If you’ve ever been heard me speak, you’ve heard me say:
You’re in Sales, get over it.
I’ve made a commitment to help more organizations and development professional embrace SALES.
In ALL of our work with clients, speaking, training, etc. this part of our message is always the same:
NOTHING HAPPENS UNLESS YOU’RE OUT SELLING – YOUR VISION. YOUR IMPACT. YOUR MESSAGE. YOUR IDEAS. YOUR RETURN ON INVESTMENT.
We have worked with some really impactful organizations that, like many of you, came late to the idea that:
“God gives every bird food. He just doesn’t throw it into the nest!”
All of you are deeply committed to your CAUSE and your ORGANIZATION.
Yet, none of you have been ‘TRAINED IN SALES!’
(You’re not alone. Even the Nation’s business schools provide no SALES TRAINING. Yet, in this ‘FOR PROFIT WORLD,’ SALES drives [almost] every company. Without it, all products and services remain ‘on the shelf.’)
I’ve spent my whole adult life in SALES, much of it selling ‘INTANGIBLES’ (large gifts/commitments for great causes and cases).
We are often with some amazing people who are changing the world, but don’t like the idea of “sales.” Nick quotes a great line from an author named Bob Burg that works really, really well for these people.
Burg says, “Selling – at its core – is not a business transaction. It is first and foremost the forging of a human connection.”
We are out ‘PRACTICING’ forging human connections every day.
Here are three really big things that may help you on your next VISIT/’SALES CALL:’
- SHARE THE STORY ➡ PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY
- Write this on a little card.
- Look at this every time you go to visit/meet with a Qualified Prospect or Potential Investor.
Where’s the best place to find out ANYTHING you want to know about your INVESTOR/PROSPECT??? FROM THEM! Remember: SELLING IS NOT TELLING! ASK QUESTIONS. More importantly, LISTEN TO ANSWERS!
Here are three great questions to help you with your DISCOVERY.
- WHY are you engaged/involved with us?
- Which of these three things (buckets) is most important to you?
- Can you help us Fund this Vision?
2. SHARE THE STORY ➡ PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY.
SHARE THE STORY is exactly that. SHARE. THE. STORY. Everybody in the organization can share THEIR ‘story.’ You must also be able to capture the ‘STORY’ of your organization, your cause or your vision.
Then, PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY. This is NOT about ASKING PEOPLE FOR MONEY!!!
- It’s about PRESENTING THE OPPORTUNITY for them to make an IMPACT!
- To move from SUCCESS TO SIGNIFICANCE!
- To SAVE LIVES. To CHANGE LIVES. To CHANGE THE WORLD!
Special Note: Ask your Board Members or Volunteer Leaders whether they’d rather go out and ‘ASK THEIR FRIENDS FOR MONEY’ …or SHARE THE STORY and PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY.
First, this is about being YOURSELF! If you just started with the organization, say so; and then explain why you made that decision. If you spent 10 or 15 years working with your organization, explain WHY you devoted that kind of commitment to this cause. Additionally, AUTHENTICITY is about total candor. Sometimes even BRUTAL HONESTY. (“You’re one of our top investors. You helped us build this plan and we know you want to see it succeed. Can you take the LEAD?”) A great line that is about as AUTHENTIC as you can get. “I have one goal with you today: to have your jaw drop at the unbelievable impact that this organization is having on children. That’s it.”
For those of you out VISITING and PRESENTING … I hope you can use these simple but powerful reminders.
For the rest of you …
Get out of the office. (GO PRESENT OPPORTUNITIES.)
Stop doing research. (DO DISCOVERY … ON THE VISIT.)
Stop doing proposals and grant writing. (GO SHARE THE STORY AND PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY.)