Zig Ziglar, one of the greatest sales trainers of all time, said that a sale is made on every visit. Either you sell the prospect on all the reasons why s/he should buy or s/he sells you on all the reasons why s/he should not. Period.
My contention is that if you don’t decide to be one side of that either/or then you will almost always let the sale happen TO YOU. You will almost always be sold on reasons why the person cannot give what you had hoped for or what you need to deliver on the plan.
Remember: Hope is not a strategy.
So, decide. Don’t hope.
Years ago, when Tiger Woods was in his prime, he remarked that he does not putt the ball until he has decided it will go in the hole – Until he has that level of certainty, confidence and visualization.
This is the level of conviction you need to bring to every VISIT.
Of course, every putt does not fall and every ‘ask’ does not close. But, you can’t go into a visit ‘hoping’. You need to decide the commitment is a foregone conclusion.
As a mentee of Tom Suddes’ for years, I watched and learned the hard work that went into making a great case. Tom would not go into make a visit or presentation until he was able to wrap his mind around the emotion + logic of the case so completely that he thought, “Why would someone NOT make this investment?”
There is an old sales maxim: I am sold myself. Certainly you don’t visit until YOU are sold. That work is upon us as sales people to own that conviction. It’s not up to a manager or a CEO. It is OUR responsibility to do the work to be totally sold.
I don’t want to hide this from you – Arriving at that level of conviction, preparation and DECISION is hard work.
For those that still have an aversion to the word ‘sales’ – Get over it. This isn’t about used cars. It’s about making your case and engaging in such a compelling way that people understand what it will take to save lives, change lives and impact lives. This makes Zig’s challenge perhaps MORE important in the world of philanthropy.
We live in a great world. People are generous. You are doing good work.
I believe 80% of the time gifts are not maximized because a generous person said he or she would commit $10K and we did not sell them on the true need (e.g. $100K) to deliver the impact. Instead, we were sold on all the reasons why they could not make the larger commitment.