One of our discovery questions for our clients is:
How many times have you (or someone from your organization) sat down with a potential investor one-on-one in the past three months and asked for more than $1,000?
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?
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 ‘INPUT’ PARADIGM:MAKE IT. INSPECT IT. THROW OUT THE BAD. SELL THE GOOD.
The ‘OUTCOME’ PARADIGM:MAKE IT. SELL IT.
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
The old adage of “what gets measured gets done” is an overused/abused cliché, but it captures the essence of a SALES culture. EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING, needs to be MEASURED.
ACTIVITY / PRODUCTIVITY.
WHAT WORKS / WHAT DOESN’T.
EVERY NUMBER / EVERY PROJECT.
Two of the best people I have ever worked with offer terrific insights here.
Fred ‘Falcon’ Mickelson is a former ‘big dog’ at a very large corporation, ‘professional’ volunteer leader, board chair, and an absolutely brilliant thinker.
“Activities are necessary and lead to results, but activities are NOT results. Therefore, keep track of activities, but set REAL goals and measure progress towards achieving those goals on a specific, pre-set timeline.”
REMEMBER, YOU GET WHAT YOU MEASURE!
Terry Fairholm is a former Suddes Group partner and ‘hockey puck’ with an MBA and 20 years of super successful FIELD experience as one of the best campaign leaders in the industry.
“It’s not about activity, it’s about RESULTS. ‘Getting the word out’ is a statement that has never made any sense to me. We (development professionals) don’t get paid to get the word out; we get paid to raise money.”