Fund Development

Section Index

  1. You’re in Sales…Get Over It
  2. It’s All About Sales
  3. Sales Attitude
  4. OGs Note: Sales Nuggets from Frank Sullivan
  5. The Most Important Predictor of Sales Success
  6. The Leap to Sales is Improved by Trial, Not Time
  7. Nick’s Note: Marketing v. Sales
  8. To Sell is Human
  9. Download: Book Notes
  10. Nick’s Note: Return on Energy
  11. 9 Guiding Principles for Sales Success
  12. Sales Requires People…Process…Performance
  13. Sales Process (A Visual)
  14. OGs Note: Share the Story. Present the Opportunity.
  15. Nick’s Note: It Takes 15 Visits to Hit Your Selling Stride
  16. Only 9.1% of Sales Meetings Result in a Sale
  17. How to Run a Sales Meeting Using a Sales Dashboard
  18. OGs Note: Sales Requires Measurement
  19. You Get What You Measure
  20. Measuring Outcomes vs. Inputs
  21. Return on Investment, Energy, and Relationships
  22. A Simple Measure: How many one-on-one asks at $1,000+
  23. Introduction
  24. Rules of Engagement
  25. 3 Ideas to Help You Ask
  26. 10 Action Steps to Help You Engage
  27. An Action Plan
  28. Look Back for Feedback
  29. Presentation Framework
  30. Show. Listen. Engage.
  31. Engagement Tool Template
  32. Engagement Tool: Notes and Thoughts
  33. Engagement Tool: Altitude and Notes on How to Use
  34. O.G.’s Notes: The Need to See Prospects
  35. O.G.’s Notes: Learn By Going
  36. Everybody Has a Plan Until First Contact With The Enemy
  37. O.G.’s Notes: 100 Visits in 18 Days
  38. If Not You, Who???
  39. O.G.’s Notes: You Can’t Screw Up, If You Show Up
  40. Raising Money with Martial Arts Wisdom
  41. Stop Trying to Get an Appointment
  42. How to Get a Visit
  43. OGs Note: A Story to Get you Started
  44. The Visit Story
  45. Predisposition
  46. Team Selling
  47. OGs Note: Practice
  48. Phone Tips From a Pro
  49. Perserverence
  50. Voice Mail
  51. Order of Visits
  52. The Controlling Insight – Just Ask
  53. Nick’s Note: Just Ask
  54. Just Ask – Quotes
  55. Just Ask Strategy
  56. Number of Asks: The ONE Lever
  57. Three Reasons Why You Should Probably Ask!
  58. Ask…Listen…Ask…Listen

You’re in Sales…Get Over It

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!”

In ALL of our work with clients, speaking, training, etc. … one 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. Etc., etc., etc.

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 out ‘PRACTICING’ our craft/art every day.

Here are three really big things that may help you on your next VISIT/’SALES CALL:’

  • DISCOVERY
  • SHARE THE STORY PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY
  • AUTHENTICITY

ACTION:

  • Write this on a little card.
  • Look at this every time you go to visit/meet with a Qualified Prospect or Potential Investor.

THE SHORTHAND.

1. DISCOVERY.
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 … 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 PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY

 

3. AUTHENTICITY.
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.)

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It’s All About Sales

I know. It’s a ‘napkin’. It’s a ‘Guiding Principle’. It’s everywhere! But it’s also a big freakin’ lesson: Those who successfully achieve campaign success are driven by SALES.

3 questions to get you going:

  • Have you built a SALES CULTURE??? (Goals, Measurement, Tools, Resources)
  • Who is your SALES MANAGER??? (In Other Words, Who is the Sales Team Leader)
  • Who is on your SALES TEAM??? (Do they know it?)
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Sales Attitude

Think about this absolutely ‘brilliant’ spot-on quote of W. Clement Stone:
“SALES are contingent on the ATTITUDE of the salesman – not the ATTITUDE of the PROSPECT.”
ATTITUDE has everything to do with the way you respond to ‘ISSUES’ … when you sit down to visit with a PROSPECT who:

  • Doesn’t know much about the organization.
  • Doesn’t understand why the organization needs money.
  • Questions if this is the ‘right time’ (economy) to be asking for money.
  • Folds their arms. They start off being totally unengaged. They pre-empt with a
    token gift or a blanket statement that they’re not giving to anyone right now.

IF you let the ATTITUDE of the PROSPECT dictate the flow and the outcome of the visit … you would end up with zero, nada, zilch.

But, when you let YOUR ATTITUDE (belief in the cause … clear understanding of the purpose and priorities … a masterful presentation of the plan) control the visit…
AMAZING THINGS HAPPEN.
W. Clement Stone says it all. (YOUR) ATTITUDE is everything!!!

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OGs Note: Sales Nuggets from Frank Sullivan

These three nuggets come from Frank Sullivan, who was my first mentor and perhaps the best life insurance salesman in the world. A Trustee at Notre Dame and a very good friend, Frank wrote a book in 1970 called THE CRITICAL PATH TO SALES SUCCESS. I’m going to share some wonderful nuggets and gems from Frank’s book and his life.

Sales Nugget 1: Ask Everyone for $1 Million

“It’s easier to sell a $1 Million life insurance policy to a QUALIFIED PROSPECT than it is to sell a $10,000 policy to a relative with no money.”
– Frank Sullivan

One of the things I learned from Frank Sullivan very, very, very early in my development career was that it’s just as easy to sell $1 MILLION life insurance policy to a QUALIFIED PROSPECT … than it is to sell a $10,000 policy to a relative (with no money)!

That didn’t seem like much at the time. Over the years, it’s been HUGE!

There were a number of great tips and ideas Frank gave around this ‘lesson:’

  • Create a PROFILE of what your $1 Million prospect looks like.
  • You’ll never make a $1 Million ‘sale’ unless you ASK for $1 Million!!!
  • You must RATE all of your prospects so you can see who’s at the ‘top.’ (See our MASTER PROSPECT LIST.)

Some years later, while still at Notre Dame, a good friend and one of the most persevering (read ‘stubborn in a good way’) people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with was Tom Pilot. Tom took Frank’s “Million Dollar” philosophy to its highest level.

He simply ASKED (almost) EVERYONE for $1 MILLION. It’s amazing how many people said yes!!!

Sales Nugget 2: The 5 Steps on the ‘Critical Path to Sales Success’

Frank believed that there were five activities that every salesman must perform. In order of importance, they were:

  • ESTABLISH GOALS.
  • GET GOOD NAMES.
  • MAKE THE APPROACH.
  • MAKE THE PRESENTATION.
  • MAKE THE CUSTOMER A CLIENT.

Frank was a master at selling life insurance, which is certainly one of the most difficult
‘intangible product’ sales. (This is much like what we ‘sell’ … when we’re ‘selling’ a
cause … case … vision … impact … or solution.)

Although I have revised my ‘sales system’ many, many times over the years, I can still go back to Frank’s ‘five steps’ and tie much of what I’ve done back to those steps.

How are YOU doing in terms of establishing goals? Getting good names? Making the
approach? Making a presentation? And making the customer a client?

Sales Nugget 3: The Importance of Personal Goals

It may seem a little weird to talk about PERSONAL GOALS when you’re dealing with SALES or SALES GOALS. Frank Sullivan, however, was all about writing out ALL of his goals and plans … personal, financial, business, sales, etc.

Frank was literally the first person in my ‘business life’ (and, actually, one of the very few people) who talked about his personal life and his family and his own goals … as they related to his business and sales goals.

Frank ultimately came down with Alzheimer’s at the end of his life, but, by then, he had impacted so many people and left a huge legacy. These ideas of ‘personal goals’ and ‘family first’ was his GIFT to me. I am forever grateful.

Frank’s the one who first gave me the idea of ‘solo time’ with the kids. I turned it into BIRTHDAY BREAKFAST, where we actually went over their ‘favorite’ books, TV shows, friends, food, etc. … and then did their GOALS for the upcoming year. I tried to capture all of it in my journal/green book.

If you’ve never done ‘GOALS’ with a 3-year-old, you’ve really missed out!

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The Most Important Predictor of Sales Success

Since (as you know so well from reading this) YOU’RE IN SALES! (and, GET OVER IT) … I thought this message from Philip Delves Broughton was very, very interesting. Broughton is the author of THE ART OF THE SALE and writes for Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and others.

He writes that what most companies in sales training programs think really matters (in sales) is wrong.(!) He says that when training sales people, they tend to propose one of two things: A sales process with methods and tricks which can move you from prospecting to closing, or a set of behaviors and character traits supposedly typical of great salespeople and worth mimicking.

He and I both agree that these two things are important; but Broughton says neither approach gets to the most important predictor of sales success:

“If sales people think of what they do as at odds with who they are or what they want to achieve in life, they will fail.”

“If they are comfortable with it, they will thrive.”

“Nothing matters more in sales than how each sales person perceives his or her role,
and how the act of selling protects, inflates or undermines his or her sense of self.”

Here’s his bottom line:

“What enables a sales person to succeed is that they have found a MATCH between who they are and what they are being required to do.”

This is why ‘SELLING’ is so satisfying and so much fun in the FOR IMPACT WORLD!

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The Leap to Sales is Improved by Trial, Not Time

In general, organizations spend way too much TIME prepping for fundraising. We’ve seen organizations take TWO YEARS to create systems, hire the right people, put together plans.

Two years later, they’re ‘ready to start’. In that time they’ve made ZERO visits. As an organization, they’ve built a culture of ‘getting ready’… not making any visits.

Unfortunately, this never translates into action in the sales arena.

Sales is about speed. It’s about being in the field and modifying your way to perfection. It’s about ALWAYS growing/learning/building – as an individual and as an organization. Sales is about relationships. You don’t build relationships by planning. You build and maximize relationships by talking to people. As you COMMIT TO SALES we would urge you to ‘Engage. Then Plan!” in the words of Andy Grove.

Or, it it helps, give yourself TWO WEEKS to simplify your message and clarify your plan. Then start making visits. The only way to better the plan, get better at sales and (through both) raise a lot more money for your impact is through more TRIAL, not more TIME.

It shouldn’t take you two years to build momentum with a sales plan. It should take you 20 visits. Do the 20 visits… THEN build a model around what’s working. Oh, and as a bonus, you’ll actually HAVE FUNDS to help you build your model because you’ve been in the field selling along the way.

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Nick’s Note: Marketing v. Sales

If you’ve seen Tom or I speak … or if you’ve been to a workshop then you’ve probably heard our rant about ‘No More Special Events.’

