Remember a powerful quote that Tom and I love:
“Engage, then plan.” Andy Grove
You will never have enough information before meeting with a prospect.
If you’re waiting until you have enough then your approach would be to,
“Plan, then engage.”
I don’t know that I’m every really sure about the ratings and
rankings on my prospect list (including a prospect’s capacity and
relationship) until AFTER I’ve gone to visit with them.
- You can’t determine what you will ask for until you’ve had a real conversation
with the prospect. Too many times I’ve been told by a board member or
champion, “You can only ask for $X.” During the visit we learn information
that would warrant a $10X ask. (So we ask for $10X!)
- It’s okay to not know everything. You can fill in the blanks by asking
- Wealth screening, Google, giving history etc. are your knowledge base
– not strategies. Want a strategy? Go and visit with the prospect. Share
the story around your impact and present the opportunity to save lives,
change lives and/or impact lives.
- Don’t to set a bar BEFORE you share your vision, your impact, your
raison d’etre. Don’t make decisions for your prospect. The reason for
sharing your story and your vision is to SET A NEW OR VERY HIGH BAR.
Here is a very powerful question – so powerful we call it the ‘DISCOVERY
After getting the prospect VERY engaged around your impact and your priorities
you can share you funding plan and ask:
“Prospect, I don’t know about your capacity.
This program will require $40,000 a year for each of the next three years.
Is this something you could do?”
After you build confidence in your approach, you can drop the line about
‘not knowing capacity.’
It’s a powerful question you’ve engaged the prospect. The answer
will provide all the information you need to plan. It’s important
that you listen, process and keep moving forward with the relationship.
Implied: Don’t ‘engage… then stop.’