When I began my career in fundraising, I was excited because I had this huge “book of business”. I had several contacts that I was going to invite to help me help our community. Then I participated in my first team meeting where I was excited to share my book of business and the asset it was going to be (or so I thought), and one by one, I heard, “that’s my donor!”. Quickly I learned that I should check the database in SalesForce before I commented further.
After gathering my deflated ego, I had an epiphany. We don’t make commission on donations, do we? NO! Then when I researched the names I had mentioned. Only half had actually donated in the past year. As I attempted to wrap my head around this competitive and possessive nature, I thought about a success story I had as a sales manager: Terry and Christine.
In the YOUR PROCESS post, I talked about how there were several steps to the sales process. A professional salesperson may master all the steps of the sales process, but most salespeople find they excel with certain steps. Terry and Christine certainly did. Terry was exceptional at the investigation. Always addressing every potential need and getting all necessary documentation. Christine was exceptional at using impact statements to build value, and was able to bottom-line it using the client’s words. They each presented clear expectations of what would happen next to prevent client misconceptions or misunderstandings. Together, they MAXIMIZED their success.
Terry and Christine did not go on every client call together. They were each other’s coach and cheerleader. This began because they were paired in role-play and peer training based on their complimentary strengths. My regional managers were not happy about the way they would regularly work together, because sales reps should be competitive, not collaborative. Similar to the fundraisers I started with. Terry and Christine realized that they weren’t competing with each other, they were competing to improve their lifestyle. In addition, working together made their jobs fun and that was apparent to clients. Clients like to work with “FUN” people.
Fundraisers are competing to achieve their mission and to change lives. Not to mention, with the challenges we witness throughout our organizations, we need to have fun. Find your process, find your strengths, and maximize your success!
Next, how donors are motivated.