A bold few always want to challenge this position:

  • “But that’s how we build relationships.”
  • “But that’s how we generate awareness.”

No one ever says, “But that’s our CASH COW!”

The reasons most often heard in defending special events are really tied to MARKETING. Substitute the objections above with, “But that’s how we do our marketing!”

Interesting. And, OK. So that begs a question, what about your SALES?

Think about your development efforts in terms of MARKETING and SALES. Right now we don’t use those terms (Enough? At all?) Use MARKETING and SALES as a simple strategic framework. What IF we all agreed that the one big event was going to be the most incredible opportunity for us to tell our story? What if we didn’t pretend it made a ton of money?

If you’re going to keep your event – in the name of building relationships – then tell me what you’re going to be doing to MAXIMIZE RELATIONSHIPS.

If you decide to keep that event, then decide its purpose. If it’s to BUILD RELATIONSHIPS, then set out to make it the best at doing that … but don’t pretend it’s the centerpiece of your funding strategy.

MARKETING and SALES.
BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS and MAXIMIZING RELATIONSHIPS.

A reminder: The best way to MAXIMIZE RELATIONSHIPS is 1:1.

And a question: What if we took that time, energy and effort spent on the event(s) and put that into getting great visits and providing customized experiences with our top 10 or 20 prospects?

It’s the function of marketing to produce qualified leads for sales. I can’t remember where I got this definition, but I favor it as it relates to our development efforts. Once you determine what efforts are marketing and what are sales, then you can ask, “How are we using this marketing effort to find qualified leads for sales?”

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To Sell is Human

For Impact Leader Jim Mahoney wrote an absolutely stellar summary of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.

To echo Pink, Mahoney, Suddes, et all…WE’RE ALL IN SALES.

Urge, urge, urge you to download and read the following Book Notes by Jim. Nine pages. Worth every minute.

At the same time, read Dan Pink’s book. He’s written some other great stuff, including A Whole New Mind (a favorite), Drive, and Free Agent Nation.

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Nick’s Note: Return on Energy

Here is a simple idea you can use to frame your thinking around your funding plan:

RETURN ON ENERGY.

This seems to be especially big for organizations trapped in a transaction-based system of special events (life-sucking, volunteer-draining) with often and incredibly low RETURN ON ENERGY.

If that describes your organization, then think about this rhetorical question: What would happen if you did away with one event. Then, you focused all that energy (time, urgency, people, resources) on building a great relationships with one or two prospects that could invest $1 million in your vision?

Remember:

  • Special Events As Fundraisers Stink- they’re not special.
  • Major Gifts: Raise the most money at the least cost.
  • 97/3: 97% of the money/investments comes from 3% of your family … focus on
    the 3%

Story:

I was with a school in Albuquerque. The bulk of the funding strategy revolved around special events … in fact, they were running FIVE events. The board was drained. It made a commitment to CHANGE the way it FUNDED the VISION. In only one week, the board generated more than $80,000 to fund student scholarships by working only a few key phone relationships. To really see the ‘WOW’ you need to know that they these events were consuming hundreds of volunteer hours and netting an average of $30K – $50K each (with a funding cost as high as 70 cents to raise a dollar – yikes).

To me, this is a wonderful example of stopping to think about the RETURN ON ENERGY, making a commitment to change and enjoying IMMEDIATE RESULTS.

Final Note:

This applies to EVERYTHING you’re doing. Take a moment today to think about your RETURN ON ENERGY.

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9 Guiding Principles for Sales Success

Here are 9 GUIDING PRINCIPLES to help you ‘sell’ your VISION, your MESSAGE, your PRIORITIES …

Pretty self-explanatory, but there are some ‘notes’ with each one.

GP #1 CHANGE YOUR VOCABULARY! WORDS ARE IMPORTANT! Stop using all the typical ‘nonprofit’ industry jargon. Start using ‘sales’ terms, ‘business’ terms, ‘common sense’ terms.

Appointments Visits
Power Points Presentation Tools
Asking for Money Presenting the Opportunity
GP #2 THINK BIG. BUILD SIMPLE. ACT NOW! Our absolute favorite Entrepreneur’s Mantra. Also works great for SALES. THINK. BUILD. ACT. BIG. SIMPLE. NOW.
GP #3 THE RULE OF 3! ‘FORCE’ everything you do into groups of 3! Your Message Points. Your Priorities. Your Buckets. Your Sales Presentation. Trust us. It works.
GP #4 NO TIMEOUTS. NO SUBSTITUTIONS. NO EXCUSES. OG’s Notre Dame Boxers’ Mantra. Works for sales. Take responsibility for your life. Your actions. Your results.
GP #5 PREPARE. PRACTICE. PERFORM. You ‘get’ PREPARE and PERFORM. What we never, ever, ever do (in our world) is PRACTICE! PRACTICE YOUR PRESENTATION. Your response to objections and challenges. Your opening. Your close.
GP #6 FIRST WITH THE HEART. THEN WITH THE HEAD. This is the corollary to a great line in the book, THE POWER OF ONE.  Zig Ziglar, über sales trainer, says it perfectly: “People buy on emotion, then justify with logic.”
GP #7 DO THE MATH. You can’t ‘SELL’ unless you understand all the ‘NUMBERS!’ This is about goals, self-fulfilling prophecy, and the Stockdale Paradox (Face the Brutal Facts).
GP #8 ASK QUESTIONS. (ACTUALLY) LISTEN TO ANSWERS. This is, without question, the greatest ‘SALES TIP’ … ever!
GP #9 SHARE THE STORY. PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY. No explanation necessary. Just do it.
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Sales Requires People…Process…Performance

There it is. The ‘3 P alliteration’ that summarizes all ‘SALES’!

SALES SUCCESS is a direct result of combining your SALES PEOPLE with a

SALES PROCESS and then relying on them to PERFORM! (You need all three.

Two of three won’t cut it. One of three, close up shop.)

Note: Most ‘NFP’ orgs don’t know where to begin re: a SALES PROCESS. We’ve spent 30 years building and refining a SALES PROCESS.

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Sales Process (A Visual)

Wanted to share this illustration of a customized sales process we did with a client. If you’ve been to a workshop you will recognize Predisposition > Present the Opportunity > Follow-up.

Though we originally made it for one client, we think it’s pretty near universal.

  • Leads feed into a PREDISPOSITION STRATEGY.
  • VISIT! Do Discovery and then Present the Opportunity … could be two visits or one but not more.
  • The GOAL is a big deal to me … if we can get them to say, “Wow, this is great, what can I do to help?” … then it’s not about cultivation, time or a chess-like gambit. It’s about communicating the ‘how to help’… now/today.
    If they don’t say, “Wow!” … then we effectively JUST ASK around the goal … and get permission to talk about the funding plan on the next (second) visit.
  • Follow-up – is a STRATEGY, not an ACTION ITEM.

spflowsheet

Click on image to download a copy for your files.

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OGs Note: Share the Story. Present the Opportunity.

Another one of those SIMPLE, but not EASY lessons.

STOP Asking for Money. (I did that 5,812 times.)

START SHARING THE STORY and PRESENTING THE OPPORTUNITY.

You’ll be amazed.

**Special Board Note: This could be the GREATEST LESSON to get your BOARD and VOLUNTEERS ENGAGED in your QUANTUM LEAP CAMPAIGN . Just ask them whether they’d rather:

‘ASK THEIR FRIENDS FOR MONEY’
OR
‘SHARE THE STORY/PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY.’

Jeff Strine, one of our For Impact coaches, says it best:

“THE PAST WILL GET YOU AN APPOINTMENT (VISIT).
THE FUTURE (VISION) WILL GET YOU THE MONEY.”

It’s all about your vision. No more to be said.

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Nick’s Note: It Takes 15 Visits to Hit Your Selling Stride

We coach and train organizations and individuals to sell … to sell their vision, their projects, their impact.

  • Sales is a 1:1 activity. It requires that we get out of the office and meet with people.
  • Sales is also the only way to truly maximize relationships.

I will often ask an executive director, “How many visits and asks (1:1) does your organization make each month?” More than any other statistic, this is a key performance indicator for an organization. Many leaders respond with something like, “Well, right now, none. We’re waiting until we finish our strategic plan.” Or, “About once per month but we’re really going to commit to major gifts in the coming year.”

Get out. Visit. Ask.

As coaches, we know it takes about 15 asks (over a three-month time period) from one person to hit ‘selling stride’… where a sales person is likely to keep making visits … revenue will jump … systems will start to form. On paper, 15 visits doesn’t look like a lot (and it’s not) but it requires:

  • That we stop messing with the message.
  • That we get out of our comfort zone. Otherwise, human nature would have us wait forever to make the FIRST visit.
  • That we get beyond the 2-3 ‘low-hanging fruit’ prospects … being proactive in a sales process.

If you’re new to this, your first few visits are going to feel awkward. You’ll find yourself saying really stupid things. Just know this and know that you have to do them to get them out of the way. Somewhere in the range of 6-10 visits you’ll start to ‘own the message’ and find yourself in familiar territory on each dialogue. And … by visit 15 you will find a groove. Each visit is no longer produces that ‘deer in a headlight’ feeling. Much like an experienced quarterback describes, the time seems to slow down and you get much better at processing on the fly.

For what it’s worth:

  • I feel really awkward on my first ten visits on behalf of a cause. Even having done this hundreds of times it takes me a while to find my groove.
  • It’s much easier to do three visits in one day than it is three visits in one-week.
  • Remember, be authentic and you can’t screw up. It’s okay to say, “This is the second time I’ve shared the plan in this way.”
  • If it helps, go ahead and make ‘practice visits’… these count toward the 15.
  • I’m suggesting it takes 15 visits for a person to reach his or her stride which impacts the organization as a whole. If you have two sales people then they each should make 15 visits to hit a stride.
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How to Run a Sales Meeting Using a Sales Dashboard

Here is a format we use for sales meetings – for example, a weekly review of activities from the sales team.

  1. Update on activity:
    • Number of visits
    • Number of asks
  2. Update on productivity:
    • Number of commits / declines
    • $$ Committed

These metrics provide an objective dashboard that speaks volumes.

  • “What gets measured gets done.” – Tom Suddes (quoting 278 others)
  • It’s very easy to get sidetracked. Make it very clear (for yourself) and for your sales team that the first measurement will be number of times we got out of the office to go visit with people. Even without the perfect materials, we know (at For Impact) this will have a tremendous positive impact on your organization.
  • The dashboard creates accountability.
  • Following on the first point, if you’re a manager you can set goals with your team around number of visits/asks. This ties back to accountability and performance.
  • The dashboard points to what’s working and what’s not
  • Once we were working with an organization that was making 15 visits per week, but logging only a few commitments and declines. We were able to zero in on this and it turned out the staff wasn’t really asking. They were walking through the numbers and ‘hoping’ the prospect would select to give. We did another training session around ‘the last three feet’ and the numbers then improved.

    This is a pretty important point. You can deal with real issues as they arise – instead of planning and planning for months/years with no activity.

After the numbers we then review:

  • Status of Top Ten Prospects on the Master Prospect List
  • Specific Pending Strategies that need attention
  • Strategies for the Forthcoming week
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OGs Note: Sales Requires Measurement

The old adage of “what gets measured gets done” is an overused/abused cliché, but it captures the essence of a SALES culture. EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING, needs to be MEASURED.

ACTIVITY / PRODUCTIVITY.

WHAT WORKS / WHAT DOESN’T.

EVERY NUMBER / EVERY PROJECT.

Two of the best people I have ever worked with offer terrific insights here.

Fred ‘Falcon’ Mickelson is a former ‘big dog’ at a very large corporation, ‘professional’ volunteer leader, board chair, and an absolutely brilliant thinker.

“Activities are necessary and lead to results, but activities are NOT results. Therefore, keep track of activities, but set REAL goals and measure progress towards achieving those goals on a specific, pre-set timeline.”

REMEMBER, YOU GET WHAT YOU MEASURE!

Terry Fairholm is a former Suddes Group partner and ‘hockey puck’ with an MBA and 20 years of super successful FIELD experience as one of the best campaign leaders in the industry.

“It’s not about activity, it’s about RESULTS. ‘Getting the word out’ is a statement that has never made any sense to me. We (development professionals) don’t get paid to get the word out; we get paid to raise money.”
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You Get What You Measure

For all of our Coaching Clients with Sales Teams, we use what we call a ‘GREEN SHEET’ to collect and measure monthly feedback.

At the top of every Green Sheet, is our SUCCESS QUOTIENT:

  • SUCCESS = # of times we SHARE THE STORY …
    & PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY.
  • SUCCESS = Both ACTIVITY and PRODUCTIVITY.
  • SUCCESS = # of VISITS (with QUALIFIED Prospects) & # of ASKS.
  • SUCCESS = RESULTS/GIFTS/MONEY … to FUND THE VISION.
  • SUCCESS = ROR & ROI & ROE
    (Return-on-RELATIONSHIPS & Return-on-INVESTMENT & Return-onENERGY)

All of this is geared towards High-End, Top of the Pyramid, Lead and Major Gift PRESENTATIONS! It’s where the money is.

If you’re not already using a system to MEASURE your SUCCESS, I suggest you begin
TODAY.

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Measuring Outcomes vs. Inputs

A University president (an incredibly well-read, experienced, really bright thought leader) shared with us a story about American business, especially MANUFACTURING, as it existed 50 years ago. (He told the story much more eloquently, but these are the shorthand notes.)

THE ‘INPUT’ PARADIGM:
MAKE IT. INSPECT IT. THROW OUT THE BAD. SELL THE GOOD.
The ‘OUTCOME’ PARADIGM:
MAKE IT. SELL IT.

The ‘outcome’ paradigm replaced the old model by changing the PROCESS (re-engineering around measurement and statistics, etc. Think Edward Denning and Elijah Goldratt.)

The goal was to stabilize the consistency of the PROCESS to minimize and eliminate the BAD STUFF.

Here’s where he went with that regarding EDUCATION.

The old INPUT model goes back 500 years (University of Bologna, etc.) Nothing’s changed. Same pedagogy. Teacher. Student. Classroom. If you fail, you’re gone. Throw out the bad. Keep the good. Be ‘proud’ of the number of students you don’t accept and the number of students who don’t make it.

In education, a new model of OUTCOME-BASED would look at the entire process so that everyone makes it.

INPUT VS. OUTCOME. For Impact leaders, social entrepreneurs, change agents and Development/Sales should think about how this applies to the way we ‘RAISE MONEY.’

The old INPUT-BASED model is all about activity, cultivation, marketing, annual fund, chasing mice.

The new OUTCOME-BASED model (certainly our For Impact model) is all about:

  1. Writing ‘TRIPLE NET CHECKS’ to the organization from the Development Operation.
  2. A laser-like focus on RESULTS/OUTCOME … not on activities, special events, donor acquisitions, chasing mice, etc.
  3. Do only those things that have dramatic, quantum leap, transformational results. (Chase antelopes.)

P.S. A very, very senior development officer actually told the Vice President that the institution needed to “spend the next five years totally focused on building up ANNUAL FUND.”

Can you imagine doing that in ‘business?’ Let’s sell a bunch of little stuff to a lot of people … so that five years from now those people can buy more and bigger stuff. We’d be out of business.

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Return on Investment, Energy, and Relationships

If you follow For Impact, you might be familiar with the VOCABULARY CHANGE of ‘donor’ and ‘donation’ to ‘investor’ and ‘investment.’

And, obviously, you would know what every INVESTOR wants from their investment: A RETURN!

And, as a For Impact Leader or Social Entrepreneur, you know that you can DELIVER on that RETURN.

There is another ‘RETURN’ that we use quite often that seems to really grab people’s attention: RETURN ON ENERGY.

This particular nugget should be pretty self-explanatory. What (exactly) is your RETURN on ENERGY? (In this case, ‘ENERGY’ means both physical and mental TIME and FOCUS.) Is the end result worth the ENERGY? Are you working on your Top 3% or still expending a lot of (wasted) energy at the bottom?

This concept is explained and expanded wonderfully in a great book by Jim Loehr, The Power of Full Engagement.

Loehr’s premise is very simple: It’s all about MANAGING YOUR ENERGY … NOT YOUR TIME.

Special Note: We believe that this RETURN ON ENERGY concept applies both to YOU and your INVESTORS / CHAMPIONS. (They are also expecting a return on ENERGY, not just a return on INVESTMENT.)

The first return may be the RETURN ON RELATIONSHIPS. . . if you think about it, the RETURN on a RELATIONSHIP could be a way to talk about both RETURN ON INVESTMENT and RETURN ON ENERGY.

Again, this RETURN ON RELATIONSHIP applies to both YOU and your FOR IMPACT ORGANIZATION … AND your STAKEHOLDERS, INVESTORS and CHAMPIONS.

  • Are you actually maximizing the RETURN ON RELATIONSHIPS?
  • Are your top prospects and potential investors clear about their RETURN ON THE RELATIONSHIP?
  • And, finally, can you use this whole concept of ‘RETURN’… on the RELATIONSHIP … on the INVESTMENT … on ENERGY … as a way for you to get TRULY FOCUSED???
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A Simple Measure: How many one-on-one asks at $1,000+

One of our discovery questions for our clients is:

How many times have you (or someone from your organization) sat down with a potential investor one-on-one in the past three months and asked for more than $1,000?

For MOST organizations, and even the BUSIEST funding professionals and largest colleges, this number rarely tops five!

One simple way to think about boosting productivity is to literally drop everything that doesn’t help you boost this number (by a lot). What if your ONLY goal this month were to have ten great visits in which you shared the story of your organization and presented the opportunity to help or make an impact?

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Introduction

“Success is a result of Good Judgement.
Good Judgement is a result of Experience.
Experience is a result of Bad Judgement.”

– Will Rodgers

The last couple of years have been challenging and difficult…and have led to a lot of EXPERIENCES. (Good & Bad)

Now is the time to use those EXPERIENCES to focus on ‘ENGAGEMENT’!

As Goose said to Maverick, in Top Gun:

“ENGAGE, MAV, ENGAGE!!!”

In our world, (just so there is no confusion) ENGAGE means VISIT…SHOULDER TO SHOULDER…OUT OF YOUR OFFICE… with your BEST INVESTORS and PROSPECTS.

Andy Grove, of Intel fame,has created a 3 word battle cry that changes everything,

“ENGAGE. THEN PLAN.”

*Remember Martin Luther King said,

“I have a dream!”

*He didn’t say, “I have a Strategic Plan.”

Newton’s Law states,

“A body in motion tends to stay in motion,
A body at rest tends to stay at rest.”

I’m no physics major, but I get this: ENGAGE means GET IN MOTION!!! You can hide under your desk because of the economy, fear, call reluctance, whatever… OR, you can buy into our IMPACT DRIVES INCOME insight and epiphany.

  • More VISITS (with BEST PROSPECTS) means…
  • More PRESENTATIONS (to Share the Story/Present the Opportunity) means…
  • More MONEY (to Fund the Vision) means…
  • More INCOME…creating much more IMPACT.

Go Forth and ENGAGE!

GUARANTEE: IF you commit to ENGAGE with your CHAMPIONS and your MOST QUALIFIED PROSPECTS… your entire organization will be TRANSFORMED!

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Rules of Engagement

Here are the 9 Rules of Engagement, without any supporting text or thoughts.

1. IMPACT drives INCOME. Not the other way around.

2. MAXIMIZE RELATIONSHIPS…AT THIS GIVEN MOMENT.

3. THINK BIG. BUILD SIMPLE. ACT NOW.

4. Different RESULTS require a different DESIGN.

5. DO THE MATH.

6. HOPE is NOT a STRATEGY.

7. YOU’RE IN SALES. GET OVER IT.

8. FOCUS. FOCUS. FOCUS.

9. JUST ASK. JUST ASK. JUST ASK.

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3 Ideas to Help You Ask

1. Get Something On The (Proverbial) ‘TABLE’.

  • Here’s another of Nick’s ‘BRILLIANT’ ways to make the JUST ASK point:
  • Just get SOMETHING on the ‘TABLE’.
    • Get the ‘level of engagement’… on the table.
    • Get a ‘dollar amount’… on the table.
    • Get a ‘priority or project’… on the table.

2. Get a ‘ROADMAP’ to the gift.

  • Again, Nick has been using this as a HUGE part of our training and strategy with sales teams.
  • Don’t leave the visit without a literal ‘ROADMAP’ to the gift!!!
  • “Are you in?” “What can we do to solidify commitment?” “How can we confirm amount?” Etc.

3. Try for a TRIPLE ASK on every visit!

  • In our world, the ‘best of the best’ learn how to make a ‘Triple Ask’ tied to Today | Tomorrow | Forever. They use this to answer “How can I help?”… and frame this around Annual Operations, Priority Projects and Legacy.
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10 Action Steps to Help You Engage

Here are 10 Action Steps, to help you ENGAGE:


1. SIMPLIFY YOUR MESSAGE.

2. BUILD YOUR FUNDING RATIONALE.

3. DO THE MATH!

4. Create a simple, powerful PRESENTATION… STORY LINE… and ENGAGEMENT TOOL

5. Finalize your MASTER PROSPECT LIST!

6. SET YOUR GOALS OF ENGAGEMENT!

7. COMMIT TO BETTER PREDISPOSITION.

8. ACT/EXECUTE on YOUR ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY!

9. Commit to SHARING THE STORY and PRESENTING THE OPPORTUNITY!!!

10. JUST ASK. JUST ASK. JUST ASK.

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An Action Plan

*Warning: It’s pretty easy to run down this list and blow off a number of these with a “We’ve already got this/done this” attitude.

If you’re truly committed to ENGAGEMENT… do these action steps to the best of your organization’s ability, in a timely fashion and as SIMPLY as possible.

1.) SIMPLIFY YOUR MESSAGE!

  • Create a clear, concise and compelling MESSAGE… in order to ENGAGE people at the highest level of DIALOGUE… around your VISION and PURPOSE and CAUSE.

2.) BUILD YOUR FUNDING RATIONALE!

  • What is the VALUE PROPOSITION? What is the CASE FOR SUPPORT? What is the RETURN-ON-INVESTMENT? (‘Both/And’ Left Brain/Right Brain. Logic/Magic. Tangible/Intangible.) What are your PRIORITIES? Your 3 Circles or 3 Buckets?

3.) DO THE MATH!

  • Do your ‘Blue’ MATH around your Impact and your ‘Green’ MATH around your Cost of Delivery and Funding Model.
  • Here are some simple examples to get you going.
    • What would you do with $1 Million???
    • What kind of impact will a $10,000 President’s Circle investment make?
    • What does the specific impact of $1,000 have on the people you serve?

    * I know. It’s RULE #5, but it’s a different spin, and worth a repeat.

4.) Create a simple, powerful PRESENTATION… STORY LINE… and ENGAGEMENT TOOL

  • Use a Napkin, Vision Card, Map, Engagement Tool, or whatever to provide a FRAMEWORK and FLOW for the VISIT.
  • Hope is not a strategy. Selling is not telling…unless it’s a STORY! It is our responsibility to control the FLOW of the visit. The absolute best way to do this is to have some kind of one-on-one ENGAGEMENT TOOL that allows you to move from PURPOSE to PRIORITIES to PLAN… and then PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY to help!!!
  • *If you need more help with this, there are examples at www.forimpact.org. You can also contact us directly for specific assistance.

5.) Finalize your MASTER PROSPECT LIST!

  • IDENTIFY, PRIORITIZE and STRATEGIZE your best and most QUALIFIED PROSPECTS.
  • Your Master Prospect List (MPL) is your top prospects in Descending Order of Importance! The list is fluid and the order will change. However, you need to start out with your best shot at your MPL
  • Of critical importance is your TOP 33 (the top 3 plus your next 10 plus your next 20!)
  • Once you have IDENTIFIED and PRIORITIZED these prospects, you need to STRATEGIZE each prospect in Descending Order of Importance.
  • *For much, much, much more on this entire process, see here

6.) SET YOUR GOALS OF ENGAGEMENT!

  • These goals need to be SPECIFIC, WRITTEN and MEASURABLE. Here are 3 Examples:
     

    • The ‘33 GIFTS’ Plan. (Example)
      • We will ENGAGE with our TOP 50 PROSPECTS in order to generate 33 COMMITMENTS, which will provide 90% of our funding needs!
      • This will be a SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY.
      • E.g. We will generate $5 Million from:
        • 1 Gift of $1 Million
          2 Gifts of $500,000
          4 Gifts of $250,000
          10 Gifts of $100,000
          16 Gifts of $50,000+
          33 Totaling $5 Million
    • The ‘Spartan 300’ Plan. (Example)
      • We will ENGAGE with our BEST 300 prospects (including our Top 33), which will generate bags and buckets of money to Fund Our Vision.
      • E.g. We have (3) members of our SALES TEAM, and we will collectively make 30 VISITS (ENGAGEMENTS) a month for 10 months (using August and December for R&R).
      • We will use a 3x3x3 goal which challenges us to collectively make 3 visits a day, 3 days a week, 3 weeks out of the month.
    • The ‘1,000 ENGAGEMENT’ Plan. (Example)
      • As a larger For Impact organization with 6 committed Relationship Managers, we will make 1,000 VISITS/PRESENTATIONS this year.
      • Each of our 6 Relationship Managers will have a Portfolio of 300 Qualified Prospects. Each of us will make 167 VISITS/PRESENTATIONS (ENGAGEMENTS) this year.
      • We will average 15 QUALITY VISITS a month and do all of the appropriate preparation, predisposition and follow-up.
      • We will do ‘DISCOVERY’ on every visit and with every prospect. We also commit to make the FULL PRESENTATION around the TRIPLE ASK for TODAY, TOMORROW and FOREVER (Annual Operations, Campaign Priorities and a Legacy/Planned Gift.)
      • *20% of these 167 visits will become our TOP 33 gifts for each Relationship Manager.

7.) Commit to better PREDISPOSITION.

“I can’t get a visit.”
“They haven’t returned my call.”
“They won’t see me.”

 

  • None of these excuses are acceptable in THIS ENGAGEMENT MODEL.
  • Do better PREDISPOSITION to set up the VISIT. Get your best prospects to a MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE… and then FOLLOW-UP!
  • You are away from any QUALIFIED PROSPECT! Use your Board, Natural Partners, and WHATEVER IT TAKES!!!

8.) ACT/EXECUTE on this ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY!

  • Set up your next month’s visits right now!
  • ENGAGEMENT is all about FOCUS and DISCIPLINE and EXECUTION.
  • Don’t ‘think’… DO! Once you have your Funding Plan and ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY laid out… EXECUTE! (ACT!)
    • ‘10,000 PUSH-UPS’
      • Use this ‘Push-Up’ analogy to help reinforce ACTION.
      • If you commit to do 10,000 push-ups a year, the SIMPLEST and most SUCCESSFUL way to achieve that goal is to do 30 PUSH-UPS A DAY. (1 set. 3 sets of 10. 2 push-ups an hour the 15 hours you’re awake. Whatever.)
      • To reinforce this point even more, let’s say you wanted to do 63,000 push-ups a year. (1,000 push-ups x your age). The SIMPLE EXECUTION is 3 sets of 63 a day…every day.
      • The point is that you can’t skip 3 days… or you’re screwed. You can’t wait until June to begin. Nor can you wait until November to make 100 visits (because you’ve only made 3 visits a month up until then).

9.) Commit to SHARING THE STORY and PRESENTING THE OPPORTUNITY!!!

  • STOP ‘CULTIVATING’! (Spreading manure on your prospects). Start to SHARE the STORY on every VISIT. PRESENT people the OPPORTUNITY to HELP!!
  • Remember: They get more out of helping you than you get from helping them!
  • Special, Special Action Note: Start by CHANGING THE WAY YOU TALK!
  • CHANGING THE WAY YOU TALK is a proven technique to CHANGE THE WAY YOU ACT and CHANGE YOUR RESULTS.
  • THINK Impact, Cause, Philanthropy, Investors, Investment, Presenting Opportunities, Visits, Predisposition, Sales… and, of course, ENGAGEMENT!!!
  • *See CHANGE YOUR VOCABULARY

10.) JUST ASK. JUST ASK. JUST ASK.

  • Again.
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Look Back for Feedback

Take a few hours to review last year’s RESULTS!

List all of your ‘SOURCES OF REVENUE’… and the COST (EXPENSES) to generate that REVENUE.

EXAMPLE

REVENUE EXPENSES
(Direct/ Indirect)
NET $$$
Direct Mail/Annual Fund
Special Events
(Golf, Gala, etc)
Grants
Planned Gifts
MAJOR GIFTS
Etc.

*Be sure to include ALL PERSONNEL COSTS under Indirect Expenses.
(If you want an even bleaker picture, include ‘volunteer hours’!)

The point of this exercise is to reinforce the concept of ENGAGEMENT (VISITS with your best PROSPECTS) as the most cost effective way to generate the most INCOME. You also might use this to review the ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES of your team.

REMEMBER: The GOAL of every Development/Advancement Office is to write a net, net, net check to the IMPACT side of the organization. (The ‘Green’ people help the ‘Blue’ people)

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Show. Listen. Engage.

SHOW. LISTEN. ENGAGE.

We have pioneered the use of a simple, visual ‘ENGAGEMENT TOOL’ to replace your PowerPoint, brochures and existing material.

  • The GOAL is a simple, visual ‘TOOL’ (MAP) to help present a powerful CASE for SUPPORT… on a ‘shoulder-to-shoulder’ VISIT.
  • The PURPOSE of the Engagement Tool is three-fold:
    • It is a specific, visual way to ENGAGE the Prospect in CONVERSATION and DIALOGUE. (Thus, ‘Engagement’ Tool vs. ‘Presentation Tool’.)
    • It’s a great FRAMEWORK for the VISIT/PRESENTATION.
    • It puts the ‘CLOSE’ (HOW YOU CAN HELP) right in front of the Presenter(s) (Sales Team) and the Prospect.
  • The STRATEGY with the Engagement Tool is to CONTROL THE FLOW of the Presentation! (Think of it like Linus’ Security Blanket!)
  • The ENGAGEMENT TOOL is
    • NOT a ‘brochure’!
    • NOT meant to be a ‘stand alone’!
    • NOT a ‘collateral piece’!
    • NOT a text-heavy, small print, multiple-page ‘document’!
SHOW
(Don’t Tell)
LISTEN
(Don’t Talk)
ENGAGE
(Don’t Pitch)
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Engagement Tool: Notes and Thoughts

* Following are notes and thoughts to help you understand this at the conceptual level… as well as how best to USE the ENGAGEMENT TOOL to produce ‘closes’, ‘commitments’ and ‘cash’.

  • It grabs their attention! The SIMPLICITY and VISUAL nature of this ‘piece’ is so totally different than most material being used on Visits (which are not designed for one-on-one Presentations!)… that it commands attention! (Most likely, this will be the first and only actual ‘Presentation’ Tool for your organization.)
  • It is all about the ‘REAL ESTATE’. (Location, Location, Location) Using the constraint of limited space, the Engagement Tool tries to capture an organization’s IMPACT POINTS and many of the TALKING POINTS necessary to make a great Presentation and, at the same time, provides for meaningful ‘white space’ to allow for emphasis, additions, or clarifications.
  • It actually allows for a ‘TRIPLE ASK’!!!
    TODAY
    (Annual Operations)
    TOMORROW
    (Priority Projects)
    FOREVER
    (Legacy Giving)

    [As opposed to ‘cultivation’, multiple visits and never getting ‘dollars on the table’, much less ‘in the bank’!]

