One of the most challenging activities as a Sales Manager, was getting new team members to buy into a process. It was the difference between having a work/ life balance and getting burnt out. It was the difference for a lot of things in the sales world: trips, bonuses, enjoying your job. In my last post, “Sales with a purpose”, I alluded that the really great fundraisers “follow a process”. When I observed them, it was the difference between the fundraisers who easily got 4 and 5 figure donations and those worked hard to get several $500 donations.
Why a process? It is professional, orderly, and helps you to recognize challenges and develop strategies. Just like you don’t want a doctor to cut you then run test to see what is wrong, you have to do certain steps before you ask for money. Now for your team, it may be a little different, but most processes involve these steps. If you evaluate yourself, I am sure you will find you already do something similar:
- Intro/ Invitation – Is there an interest or connection
- Needs analysis/ Investigation – What is the connection with the mission; person; personal & philanthropic goals
- Impact statements/ Cultivation – Sharing of testimonials, using statements from investigation to address impact of donors dollars
- Trial Close/ Proposal – Permission to make a professional request for the RIGHT amount, setting expectations for all parties
- Close/ Ask – The commitment and necessary paperwork
- Delivery/ Recognition – as stated in the communicated expectations
- Referral & Follow-up – THE MOST IMPORTANT! You have a donor, and a commitment, and someone who BELIEVES in your organization. Don’t forget about them!
The fundraisers who worked really hard and got a lot of 3 figure donations were going from Intro to Trial Close at the first meeting, it was all about the donation. The professional fundraisers I saw had a prepared response, when someone asked, “Tell me what you do”. At the first donor meeting, they also had a toolbox of questions, and another toolbox for the donors with which they had a relationship.
Find your process. Chances are you will find you are stronger in some steps. In my next post, I will discuss 2 sales reps that maximized each other’s strengths.