Set your intent at the start of a visit. In conjunction with strong predisposition, an INTENT will help you TRANSITION throughout the conversation and DRIVE toward an ask. Stating intent could be as simple as outlining the FLOW for the visit, “Thanks for taking time to visit with us today. As George shared, we’re hoping to connect with people that really have a similar passion for helping youth. What we would like to do is take a few minutes to get to know you [the OPEN]. We would like to share a little bit about what we’re doing [the STORY]. And, then, if it’s okay, we would love to talk about ways to help [the ASK / Presenting the Opportunity].”
When they’re not able to navigate the ‘flow-of-the-visit,’ Development Officers have a hard time transitioning to the ask. It’s as though they are waiting to be invited to have a discussion about how the prospect can help. In a broader and universal sense, any discussion is more productive when framed by a clear intent. As a reminder, here is the framework we use to illustrate the ‘The Flow of the Visit.’
Happy Birthday to our youngest grandchild, EJ, who turns 6 today! (I’m holding her in the photo below.)
Today is also my BirthDATE (March 19th is my birthDAY, thus today is my May birthDATE.)
Don’t forget to celebrate your birthDATE every month!
For the last 20 years, I have tried very, very hard to make my BIRTHDATE a special day every month.
I’ve been quietly trying to encourage everyone around me to CELEBRATE their own BIRTHDATE. And, not so quietly, I have challenged thousands of individuals at certain speaking engagements to do the same.
Here’s a great goal/challenge for 2016: Make your BIRTHDATE a special day for YOU!
Do something solo: Breakfast or coffee shop, with a journal or a book. A motorcycle or bike ride. A yoga class. Whatever.
Then, do something special with those you love: Spend a little time with the g-kids. Catch up with a sib or a child away from home. Have lunch with the ‘girls’ or a beverage with the ‘boys.’
I also use the 19th as the once a month review of my goals (lifetime, this year, upcoming 90 days, etc.) and to set Action Plan for next 30 days.
Most people laugh (hard) when I tell them to take their BIRTHDATE off. Yet, if we can’t set aside even one day every month for ourself… things are pretty screwed up.
Tom has been receiving notes from around the world, people reaching out to share what he has taught them. One of the big themes has been the importance of Life Balance. With our own team, we call this “Integration” – Being able to integrate all the facets of your life to achieve happiness, fulfillment and overall health.
Here’s a great note from the archives – Tom talking about his mentor who introduced him to “personal goals” and “family first.”
It may seem a little weird to talk about “PERSONAL GOALS” when you’re dealing with SALES or SALES GOALS. Frank Sullivan, however, was all about writing out ALL of his goals and plans – personal, financial, business, health, etc.
Frank was literally the first person in my “business life” (and, actually, one of the very few people) that talked about his personal life and his family and his own goals – as they related to his business and sales goals.
Frank’s the one who first gave me the idea of solo time with the kids, which I turned into BIRTHDAY BREAKFAST, where we went over their favorite books, TV, friends, food – And, did their GOALS for the upcoming year! I tried to capture all these notes in one journal/green book (that I still have today.)
By the way, if you’ve never done ‘GOALS’ with a 3-year-old, you’ve really missed out!
Frank came down with Alzheimer’s at the end of his life, but, by then, he had impacted so many people and left a huge legacy. “Personal goals” and “family first” were his GIFT to me. I am forever grateful.
This week’s theme is: Set your goals of ENGAGEMENT.
“PRODUCTIVITY is the act of bringing a company (organization or person) closer to its GOAL. Every ACTION that brings a company (organization or person) closer to its GOAL is PRODUCTIVE. Every ACTION that does NOT bring a company (organization or person) closer to its GOAL is not PRODUCTIVE.
What I’m telling you is…
PRODUCTIVITY IS MEANINGLESS UNLESS YOU KNOW YOUR GOAL.””
Eliyahu Goldratt is an Israeli physicist who has been described by Fortune magazine as a “guru to industry” and by Business Week as a “genius.”
He wrote a self-published, underground best seller entitled The Goal (North River Press, 1984, Revised 1986 and 1992).
This may be one of the best ‘business books’ I’ve ever read. It’s not dense, text-heavy business gobbley gook with charts, tables and Venn diagrams.
It’s actually written as a fiction story. Jonah (the consultant) uses the Socratic method of asking questions of Alex (the manager) to completely turn around a faltering business/ manufacturing plant.
THE GOAL, on one hand, is complex, with terms like: throughput, bottleneck, the theory of constraints and the cloud theory.
At the same time, it is incredibly SIMPLE: KNOW YOUR GOAL!
IF PRODUCTIVITY is a function of understanding your GOAL… being able to define SUCCESS… being able to MEASURE your progress…
Nixing the event and focusing on getting more visits is a simpler, more productive approach. It may feel challenging to work through the ‘but-what-about-objections.’ So, here’s a few ideas:
You need a good message and story for the visit. Absent of this people hear (and what creates our reluctance) is “Can I come and ask you for money?” If instead people heard (and we believed), “We’re having an amazing impact and need more people like you to know about it!” (Read more The Story for the Visit here.)
