so in your surrounding area.
Good luck with your canvassing and remember, behind every door is a potential UKIP voter.
Other videos in this series: