One of our discovery questions for our clients is:
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?
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.
|Direct Mail/Annual Fund|
(Golf, Gala, 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)
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???
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 ‘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:
- Writing ‘TRIPLE NET CHECKS’ to the organization from the Development Operation.
- A laser-like focus on RESULTS/OUTCOME … not on activities, special events, donor acquisitions, chasing mice, etc.
- 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.
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
*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 ‘33 GIFTS’ Plan. (Example)
- 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.
“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 3° 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!)
- 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.
Here is a format we use for sales meetings – for example, a weekly review of activities from the sales team.
- Update on activity:
- Number of visits
- Number of asks
- 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
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.
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.
Here are the 9 Rules of Engagement, without any supporting text or thoughts.
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.
Good Judgement is a result of Experience.
Experience is a result of Bad Judgement.”
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:
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,
*Remember Martin Luther King said,
*He didn’t say, “I have a Strategic Plan.”
Newton’s Law states,
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!