  • It is designed at ALTITUDE. (See here for more.)
    30,000′ Why Purpose Blue
    14,000′ What Priorities Red
    3′ How Plan Green

    We have used this ALTITUDE FRAMEWORK as an integral, critical part of our presentation FLOW with hundreds of organizations on thousands of visits. It works.

    • Start with, the WHY. Once they’re on board…
    • Move to the WHAT. Once they understand …
    • It’s on to the HOW. HOW you will execute and HOW they can help.
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Engagement Tool: Altitude and Notes on How to Use

Here is a deeper explanation of the power of ‘ALTITUDE’ on a visit/presentation:

  • Always go (back) up. Nick Fellers has a really great way to use ‘altitude/elevation’ on the presentation. When training or coaching, Nick makes this very clear: When in doubt… when challenged… when questioned… ALWAYS GO (BACK) UP TO 30,000’! (The Vision…The Message…The Purpose.)
  • Get ‘buy-in’ at the highest level. As you make the Case for Support, the prospect/ potential investor needs to understand and acknowledge their acceptance of the ‘blue’ VISION and ‘red’ PRIORITIES. Sometimes this is “You had me at hello.” (Renee to Tom Cruise) Other times, it may take the entire first visit to get them to understand and agree that this is an important cause and case. Regardless, it doesn’t make any sense to talk about the Plan or How They Can Help if they don’t ‘get it’ at the highest level.
  • Dissent on the descent. To put this in another way, there can be no ‘dissent’ on the descent! I think of this as kind of the opposite of getting the ‘bends’. If a diver ascends too quickly, they get a case of the ‘bends’. It’s painful and many times life-threatening. During a presentation, the prospect can get the ‘reverse-bends’ if you descend too rapidly. “Hello. Thanks for seeing me. Here’s our campaign Can you give $100,000?”
  • ‘Permission to proceed’. We have actually incorporated this specific terminology into the presentation. (It’s actually the words used to complete a ‘transfer’ on a high ropes challenge course!) “It seems like you’re fully engaged with both our Mission and our Message. Would it be okay (permission to proceed) to go deeper and talk about our Strategic Priorities and our Plan to make all this happen???”
  • Altitude is not always top-down or hierarchical. You can ‘enter’ at any level. You can focus on any level. You can travel up and down… and even side to side, especially when you’re using an Engagement Tool.
  • Learn to draw! The Engagement Tool is meant to be used with markers, colored pens or some writing instrument. You can add visuals such as arrows or circles or words as you use this framework. Write on it! It encourages participation and conversation!
  • Ask questions! Again, since this is all about ENGAGEMENT, CONVERSATION and DIALOGUE, the Engagement Tool should allow for multiple ways to ASK QUESTIONS!!!
    • 3 GREAT QUESTIONS:
    • 1. The ‘Blue’, 30,000’ Question:
      “What do you know about… our Organization/our Current Vision/New Goals?”
    • 2. The ‘Red, 14,000’ Question:
      “Which one of these ‘3 Circles’ (Priorities) is most important to you?”
    • 3. The Green, 3’ Question:
      “Based on your understanding of the Purpose, Priorities and Plan… would it be okay to talk about how you can help?”
  • Transition is important: Always use questions to transition from the levels of dialogue or engagement. E.g.
    • “What does your involvement with (Org) mean to you?”
    • “Did you have a unique experience at (Org)?”
    • “Are you willing to be a ‘CHAMPION’ for (Org)?”
    • “We are asking everyone in our family to help in 3 ways. Can we go there?”
  • ‘Permission to Proceed’
    We also call these ‘transition questions’ – because they TRANSITION within the flow.

    • “Would it be okay?”
    • “Would it be possible to?”
    • “At this time, I’d like to talk specifically about the Funding Plan if that’s okay with you.”
    • If there was a poor job of predisposition, you might even be able to get away with: “I know we didn’t come here today to talk about numbers but it certainly seems like we’re in sync about the projects. Would it be okay if I were to share the Funding Plan?”

    Asking for permission to proceed allows you to be comfortably assertive.

  • Customize it. Put the person’s or company’s name at the top, write in the specific Priorities or Projects to be funded, or whatever.
  • Leave it with them. Many Prospects will actually ask if they can keep this ‘visual’ representation. You can leave them ‘their’ copy… with all the handwritten notes… and a clean copy that they can share with others (if needed).
  • Fold or front/back. You can fold the Engagement Tool so only the ‘blue’ is showing. Keeps their attention/focus at 30,000’! (Then, I open it to ‘proceed’).*We also have put a (Campus) MAP or ‘drawings/sketches’ of Building Projects on the back.
  • Size matters. We (almost) always use this as an 18 x 24 or at least an 11 x 17. Plenty of room to write, draw, etc. Plus, you can stand up, move around and ‘engage’ your way through the Framework.
  • Finally, PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. The more you use the Engagement Tool… the better you will be able to control the FLOW of the visit. And, you will figure out what works and what doesn’t.
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O.G.’s Notes: The Need to See Prospects

I love the magazine Selling Power (mostly just because I love the idea of sales). Gerhard Gschwandtner is the founder and publisher of Selling Power and has had a tremendous influence on my thinking. The subtitle of the magazine is “Solutions for Sales Management,” and they provide a lot of solutions!

I was skimming an old issue (May 2005) looking for more stuff on PROSPECTS and came across this article by Geoffrey James called:

GET OVER IT!

Post-9/11 Everything Changed EXCEPT THE NEED TO SEE PROSPECTS!

(Those are my caps and my exclamation point.)

Here are the guts of the article:

  1. “It’s never been more difficult to get through to an executive to make a FORMAL APPOINTMENT.” In our For Impact World, we deal with that in a number of ways. Most importantly, we don’t look for a “FORMAL APPOINTMENT”
  2. but rather a VISIT!!! ‘APPOINTMENT’ (especially a ‘FORMAL’ one) immediately triggers your synapses to think ‘DOCTOR!’ Or, worse, ‘DENTIST!’
  3. “You have to do a better job of making prospects want to see you.” The way we do that is making a big, big deal of PREDISPOSITION!!!
  4. The absolute best PREDISPOSITION for all of us in the For Impact World is to actually bring the ‘prospect’ to where you deliver your service. Let them SEE, TOUCH, HEAR, SMELL WHAT you do. Make it palpable. Make it memorable. Make it an experience.
  5. “Once you do get in, however, you’d better be prepared to build a LASTING RELATIONSHIP.” WOW! As most of you know, our GOAL with all of our PROSPECTS is to create a RELATIONSHIP … ideally a LIFETIME RELATIONSHIP … and, then MAXIMIZE THAT RELATIONSHIP …AT EVERY GIVEN MOMENT!

The article goes on to talk about working to get a ‘VISIT.’

I love their “warning:”

“Working this system requires PREPARATION and PERSISTENCE.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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O.G.’s Notes: Learn By Going

I was re-reading some stuff by Julia Cameron, who is one of my favorite writers, authors, thinkers. (Her ARTIST’S WAY is one of my favorite books and favorite gifts.)

Julia shares a terrific quote from poet Theodore Roethke that fits perfectly into our focus on ENGAGEMENT!

“I LEARN by going where I have to GO.”

“Where you have to GO”is on VISITS with QUALIFIED PROSPECTS.

P.S. If Roethke is a little existential for you, listen to Brian Tracy, one of the world’s best sales trainers, writers and thinkers, when he summarizes all of sales training into this ‘SIMPLE’ challenge:

“Spend MORE TIME with BETTER PROSPECTS.”

In Suddes-speak: ENGAGE!

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Everybody Has a Plan Until First Contact With The Enemy

I hope you have all now seen or read one of our absolute favorite quotes by Andy Grove:

“ENGAGE. THEN PLAN.”

We’ve been astounded over the years by how many people PLAN, PLAN, PLAN … RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH … CULTIVATE, CULTIVATE, CULTIVATE</br> …</br>and never ENGAGE!

Remember, ENGAGE = VISIT = PRESENT = JUST ASK!

Perhaps these two quotes by a legendary warrior/philosopher and a not-so-legendary boxer might also help.

“EVERYBODY HAS A PLAN UNTIL FIRST CONTACT WITH THE ENEMY.”
Sun Tzu
(The Art of War)

“EVERYBODY HAS A PLAN UNTIL THEY GET HIT.”
Leon Spinks

The ‘PLAN’ is not the answer.

GET OUT AND ENGAGE. MAKE FIRST CONTACT! (It’s not the enemy!) GET HIT. (Make visits. Take your best shot.)

Your ‘PLAN’ will be a thousand times better after you have had this first contact and gotten hit than it is right now if you’re writing it in your office or conference room or in a bubble.

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O.G.’s Notes: 100 Visits in 18 Days

Jim Yoder is one of my closest friends (since our days together at Notre Dame) and a former partner of The Suddes Group. Jim has been running/managing large campaigns for over 20 years.

When he was working on a $1.5M Campaign for Economic Development (over 5 years) in a small community in North Carolina:

He spent 3 DAYS …

EVERY OTHER WEEK …

FOR 3 MONTHS …

working on the Funding Initiative.

He made:

100 VISITS!!!

100 VISITS … 100 SHOULDER-TO-SHOULDER, FACE-TO-FACE, EYEBALLTO-EYEBALL PRESENTATIONS … IN JUST THOSE 18 DAYS!!!

Oh, and by the way, Jim had never met any of those prospects/potential investors personally before he made those visits … AND he Presented the Opportunity for them to make an investment (JUST ASK) in almost every single instance!

I told Jim that 100 visits in those 18 days was more than most Development Officers and Major Gift Officers Make in a year.

HOW MANY VISITS ARE YOU/YOUR ORG MAKING THIS WEEK???

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O.G.’s Notes: You Can’t Screw Up, If You Show Up

My partner and President/Leader of For Impact | The Suddes Group, Nick Fellers, is a borderline genius. Smart. Action-oriented. Authentic.

He has many great lines, but I heard him say this on the phone once and it just struck me as so freakin’ right on in his role as COACH.

“You can’t SCREW UP … if you just SHOW UP!”

While Nick was speaking with one of his coaching clients, I think that message needed to get out to everyone.

Before you can JUST ASK.

Before you can PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY.

Before you can MAXIMIZE RELATIONSHIPS.

