“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!
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.
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.
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.
CHANGE YOUR VOCABULARY! WORDS ARE IMPORTANT! Stop using all the typical ‘nonprofit’ industry jargon. Start using ‘sales’ terms, ‘business’ terms, ‘common sense’ terms.
Asking for Money
Presenting the Opportunity
THINK BIG. BUILD SIMPLE. ACT NOW! Our absolute favorite Entrepreneur’s Mantra. Also works great for SALES. THINK. BUILD. ACT. BIG. SIMPLE. NOW.
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.
NO TIMEOUTS. NO SUBSTITUTIONS. NO EXCUSES. OG’s Notre Dame Boxers’ Mantra. Works for sales. Take responsibility for your life. Your actions. Your results.
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.
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.”
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).
ASK QUESTIONS. (ACTUALLY) LISTEN TO ANSWERS. This is, without question, the greatest ‘SALES TIP’ … ever!
SHARE THE STORY. PRESENT THE OPPORTUNITY. No explanation necessary. Just do it.
The prospect has a very strong relationship with the college, and Tom does a triple ask the very first time he meets with her.
Tom visits with a high capacity prospect for the first time who has a strong relationship with Ohio Wesleyan University an alumnus. She is a very successful attorney with a generational connection to the school, including a her parents, two sons, and multiple other family members.
Key Learning Points:
Err on the side of asking and being aggressive, but be in tune with what the prospect is saying and body language.
If the prospect has too many options, it makes it harder for them to choose
BE FOR IMPACT. Change THE world. Change YOUR world.
In 1623, Billy Shakespeare wrote the opening soliloquy in Hamlet, questioning the whole meaning of life. “To BE or not to BE … that is the question.” In the 21st century, that might be asked in a different way. “To BE FOR IMPACT or not to BE FOR IMPACT … that is the question.”