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“Bankers Don’t Have Any Imagination, None At All”

In September of 1953, Walt Disney was sending his brother Roy to meet with bankers in New York. Roy was going to be seeking financing for a new concept: Disneyland. At the time, Disney had cartoons but no theme parks, which is hard to imagine in the present day.

As the story is told, Walt called in an imagineer named Herb Ryman and said, “You know bankers don’t have any imagination, none at all. You have to show them what you’re going to do.” He then asked Herb to help him create a mock-up of Disneyland on a large storyboard. It was a splendid painting that even included black light paint so that you could see what Disneyland would look like at night.

This story comes from Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind-the-Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real. The book includes pictures of the storyboard.

 

 

Part of our For Impact story has been the invention of THE ENGAGEMENT TOOL. This one-page presentation flow, at altitude, has become an absolutely indispensable part of our client and coaching success.

Always look for ways to SHOW what you’re going to do. Use Engagement Tools. Banker or not, there is a big difference between talking your way through something and showing your way through something. A Engagement Tool worked for Walt and Roy Disney and it will work for you.

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No More Meetings

LOSERS MEET. WINNERS DO.”

That’s James Carville’s typically blunt, hit you between the eyes, challenge.

He goes on to say that, “Absent a major peace negotiation, complicated merger or complex legal settlement, there’s no reason on earth to have a meeting last more 30 MINUTES.”

After 40+ years in the ‘business world’, I never want to attend another meeting in my life. I believe this is also true of every other meeting attendee (excluding the meeting planner or boss who is holding the meeting.)

I wish I had a magic alternative. I’d love to see more ‘GATHERINGS’ of the right people at the right time on the right subject – to brainstorm or reevaluate or correct the course. (Imagine what life would be like without ‘meetings’, but where you ‘GATHERED’ together in a fun, productive session with real results.)

Read Pixar’s Braintrust for another great option.

A meeting, by the way, is not a place to INFORM! If you want to share information, write it down and get it out in a one-pager. If you’re going to ‘gather’ for actionable results, then people need to be engaged and involved in the session – not listening to one person ramble with no purpose.

I’d also love to see more opportunities for CELEBRATIONS of accomplishments and success (rather than just ‘talking’ about what we’re going to do).

P.S. If you really, really want a PRODUCTIVE session, either STAND or go for a WALK!

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You Choose Your Story

In the early 1900s, two shoe salesmen were sent to a remote village to see if there was an opportunity to sell shoes. The wrote back in telegrams:

Salesman #1: “10,000 natives. Stop. Situation hopeless! Stop. No one wears shoes. Stop.

Salesman #2: “10,000 natives. Stop. Glorious Opportunity! Stop. No one here wears shoes! Stop.

Question, which of these two stories is true? Answer, both.

The point? You have control over the story. You have the power to choose your story.

Further, as a leader, if you don’t choose the best possible story, then who will?

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Bad Apple/Good Egg

“The damage done by one bad apple is far greater than the benefit done by one good egg. A lot of executives are afraid that if they weed out their bad apples, their organizations would lose some competitive toughness. This is not so.”

-Adam Grant, Professor, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School

Very interesting article on The Power of Generosity in the December 2015 issue of SUCCESS MAGAZINE.

It talks about the power of giving and references The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann, as well as Give and Take by Adam Grant.

Well worth the read for both personal development and fundraising/sales.

Remember, that we are all For Impact leaders and we need to help people feel great about investing in a powerful cause!

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Learn by Going

Julia Cameron, one of my favorite writers/authors/thinkers, 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.” – Theodore Roethke

“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!

*Julia’s THE ARTIST’S WAY is one of my favorite books and favorite gifts – Pick it up if you haven’t read!

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Fearless, Ruthless, Fearless

A quick nugget on Prospects from on of our For Impact Coaches, Robb.

In the For Impact process to Qualify Prospects you do these three things:

  • Identify
  • Prioritize
  • Strategize

In that order.

Robb adds the attitude needed in each of these steps: FEARLESS, RUTHLESS, FEARLESS.

  • When Identifying prospects: BE FEARLESS.
    Don’t make decisions for the prospect. Be inclusive.
  • When Prioritizing prospects: BE RUTHLESS.
    After you have a list of prospects be very discerning about your focus and priorities. You MUST prioritize. The priority of the prospects (your Master Prospect List) drives your attention – On whom will you place your focus, time and energy?
  • When Strategizing prospects: BE FEARLESS.
    Again, don’t make decisions for the prospect. Let’s make the best case, let’s do whatever it takes to be in front of the prospect and present the opportunity!

Read more about Prospects in our For Impact Guidebook: Gold, Diamonds and Oil.

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Change Your Perspective, Change Your I.Q.

If you’ve ever been to a For Impact training of any kind, you’ve experienced the infamous “Rope Trick.”

 

 
We pair participants up and “handcuff” them together with ropes. The goal is to solve this problem at least once – to completely free yourself from your partner without your rope ever leaving your wrists at any time. You can imagine the hilarity that ensues, but there is a point!
 

 
Many people repeat the same funky dance moves over and over yet end up back in the same spot – Still handcuffed together.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
– Albert Einstein

Solving this problem requires that you change your perspective.

Alan Keys, a pioneer of computer science, says:

“A change in perspective is worth 80 I.Q. points.”

Being For Impact is all about a change in perspective. Change can be scary, so in our approach we always GIVE you something valuable/simple in exCHANGE for the ‘old way’ of thinking. And if old Alan is right, these changes will also increase your I.Q. 🙂

Think about some of the ‘insane’ behaviors you/your organization are still doing – Special Events, Feasibility Studies, Cultivation, Transactions, etc – And, if you haven’t already, I recommend that you read or share the For Impact Guidebook: Change (The) Rules!