You need to SHOW UP! (JUST ENGAGE!)

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Raising Money with Martial Arts Wisdom

It happens at every organization, every day, every where. A founder, executive director
or fundraiser is trying to gather support (financial and otherwise) from someone, such as
a board member or community leader. He or she should be the perfect prospect and easy
visit … instead we encounter ‘objections.’

I’ve always struggled with this concept: objections. We have a terrific opportunity. The
people with whom we visit (prospective investors) WANT to SAVE LIVES, CHANGE
LIVES and IMPACT LIVES. What are widely viewed as objections are more often (1)
real questions, (2) ways of saying “I don’t understand” or sometimes even (3) “I don’t
understand but I want to help so let me suggest a lot of stuff that I’ve seen work
elsewhere.”

How you address these situations is critical. For that, turn to philosophy + martial arts.
Turn to Aikido. Aikido translated literally means “the way of harmony of life energy.”
It’s a form of martial arts in which you join incoming thrusts and redirect them with
minimal effort
and without inflicting harm on the aggressor. According to Aikido’s
founder, it is literally the Art of Peace.

If you get a zinger of a question or a response that could take you off course – work with
it. Don’t try to ‘oppose it.’ Don’t get defensive. Raising your hands to block a person
means you absorb the blow … you literally have to push back with equal and opposite
force (wasted energy) to absorb the blow. Instead, practice Aikido and redirect the
incoming zinger back to your impact, your message or your plan.

Note: Politicians practice Aikido every day. Watch ANY political debate. Instead of
getting defensive when a tough question is asked, the politician redirects toward his or
her message.

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Stop Trying to Get an Appointment

I cannot begin to count the number of times we have been told/asked “This is all great, but… we can’t get an appointment. They won’t see us. How do we get in the door?”

Our first response is always the same: “Stop trying to get an ‘APPOINTMENT’!”

The word ‘appointment’ itself is a problem. It conjures up visions of doctors! Worse, dentists!

Think about the idea of a VISIT. This is not just semantic gymnastics. It’s a mind-set. A VISIT implies friendship, conversation, mutual desire to be together and much more.

You can read this in a melodramatic tone:

Stop trying to get APPOINTMENTS… with DONORS… to ASK THEM FOR MONEY!

A simple vocabulary change creates an entirely different dynamic.

Get a VISIT… with a POTENTIAL INVESTOR… to PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY!

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OGs Note: A Story to Get you Started

The most visits I’ve ever made in one day is 13. Here’s the story…

Jim Frick was my boss and mentor at Notre Dame. As Vice President for Development, Jim was one of the early pioneers in the college and university fundraising arena.

One day at a meeting with the entire Development Team, he was encouraging (in Jim’s case it was more exhorting and prodding) the five Development Officers to get out and make more visits.

He said he had made 12 visits in one day… and couldn’t understand why we weren’t making more visits.

I was a ‘young pup’ Regional Director of Development. I was also pretty competitive. I decided I was going to try to break Jim’s record. I set up 13 visits in one day in Indianapolis. I asked my two best Champions and Natural Partners to help me set them up. It turned into a ‘game’. I was running around downtown Indianapolis. Never got in a car. Had a number of people meeting me in Bill McGowan’s office. Started with a 7:00 a.m. breakfast and finished with a 7:00 p.m. dinner.

Visits were brief and not very productive. I think I might have raised $50,000 or $75,000 that day. All about QUANTITY over QUALITY

Have learned a lot since then. It’s a ‘BOTH/AND’… QUALITY and QUANTITY… PRODUCTIVITY and ACTIVITY… MAXIMIZING and JUST SHOWING UP.

Our 3X3X3 strategy is a practical and productive approach to this paradox. 3 visits a day… 3 days a week… 3 weeks out of the month. This allows a full-time Major Gift Officer or Development Officer to make 25 to 30 visits a month… and allows quality time for setting up the visit and for follow-up.

Getting a Visit is both an ATTITUDE and a ‘SKILL’ (or even better a ‘SYSTEM’).

With that said, I’ve tried to summarize 40 years in the field (20 of them trying to get ‘appointments’… and the last 20 having much more success getting ‘visits’) in a way that will help you get visits with your best prospects. Following are some nuggets and ideas framed within

PREDISPOSITION PRESENTATION FOLLOW-UP

I hope this helps.

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The Visit Story

Perhaps your process to get a visit goes like this:

[A phone call or email from the ‘development officer.’]
“Could we come and see you to talk to you about our annual campaign?”

There IS a story here … But it’s a BAD (VISIT) STORY.

  • Development
  • Annual Campaign
  • No ‘WHY.’ No ‘IMPACT.’

Here are some thoughts to help you create a GREAT (VISIT) STORY.

  • Go back to our core message: Impact Drives Income. WHY are we visiting? WHAT are we trying to do [IMPACT]? WHY do we want this person’s time? Is it to ask for money? Or, is it to help change lives, save lives and impact lives?
    • “We are visiting with people to talk about HOW to transform education in our community.”
    • “We are engaging key stakeholders in a conversation about the future of health care in our community.”
    • “This is a movement; you are part of it. We have light years to go to change [insert cause]. This is an important conversation and we hope to have thousands more like it throughout the country …”
    • “We will be sharing where we’re going and asking for your help.
  • The story you tell yourself is AS important – if not MORE important – than the story voice. You must BELIEVE this is a phone call to change and save lives. If you believe this, your SPIRIT will trump any script. If you don’t believe this, a script will not help.
  • Be Assumptive.
    Nobody wants to have a visit to talk about money.

    Nobody.

    And yet, some $300 Billion is given away in the US each year.

    Why is this?

    Because just about everybody wants to make a difference. Just about everyone wants to help.

    Everyone you’re meeting with (or hoping to meet with) WANTS TO CHANGE THE WORLD! They want to have exhilarating discussions about making a difference. They just don’t want to have a meeting about ‘giving money.’ Giving money is a means to an end.

  • Don’t make decisions for the prospects! Just a reminder.
  • Bonus thought: Part of the STORY is about the PEOPLE on the visit.

    This is a great team-selling tip: YOU are a cool person!

    Have a board member or natural partner help to open the door with this story, “You’re going to really enjoy spending 30 minutes with Stephanie. She’s a rock star … one of those people that makes us all want to do more to change the world. Stephanie and her team are amazing social entrepreneurs.”

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Predisposition

We are professionals. We do not make COLD CALLS!

We always PREDISPOSE the prospect/potential investor to our phone call to set up
the visit… to the visit/presentation itself… and to the follow-up.
 

 

The word PREDISPOSE means exactly what it says. (Weird, huh?). We are literally (not figuratively) predisposing the person or persons in advance, to our contact.

Note: Predisposition is not ‘cultivation’! (Cultivation is when you spread manure on crops.)

Here are 3 ideas to help you with PREDISPOSITION (#1), to set up visit.

  • The Goal
  • G.T.A.: Grab Their Attention
  • 3° of Separation

 

1. THE GOAL

The goal is to GET THE VISIT! It is not to ‘sell on the phone’!

With a really strong predisposition e-mail or letter, the follow-up phone call becomes very assumptive/presumptive!

“I’m following up on the note that you received from (Natural Partner) and I’d like to see if you might available next Tuesday morning? Or would Wednesday afternoon be better?”

This is not a Tom Hopkins (Sales Training Guru) spiel. It Works. Idea: Have someone else set up the visit! I know this is somewhat sacrilegious to many people, but I’ve found it to be the single most effective way to get visits.

*This is especially important if you are full-time Development Officer/Major Gift Officer/Chief Development Officer with a portfolio. You should be making presentations, not setting up visits.

In the predisposition note, the sender/Natural Partner simple closes the end of the note with “I have asked Phyllis to follow-up with you to set up a visit with (MGO).”

Note: I believe my ‘boss’/administrative assistant, Phyllis, can get me a visit with anybody! Having worked together for 19 years, we use this exact system. When Phyllis calls, she is not ‘worried’ at all about answering a bunch of questions or trying to ‘sell’ someone. She’s doing exactly what we communicated to the prospect/potential investor… following up.

Tip: Sometimes the easiest way to schedule is by using someone else you are visiting with that day or week. “Tom is going to be visiting with Jim W. at 10:00 on Tuesday. Could he meet with you before or after that?”

Or, use geography, “Tom will be in Cincinnati next week, and would love to spend 20 minutes with you if that works.”

*Assumes this is a trip.
 
 
2. GTA: GRAB THEIR ATTENTION

GTA means be creative… set yourself apart… stand out!

One of the best ideas on this is using a ‘MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE’ as predisposition.

Turn that gala/signature event into both predisposition and grabbing their attention! Actually say that evening that someone will be following up with you to set up a visit. Or, ‘cherry picking’ 50 or 60 of the very best prospects out of the 1,000 people who attended who get a very customized follow-up note… setting up the phone call to schedule the visit.

We have also used a WOW PACKAGE to ensure that the person knew how important this visit was. Rather than an e-mail, actually sending a letter, with some visuals, and then indicating that this is what we want to share or talk about. Just thinking creatively will set you apart.

Fun Note: *I’m not suggesting you go as far as the extraordinary ad man, Jay Chiat, did. He said this his secret for getting people to take his calls was to call the person’s secretary and say, “Tell so and so his DOCTOR is on the line, and I have the results of his test.” (Chiat claimed that they would rush to the phone.)

My personal favorite creative story is around that busy, always traveling executive, whose secretary/gatekeeper always responds with, “Sorry, he’s traveling or he’s out of town.”

I simply ask the gatekeeper where the prospect’s next trip is going to be. She always asks, “Why?” And I respond, “Because I’d like to get a ticket and just fly with him so that we can talk while he’s on the plane!” (It’s really hard for someone to not be engaged at 30,000’. And, if you can get them on the window and you get the aisle, you can ensure there’s nowhere for them to go.)
 
 
3. 3° OF SEPERATION

The whole Kevin Bacon, 6° thing is just wrong. It’s been determined it’s actually 2.78
moves or connections between Kevin Bacon and any other actor.

Please pay attention: You are only 3° away from anybody who is a QUALIFIED PROSPECT!

First, it is very important that you note the term ‘QUALIFIED PROSPECT’. That means that there is a STRONG RELATIONSHIP to your CAUSE or CASE. (It does not mean a ‘relationship’ with you or another individual!)

Then, IF they are truly QUALIFIED PROSPECTS… you can use your NATURAL PARTNERS (Champions, Board Members, Key Volunteer Leaders, other Current Investors, etc.) to make the contact and the connection… and help set up the VISIT!!!

