In case you haven’t noticed we spend quite bit of time helping our For Impact tribe get out of the office – doing more VISITS and making more ASKS.
So what happens AFTER the visit?
When implementing a SALES process and SALES approach to funding, there are three equal parts to every visit/ask: Predispose, Present, Follow up.
These 7 points about Follow Up have a wide application – And can help you immensely in making things happen AFTER the visit:
- The 24-Hour Rule
We need to get out our follow-up emails/letters within 24 hours – no matter what. If we wait to write the perfect proposal or pitch, with time, it (1) takes more effort and (2) we lose momentum. I’ll take 80% perfect at 24 hours over 90% perfect in three weeks.
Speed doesn’t kill… time does.
- It’s a RELATIONSHIP
The goal is to maximize the RELATIONSHIP at this given moment. Funding is a function of the relationship – not the world’s best proposal. Think more about communication and follow-up in terms of a relationship and not a transaction – this will help with #1.
- Re: Referrals – think about ONE ACTION item and a manageable timeline.
It’s great that prospects are saying they’re going to open doors. Focus on ONE action and make it happen. “We’re all about momentum and everyone is busy. To keep the ball rolling, can we talk about making one phone call in the next two weeks?”
One action will lead to more. Undefined action leads to no action.
- “Can you get me a proposal?”
If someone asks this we need to simplify on the spot – “Sure thing… are you an email person?” (Everyone is.) “Would it be okay if I summarized our conversation in bullet point form and shot that back by email?”
Save yourself HOURS by converting ‘proposals’ to ‘bullet points.’
- The ball is always in your court.
We’re getting a lot of great ‘pending requests.’ If someone says, “give me a few days and I’ll get back to you.” We need to say, “That’s great. If I don’t hear from you by Friday, I’ll follow-up on Monday.”
Email is for follow-up notes. Use the phone to make things happen.
Be a closer. Always.
It’s an attitude. Your ability to close translates to lives saved, impacted and transformed. This isn’t about some ‘business jargon’… it’s about real stuff… important stuff. We either believe it or we don’t. And, if we do, then we need to close. If we don’t – let’s quit now.
Today is the day to remember the sacrifice and contribution of all who served in the military.
Every day should be used to thank veterans for keeping our country free and safe.
If you have a chance, thank a military person today. Better yet, see if you can hire a recent veteran.
One-third of all ‘homeless’ are military vets. If you can help them through your local shelter, do so. If you don’t know where to help, I’d recommend supporting Chris Megison at Solutions for Change, a For Impact org leading the way in solving this problem.
While it’s a nice gesture to say to our current military, “Thank you for your service” … what really needs to be done is to help them with the TRANSITION from military to a career and family and a new life.
If you are in a position to do so … most are extremely talented, committed leaders … help them to begin their post-military life.
Many of these returning vets would make great TALENT in the For Impact world … as executives, teachers, program leaders, sales and development staff and much more.
I spent my tour (after Notre Dame) as an Infantry Officer at Fort Benning, Georgia. (Missed Vietnam by one class of Infantry Officer Basic Course Graduates. Luck of the draw.) I went through Airborne and Pathfinder, jumped out of planes and helicopters, and was one of the few ROTC Graduates to become a Tactical Officer at O.C.S. (Officer Candidate School). From a leadership/lessons learned perspective, hard to match what Army Infantry provided. Still with me 45 years later.
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.
“If you want to catch a fish, first learn to think like a fish.”
– The Maori of New Zealand
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!
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?
-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.
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!
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!
“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:
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!
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:
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.
We’ve designed an Engagement Tool (see: What is an Engagement Tool?) to help STOP ZOMBIES NOW. There’s also a short (10 min) teaching video that’s worth a watch — it offers a serious explanation of story, simplicity, altitude, message, case, and the funding rationale to ERADICATE ZOMBIES FOREVER.
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.
– Albert Einstein
Solving this problem requires that you change your perspective.
Alan Keys, a pioneer of computer science, says:
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.)