The purpose of this blog is to share that there are many ways that sales and fundraising mirror each other. Both professions are ultimately about relationships and have many tasks that support the relationship building process. As a result, people have developed tips and techniques (tools) to allow more time for two key things: 1) the relationship; and 2) the YOU that is part of said relationship.

These tips and techniques require a little time, investment, and practice. If you do a reasonable amount of investment, 2 things should happen – 1) You will have more time, making you a stronger part of the relationship. Imagine having an extra hour to create new memories, take a cooking class, or try a new restaurant. Next, you will be more confident and professional in front of donors and peers. My Mom taught me, “presentation is everything” When you have a uniformed approach, not searching for the words or questions, and not filling in with “umms” you are more confident and fun. People appreciate that, and may even show it with an extra digit.

So here they are

Elevator Speech – People in sales use this all the time. So do the really good fundraisers. It is a simple format. Four (4) sentences: 2 about the organization, 2 about you. Always end with the 2 about you, because you want them to remember you when you call. You HAVE to practice it. You want it to sound unrehearsed. This was the best one I ever gave.

I am with Unifirst, a textile company. If you wear it, walk on it, or wipe with it, we offer it. I am the sales manager, Patrick Belcher. My job is to motivate my team to success.

PowerPoint – It is a tool of the trade. I witnessed a fundraiser spend hours putting together new PP presentations before each time she went out. PP has a great feature called the custom show. Develop a PP presentation with a deck of 50 or 60 slides. Layout the same information in different ways. Then, using the custom show feature, organize the 12-18 you need for a specific presentation. Don’t forget to put it on a thumb drive or a common drive so the team can use it and add to it. Re-do once a year.

Have a pool of questions – At your next meeting, have your team mates write out their top 4 questions they use with a donor. Chances are high that there will be at least 2 in everyone’s list that are unique. Put them together, type them up, and SHARE them. Especially with the new team members who are trying to understand how to engage people with your organization differently from their previous job.

I hope these give you an AHA! moment.

Is your toolbox UNIQUE or FUNCTIONAL!
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