Here is the best way to explain this.

I am only 3° away from the Pope, the President or the Prime Minster of Israel.

I reach out to one of the most amazing human beings on the planet, Fr. Ted Hesburgh (with
whom I had the incredible experience of working with on the Campaign for Notre Dame). Fr.
Ted calls someone in the Vatican… who then sets up meeting with the Pope.

To get to the President, I simply hit speed dial for Dick former Governor of Ohio, Ambassador
to India, President of Colorado College and now Senior Counsel with The Suddes Group. Dick
has Bill Clinton on his speed dial. Bill calls President’s office and sets up visit (since he worked
really hard to get President elected,)

For the Prime Minister of Israel, I call anyone of a handful of Jewish leaders that we have
worked with and ask them to make a phone call or reach out to someone in Israel who can
then reach out to the Prime Minister. (I know. Probably not a good time to do this. He’s busy.
Just trying to make a point.)

One last story. I am only One Natural Partner away from the Dalai Lama.

At an international conference, I poured (fire hose?) my energy, heart and soul
into a keynote talk. Afterwards, a wonderful woman came up and said, “Thank
you. I learned so much… I will never forget this day.” Then she put her long
white scarf around my neck and said, (BTW) “My brother is the Dalai Lama.”

*If you want more on this, there are two great books on this phenomena, 6 DEGREES by
Duncan J. Watts
and LINKED by Albert Barabasi.

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Team Selling

As you can see, this PREDISPOSITION thing is about TEAM SELLING.

This simple visual should give you an even better understanding of how this works.

 

 

To get a visit (for the Sales Team), you can set up the visit by using:

  • The Actual Sales Person
  • A Strong Support Person
  • An Even Stronger Natural Partner

This is the opportunity for your board, volunteer leaders or campaign leadership to do something that they can do and then even want to do (especially if you give them a choice of ‘asking for money’ or ‘setting up a visit’!!!)

You can use all members of your stakeholder group to help get the visit. It could be your CEO, President, a well thought of doctor, a key dean or faculty member, a teacher or coach with 25 years of relationships… whomever.

This is also a wonderful way to engage your current investors and build upon their relationship! Have them make the call to set up the visit for you … and if they’ll go with you, that’s awesome. If not, that’s okay.

*Look at the examples in the outer circle of Natural Partners… and determine who would
be best ‘connector’ to get visits for your very best prospects.

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OGs Note: Practice

Julia Cameron is one of my absolute favorite writers, authors, and thinkers. She shares this great quote from Theodore Roethke.

“I learn by going where I have to go.”

The best way to set up a lot of visits is to set up a lot of visits.

‘Practice’ as it relates to getting visits, is to actually ‘practice’ what you’re going to say, how you say it, how to respond, etc. Then, go where you have to go – on the phone, working through your ‘words’ to get the visit.

Here are 3 ways to think about this idea of PRACTICE.

  • The Message and the Words
  • Handle Objections
  • Do the Work

1. THE MESSAGE AND THE WORDS.

One of the best books I’ve read recently is ‘PRACTICE PERFECT’ by Doug Lemov. One of his big points is that the best teachers and coaches focus on small and seemingly mundane aspects of the work… especially on the right ‘words’ they use!

The idea here is to actually practice/test, the ways and the words.

  • Keep it simple. (Again, goal is to get visit!)
  • Keep it at 30,000’. (High altitude. No detail on phone.)
  • Keep it about the ‘story’. (Selling is not telling, unless it’s a story!)

Commit to being able to articulate your message… clearly, concisely, compellingly…in :30 seconds! Then, add ‘story’ after they have responded.

2. HANDLE OBJECTIONS.

Important to be able to pre-think (not sure that’s a word but you get my point) how you’re going to handle the normal objections.

  • “I’m in. We don’t have to meet.” (Response could be as simple as “I know you’re in. We just haven’t met in a while and I have some really cool stuff to SHOW YOU around _________, ____________, __________.”)
  • “What is this about?” (Response: “We have a plan called Vision 2015 that I would love to share with you. You are one of our most committed Champions and we really want to get your feedback.”)
  • Why do we need to meet?” (Response: “We’re meeting with Community Leaders, like you” or “I really want to show you how we are presenting our Message and Story…”)

Bottom Line: We need to convince them that we need a little bit of their time… for a really big impact.

3. DO THE WORK.

Steven Pressfield’s DO THE WORK is another one of those great books that captures everything you need to know on the cover/in the title.

In this case, SOMEONE just has to DO THE WORK. Block out 90 minutes. Get on the phone. Make your calls. Do the follow-up. Do the work.

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Phone Tips From a Pro

Anyone making phone calls to set visits will benefit from these GREAT tips from Nicole, a
For-Impact visit-setter extraordinaire. Share these with your team to sharpen skills and boost
confidence before picking up the phone.

  • Be Authentic. It’s not about following a script, but about putting it in your own words.
  • Your passion shows through on the phone.
  • Don’t think of the reasons why they may not give. Think of the reason they WILL give.
  • You cannot play out every scenario in your head of the questions that you will receive on
    the phone. Just make the call and see what happens.
  • It’s OK to not have all the answers and to say, “Let me find out about this.”
  • It is all about the change/impact that the prospect can have on the organization.
  • Your prospect may already support you and are champions for your cause. You do not need
    to sell them on the cause.
  • Learn as you go.
  • The best way to start is to pick up the phone and call.
  • In case you only have a few minutes on the phone and they do not want a meeting, know
    in advance the message you want the prospect to take away from your call. You may be the
    only opportunity to talk about the impact/message.
  • Every investment has an impact.
  • Never perceive you know the prospect’s capacity. Let them tell you.
  • Based on your conversation, some people will be inspired to send in a check without
    needing to meet.
  • Everyone wants to feel that they are making a difference.
  • And, the more predisposition letters you send out, and the more calls you make,
    the more impact it will have.
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Perserverence

Everything good in life doesn’t come easy or just happen. Getting a visit takes FOLLOW-UP and PERSEVERANCE.

Here are 3 things that might help you with this.

  • Attitude Is Everything
  • Whatever It Takes
  • Yes or No

1. ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING.

Getting a visit is all about SFP: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy! If you’re trying to a get an ‘appointment’ with someone you are convinced doesn’t want to see you… that’s exactly what will happen.

The person responsible for getting a visit must go at this with the attitude that the:

  • Qualified Prospect wants to be with you.
  • Qualified Prospect wants to hear the opportunity.
  • Qualified Prospect will be the big winner after the visit.

This ‘attitude’ will come through on the phone.

Special Note on Authenticity: You cannot mess up a contact to set up a visit if you
are authentic!!!

  • “Really important that we meet with you.”
  • “Been trying hard to set this up because of urgency, importance, etc.”
  • “Sorry we have missed connecting so often, I’m feeling like a stalker.
    However…”

2. WHATEVER IT TAKES.

I know. Old and cheesy coaching cliché. However, if you take ‘perseverance’ and ‘attitude’ down to the ‘how’… the answer is to do WHATEVER IT TAKES! Call back until they tell you not to call anymore. Stay in contact until you’ve got the visit set up. Call in all of your SUPPORT team. WHATEVER IT TAKES.

3.“YES OR NO?”

We have something we call the ‘RESPONSE TREE’. Usually only 3 answers once you get through on the phone:

  • “YES.” Awesome. Get date and time set. Follow-up with a note to confirm. Send
    any additional predisposition (#2) material for the actual visit itself.
  • “MAYBE.” “What else could I do that might help you decide on getting together? I can meet you anywhere, anytime. Would it help if you spoke with (Natural Partner) to understand more about why they are engaged with us?”
  • “NO.” If this is No – No time but still likes your organization… then you could send them a President’s Circle invitation or even a really strong follow-up letter… with a request.

    If it’s a No – “No, can’t really see this as a priority, don’t have the financial wherewithal to help”… then you would send a nice ‘thank you’ and MOVE ON!

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Voice Mail

TO LEAVE OR NOT TO LEAVE (THAT IS THE QUESTION)

My primary response to the question of VOICE MAIL is that it is a function of authenticity.

I believe it is appropriate to leave a voice mail on the first follow-up call:

  • Referencing the predisposition.
  • Leaving a return number.
  • Indicating that if you don’t hear back, you will call again on (day).

After that, it’s a combination of authenticity, good judgment and professional perseverance.

  • “Sorry I missed you again. Let me know a good time to catch up. Text or my e-mail is _________.”
  • “I know we keep missing. I also know how important this is to you. I’ll keep trying until we connect.”

***This is another example of ‘Practice’… and thinking out the exact words you can use.
Nothing worse than hemming and hawing and fumbling your way through a voice mail.

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Order of Visits

Deciding the ORDER of your visits is very different from simply starting at the top of your Master Prospect List and working your way down.

‘MO-CO’ – ‘LEAD-CO’ – ‘CO-CO’

Begin like Archimedes on his best day by trying to LEVERAGE your commitments… building on each previous visit and commitment as you move along.

Here’s one way to look at this: ‘MO-CO’s,’ ‘LEAD-CO’s’ and ‘CO-CO’s’:

  • MO-CO’s are MOMENTUM COMMITMENTS. These commitments are not necessarily about magnitude or size but rather ‘COMMENSURATE’… ‘SURPRISE’… and ‘STRETCH’.

    These are the ‘EARLY ADOPTERS’ who get it, buy in, and provide the MOMENTUM to get going.

    In Good To Great, Jim Collins’ world, we would call these ‘FLYWHEEL’ commitments. In order to get a FLYWHEEL moving, it takes a lot of energy at the beginning… but once there is some ‘MOMENTUM’… the wheel flies.

  • LEAD-CO’s are about LEADERSHIP COMMITMENTS that literally TRANSFORM the organization or the project or the campaign. These are ‘Top of the Pyramid’, lead gifts that create a sense of “We can do this.” Many times they prove that our best prospects/investors have ‘stepped up’, and now it’s up to the rest of us.
  • CO-CO: CONNECTOR COMMITMENTS. Going after some of your most important ‘CONNECTORS’ early on is a terrific strategy to not only get their financial commitment (which may or may not be significant) but also to generate REFERRALS and STRATEGY on getting visits with your best prospects.
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The Controlling Insight – Just Ask

“The best way to have a GOOD IDEA is to have a lot of ideas.”
– Linus Pauling

 

“One great INSIGHT is worth a thousand good ideas.”
– Phil Dusenberry

 
Marcus Buckingham, in his wonderful book called THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO KNOW, talks about a ‘CONTROLLING INSIGHT’.