(P.S. If you want the solution to the Rope Trick – Email me and I’ll send you video solution.)

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Kerry’s Wedding – A Memorable Experience

 
I rarely use this forum for personal updates, but had to share a very Memorable Experience with our For Impact family.

On September 6th, I got to walk my beautiful, talented and fun daughter Kerry down the aisle at Eagle Creek. Many of you have worked with Kerry over the years. She went with me to sign up our first TSG client, Fenwick High School, when she was 7! She helped train our first big national client, ACS, right out of college. She has worked closely with Nick and me as we’ve grown the For Impact brand internationally and online.

I was proud to walk with her … but even more proud of all she’s accomplished. She is a great daughter, sister, aunt, friend and coach.

She and her new husband, Chris, have known each other since high school, but just recently figured out that they were more than ‘just friends.’ Chris has lived in Jackson Hole since ‘99 and is an avid cyclist and skier. Kerry relocated there last year and has a nice little FI office close to the town square – For Impact Jackson Hole!

Thought you might enjoy some pictures. Wedding was non-traditional (I know. Surprise, surprise.) It was a truly memorable experience – Mechanical Bull, Food Trucks, Hot Air Balloon rides and Funnel Cakes!

 

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1x 10x 50x

If a Qualified Prospect is giving you $50 (let’s call this ‘1x’) in response to a mail campaign, any sort of an event or even ‘totally unsolicited’ then he or she would likely give 10x in response to a one-on-one, personal visit. And 50x if the visit includes a dialogue around the funding plan and an ask.

This is not scientific, but far from arbitrary, as way of thinking about:

  • The potential of your existing relationships (if we visit!), and,
  • Why we need to be doing more visits!

We often hear “we need more prospects” but often find that existing relationships are not being maximized and in some cases, not even being spoken to! Think about this:

  • 1x is clearly emotional. I’ve seen a lot of people cry at events, but the giving is still impersonal and ‘charitable’ in nature.
  • Sitting with someone one-one-one (or 2-1) allows you to listen and respond. It makes the ask personal and seems to trigger another level of discernment in giving – increasing a commitment to an organization ten fold (10x).
  • To get the big, big gifts (50x) we need to walk our Qualified Prospects through a funding plan and have a dialogue around the ask. These conversations are much more strategic.

I often share a story of a school that threw a large gala where they asked everyone to “prayerfully consider giving at a level that was significant.” The school was frustrated – They had a $1M prospect giving $10K and $100K prospects giving $2K.

As much as the prospects liked the school they had no context for how much money to consider. They had no way of guessing that $1M might be the linchpin for the campaign and there was no discussion that gave the committed families and supporters a framework to think bigger.

To put it simply, in this case and many others, you need to tell them what to pray for!

This school went back to each supporter with a complete funding plan. The $1M dollar ask, for example, was a discussion around WHY they needed $1M and what it would enable the school to do (students/faculty/campus, leverage, leadership, timing, etc). The prospects had context in which to consider the ask and many of them increased their gifts by five times and some by 20 or 30 times!

I’ve met with billionaires and many, many millionaires. Trust me, nobody has disposable income. Nobody is going to guess that a $1Million will help. $10K or $50K is a lot to anyone! It’s not until we show up that we can get 10X. It’s not until we dialogue about 50X that we can get 50X. (Read more about The Bystander Effect and Philanthropy here.)

In closing, consider asking yourself a few questions: Is it easier for you to visit with every current funder and ASK (10X) or to get ten new prospects to give? From there, is it easier to get your best prospects to 50X or to get 5-10 more visits?

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Three (daily) self-coaching questions for Sales People

It’s really easy to lose the day, the week, the month or the year putting out fires.

I’d like to offer you a way to design yourself around RESULTS instead just responding to what is in front of you. You can get better Return On Energy (R.O.E.) by self-coaching through these three questions every morning before email – over a good cup of coffee:

  • What are my next actions to line up visits?
  • What can I do to bring in dollars (to fund the impact) today?
  • What am I doing to advance the ball with my top 10 prospects?

Q: What are my next action items to line up visits?
A: Simply, TAKE ACTION.

Visits and asks – advancing and maximizing relationships – is the lifeblood of philanthropy. If ‘dollars raised’ is a productivity output, then this is the measurement that gets you there. Are you scheduling visits this week or next? If not, there will be no new funds to show in 6-8 weeks (plus or minus).

Q: What can I do to bring in dollars (to fund our impact) TODAY?
A: CLOSE existing asks.

I don’t care about adding more or new prospects if we’re not doing follow-up with existing and previous relationships – i.e., if we’re not closing. Adding more to a bad process does nothing. Trust me, it’s much easier to ‘close’ that visit from three weeks/months/years ago than it is to open a new door.

Q: What am I doing to advance the ball with my Top 10 prospects?
A: Set Goals. Engage Natural Partners. Get the Visit. Hit a HOMERUN.

This one is all about the S.F.P. – Self Fulfilling Prophecy. Focus on your top 10 – a little bit – each day. Most people look at the number one prospect and think, “Well, that’s a long way off” or “We don’t know them.” Then they open their email and respond to all the urgent but not important requests. This becomes a routine. Over time we never define the action steps that get us a visit with our top 10. The funds (potential and real) from those prospects can never be made up, nor can the leadership and connections.

Special Note: We had an attendee who raised a question at this week’s Boot Camp, “I’m a one person development shop working on a $5M goal. Should I be doing newsletters?” Using the self coaching model it’s very apparent that the answer is NO. As a Sales Person, your best R.O.E. is:

Setting Up and Executing Visits.
Close existing ASKS.
Advance and Maximize your Top 10… A.S.A.P.

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