The first visit doesn’t need to be an ambush for money. Quite the opposite – the goal should be to ENGAGE. To LISTEN. And then to overwhelm the other person with the IMPACT so that he or she says, “This is incredible, how can I help?”
This shift in thinking save hundreds of hours, thousands and thousands in fundraising costs and countless lives (because we will generate much more INCOME for our IMPACT).
What really is the GOAL of any Development Office, Advancement Office, Development Officer, Hospital Foundation or College Foundation???
In my world, it’s to: WRITE A TRIPLE NET CHECK TO THE (BLUE) ORGANIZATION!
Our role in ‘development’ is to provide as much GREEN INCOME as possible to help SCALE and GROW the BLUE IMPACT!
It’s that simple.
What does ‘Triple Net’ mean? I borrowed it from the real estate industry, where it’s usually referencing a triple net lease. (Read more here: Triple Net)
For us, it means that ALL COST OF FUNDRAISING is deducted from the REVENUE generated by the Development Team (Green People)… therefore, resulting in a triple net (actual check) being ‘written’ to the organization. (Again, the Blue People.)
I don’t want to go too Jack Nicholson on you, but I do want to make this crystal clear.
This has nothing to do with the IRS, accounting, 990 AR’s or whatever.
This has nothing to do with CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education), AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals), CRFE, etc.
This has nothing to do with what you decide to ‘count’ or not ‘count’ relative to the cost of fundraising.
The only measure of success is determined by how much money (INCOME) you provide to your organization/institution to help them Save Lives, Change Lives, Transform Lives (IMPACT).
Put one more way, our job in ‘Development’ is to FUND THE VISION.
This is getting long, but it’s a really important topic to me at this moment. Here are 3 more BIG thoughts around this subject:
Everyone in our industry knows that the absolute best way to raise the most amount of money… at the least cost… is through ‘MAJOR GIFTS’. This is where we actually sit down, shoulder-to-shoulder, on a visit with a qualified prospect and make a great presentation and ultimately present the opportunity for them to help.
The cost is a ‘nickle on a dollar’ while the ‘special events’, golf outings, mailings, etc. cost is ‘three quarters.’.
I have to tell you that I have seen far too many Development Operations spending one dollar to raise one dollar in the last few years.
I can quickly show anyone reading this the way to raise $1M in the next year, and I will personally guarantee it!
Hire 10 Major Gift Officers, paying them each $100,000 a year to ensure good quality people.
Have them trained at our Boot Camp (on how to make a visit, how to present the opportunity, etc.)
They will each raise $100,000 in real money over the course of the year.
There it is. They just raised $1M for your organization. When you look at that silly scenario, you realize that raising money is not the goal/measurement of a Development Office.
In our world, a Development Officer should be doing a minimum of 10X and ideally 20X their respective ‘cost‘.
‘Cost of Fundraising’ is not some fuzzy math issue. Again, it’s not how you decide to ‘count’. It’s actually a very easy and simple equation:
R – AE = N³C
Revenue – All Expenses = Net, Net, Net Cash. (To be shipped over in a Brink’s truck to the BLUE PEOPLE.)
This week’s theme is: Set your goals of ENGAGEMENT.
Set your 2016 Goals for Engagement now! These goals need to be SPECIFIC, WRITTEN and MEASURABLE.
Here are 3 Examples:
The ‘33 GIFTS’ Plan
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 $1 Million from:
Note: Need $5M? Multiply the right column by 5. (Or 4 for $4M and so on.)
The ‘Spartan 300’ Plan
We will ENGAGE with our BEST 300 prospects (including our Top 33), which will generate 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.
Note: If you have one member of your sales team, divide this goal accordingly: The ‘Spartan 100’ plan!
The ‘1,000 ENGAGEMENT’ Plan
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.
Reposting this nugget based on several recent coaching calls about ‘Activity vs. Productivity’ and Sales Team FOCUS.
Here is a format we use for Sales Meetings – 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
These metrics provide an objective dashboard that speaks volumes.
“What gets measured gets done.” – Tom Suddes
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 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.
Two months ago I was working with an organization that was making 15 visits per week. It was logging only a few ‘commitments’ and no ‘declines.’ We were able to zero in on this and it turned out the staff wasn’t really asking – if you’re asking, you’re going to have some declines! Instead, they were walking through the numbers and ‘hoping’ the prospect would select to give. We did another training session around ‘the last three feet’ of the visit and the numbers then improved.
*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. I encourage you to take a look at the resources we’ve provided below and create an Action Plan for 2016.
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!)
Commit to SHARING THE STORY and PRESENTING THE OPPORTUNITY!!!