He says, “For a ‘CONCEPT’ to go to a ‘CONTROLLING INSIGHT’, it must:
1. Apply amongst a BROAD RANGE of SITUATIONS.
2. SERVE as MULTIPLIER!!!
3. GUIDE ACTION!!!”
I truly believe… with my heart and my head… that JUST ASK is a ‘CONTROLLING INSIGHT’.
1. It works (applies) to just about anything… anywhere.
2. It exponentially increases growth, sales, life.
3. It’s ALL about ACTION!

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Nick’s Note: Just Ask


 

‘Just Ask’ the ACTION part of the For Impact message.

  • Through The Suddes Group, we’ve raised a lot of money. A big reason for this was because WE ASKED.
    So many times I’ve been on a visit with an executive director. We asked… the prospect (after some dialogue) said yes and the executive director then later said to me,

  • Just ask when timing is perfect.
  • Just ask when you know exactly what to ask for.
  • Just ask after you’ve visiting with the prospect nine times.
  • Just ask when you’re entire board is on board.
  • Just ask when those butterflies in your stomach are finally gone.
  • Just ask when you have the perfect message.
  • Just ask when you have the perfect materials.

It says, “Just Ask!”

  • Timing will never be perfect.
  • The only what you’ll know what to ask for is by asking (and getting a response).
  • You are in the business of saving, changing and impacting lives It’s not about nine visits. People cultivate because they can’t communicate!
  • Re: the board… just move… take action.
  • I still feel like I want to puke before a big ask….
  • The only way to truly test a message is to ASK.
  • Re: Materials, see my above point about message.

Just ASK is all about action.

It’s permission to move. Nothing happens until you ask!

Until you ask, (one-on-one), the message is not personal.
Until you ask, people don’t know how they can help.Until you ask, the prospect doesn’t guide you through what else is needed (from the message, from the org or plan) to make a commitment.
Until you ask, prospects can’t say YES!

Just Ask!
Always Ask.

This is 90% of everything you need to know about raising money.

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Just Ask – Quotes

 

You’re in SALES. Get over it!

 

“If you don’t ASK, you don’t get.”
– Gandhi

 

Ask and it shall be given.
Seek and you shall find.
Knock and it shall be opened to you.”

– The Bible

 

“Rak B’ vakaysh!!
ONLY ASK!”

– Hebrew

 

“Ach Direach Cuir Ceist!!”
(But Only Put The Question)

– Gaelic

 

“SPEND MORE TIME
WITH BETTER PROSPECTS”

– Brian Tracey

 

MAXIMIZE RELATIONSHIPS…
AT THIS GIVEN MOMENT!

 

DON’T MAKE DECISIONS
FOR YOUR PROSPECT!
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Just Ask Strategy

 
I wanted to share our JUST ASK STRATEGY with everyone engaged in the For Impact world.
 

THE FOR IMPACT JUST ASK STRATEGY
(It’s SIMPLE, not easy.)

Get a VISIT …

NOT AN APPOINTMENT (THINK ‘Doctor/Dentist’!)

With a QUALIFIED PROSPECT/POTENTIAL INVESTOR …

NOT A DONOR (THINK ‘Blood/Organ’!)

To do DISCOVERY…

NOT TALK, TALK, TALK (THINK ‘Blah, Blah, Blah’!)

To SHARE THE STORY …

NOT MORE INFORMATION (THINK ‘glazed eyes’!)

To PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY …

NOT ASK FOR MONEY (THINK ‘Beggar’!)

SHOULDER-TO-SHOULDER …

NOT FACE-TO-FACE, EYEBALL-TO-EYEBALL (THINK ‘Competition/Confrontation’!)

To FUND THE VISION!!!

NOT HELP TO ‘SURVIVE’ (THINK UGH!)

 
VOCAB, WORDS, FRAMING have a huge impact on your ATTITUDE and ACTION!

Think about getting an appointment with a donor to overwhelm them with information and ask them for money.

No wonder no one will meet with you. 🙂

P.S. Here’s how it works for the For Profit world. Your Board Members will ‘get it’.
 

THE FOR PROFIT JUST ASK STRATEGY
(It’s SIMPLE, not easy.)

Get a VISIT …

NOT AN APPOINTMENT (THINK ‘Doctor/Dentist’!)

With a QUALIFIED PROSPECT/POTENTIAL INVESTOR …

NOT A SUSPECT (THINK ‘Crime’!)

To do DISCOVERY…

NOT TALK, TALK, TALK (THINK ‘Blah, Blah, Blah’!)

To SHARE THE STORY …

NOT MORE INFORMATION (THINK ‘Glazed Eyes’!)

To PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY …

NOT MAKE A ‘SALE’ (THINK ‘Used Cars’!)

SHOULDER-TO-SHOULDER …

NOT FACE-TO-FACE, EYEBALL-TO-EYEBALL (THINK ‘Competition/Confrontation’!)

To PROVIDE A SOLUTION!!!

NOT SELL SOMETHING (THINK UGH!)
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Number of Asks: The ONE Lever

In his book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explores the formation of organizational habits. (You can read this quick summary by BusinessWeek.) One case study examines Alcoa’s remarkable business turn-around in the 80’s/90’s. CEO Paul O’Neill focused the cultural energy (and habits) around safety–more specifically, around the number of safety violations.

We call this the ONE LEVER. Meaning, to maximize team cohesion and culture change you need to focus energy on ONE LEVER at a time to create organizational change.

What will that lever be? Be specific. Be clear.

The Orlando Magic focus on ‘butts in seats’.

FedEx focuses on number of packages that don’t arrive when promised (aiming for zero).

Just about everyone reading this is seeking some form or another of improved funding results.

Call it a culture of philanthropy.
Call it a sales culture.
Call it greater revenue for impact.
Call it funding the vision.

When you’re bringing your team along there is so much ‘other stuff’ that can obscure progress. Events, predisposition activities, reporting, deadlines, board meetings.

As it relates to INCOME DEVELOPMENT the ONE LEVER is – in most every case – the NUMBER OF ASKS.
This is what we emphasize, design-around, message, measure, reinforce.

Obviously a funding goal is pretty important. However that is a RESULT of this measurable activity. Similarly, Alcoa’s leap in quality (and then profits) was a RESULT of increased safety.

One lever: Number of Asks. Preach it. Measure it. It will be transformational. I promise.

Note: It’s not uncommon to see an organization (of any size) with fewer than 10 real-asks per quarter. In fact, it’s a safe bet that by our definition most are at ZERO.

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Three Reasons Why You Should Probably Ask!

Thanks to Dan Kirsch at the Grinspoon Foundation for turning me on to influenceatwork.com. Here is the blog/article by Steve Martin, co-author and presenter at INFLUENCE AT WORK: Three Reasons Why You Should Probably Ask!

Reason #1: People are more likely say ‘yes’ than you think. Love that Martin cites actual studies. My experience is more anecdotal than scientific … yet backed up by over 6,000 visits/presentations … and thousands and thousands and thousands of ASKS in my life.

***JUST ASK is a life principle, not just a sales or business mantra.

In my world, most people actually want to say ‘yes‘ to a legitimate, fair and rational request.

Reason #2: Asking doesn’t weaken your power, it boosts it.

At The Suddes Group, we have an internal mantra of ACT or ASK. If you know what needs to be done, do it. If you’re not sure or need help or want someone else’s counsel … ASK.

***Again, not just sales. “I’ve had a long couple of days. Could you upgrade my room?” “I know my son’s tuition is due. Would it be possible to spread that over six months instead of one payment?” “Since this is a trip around the world in 23 days, including 9 all-night flights or trains, could we make all the reservations in business class/first class?”

BTW, the answer to all three of these questions was “YES“.

Reason #3. You’ll actually feel better if you ask.

Martin makes a great point about the difference between rejection and regret. Personally, I much prefer ‘rejection’ (or, better put, someone simply saying no to the request) … than to look back for weeks, months or years, with regret, wondering what would have happened if I had only asked.
 

JUST ASK. JUST ASK. JUST ASK.

 

Special, Special, Special Note to All Leaders in the For Impact World.

BIG/HUGE LESSON FROM THE FIELD.

We are doing a ton of work right now in healthcare and with healthcare foundations.

We spend a lot of time talking about about goals, increasing philanthropic revenue, staffing, major gifts vs. special events and much more.

The proverbial lightbulb went off when we started talking about ROI!

Return-On-Investment is a ridiculously simple concept for an advancement/development operation. It is especially relevant for a hospital foundation.

What is our ROI?

  • At 1X right now, it’s no wonder the hospital CEO won’t take our calls.
  • AT 2X, we’re generating revenue for the hospital, but our cost of fundraising is 50%!
  • At 3X, we become part of the conversation at the proverbial table.
  • At 5X (20% cost of fundraising), we are a integral and critical part of the business model.

There are two simple ways to dramatically change ROI: Reduce the denominator (cut expenses) and increase the numerator (raise more money).

The ROI conversation allows for a much more meaningful discussion about expenses, people, slots, what should be a foundation expense and what should be a hospital expense, etc.

Increasing philanthropic revenue is a function of ‘major gifts’, visits and presentations.
Then, the key to ROI is simple:

JUST ASK. JUST ASK. JUST ASK.

 

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Ask…Listen…Ask…Listen

In our trainings, we do a ‘card trick’ to demonstrate the greatest sales tip ever.

ASK a question… LISTEN to the answer… ASK another question (based on the previous response)… LISTEN to answer.

Asking questions is the best way to do DISCOVERY… the best way to create ENGAGEMENT… and an absolutely marvelous way to be able to PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY!

Here are 3 quick tips on how to be a great listener, followed by an article from Selling Power (September/October 2011) titled ARE YOU LISTENING? (8 Steps to Positive Listening Skills That Can Improve Your Sales) by the editors of Selling Power.

  • Total focus. Actually sit up, engage with your eyes and ears as you focus on exactly what the prospect is saying.
  • Get people to tell their story. Most people love to talk about themselves and share their stories with you. This is a perfect fit with out IMPACT –> INCOME | SHARE THE STORY –> PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY. (It’s not just you that should share the story… but they should share their story with you.)
  • Take notes. In my mind, this is a great way to show respect, show that you’re listening and show that you care. The best thing about notes for me is that it helps me focus on listening, and then when the prospect is finished I can refer back to the notes and quotes.
  • *It’s also a great way to capture as much of the visit as you can for the Memo for the Record, which, of course, you are going to complete as soon after the call as possible.

Read the article for 8 More Steps to Positive Listening Skills!

Then… ASK… LISTEN… ASK… LISTEN.

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