(Recorded by Tom Suddes)
Don’t freak out! If you ARE a Major Gift Officer … or have just HIRED a Major Gift Officer … or HAVE multiple Major Gift Officers … THAT’S GREAT!!!
What I’m strongly urging you to do is to CHANGE THEIR TITLE!!!
We should wear a sandwich board that says “I’m a MAJOR GIFT OFFICER. I’m coming to ask you for a Major Gift. Get ready.”
Nobody OUTSIDE your organization deals with ‘MAJOR GIFTS.’
Nobody INSIDE even knows what they are.
As always, I challenge you with the ‘NO MORE’ … but offer an alternative SOLUTION.
Change the TITLE of your ‘MAJOR GIFT OFFICERS’ to something that includes the word RELATIONSHIP!!!
In our trainings, we do a ‘card trick’ to demonstrate the greatest sales tip ever.
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.
Read the article for 8 More Steps to Positive Listening Skills!
Then… ASK… LISTEN… ASK… LISTEN.
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.
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?
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:
There is a lot of room to define this one… you should take the time to define it within your organization.
In the For Impact world, a REAL ASK means:
Without going through this checklist, we find often that: