Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone said “yes” when you asked them for money?
But they don’t, do they?
Often, they come up with a reason they can’t possibly give at the level you’ve requested.
Despite how it feels, objections are actually a very good sign. While a “yes” would be terrific, an objection is at least not a no. (You may need to read that sentence a few times!)
In my 3-hour seminar “Asking for Money 2: How to Handle Objections,” I offer five reasons to like objections:
- Objections show interest. An objection is often a way for the prospect to say “Tell me more.”Â
- If there were no objections, you’d be out of a job! People would just be giving oodles of money to your cause and you’d be irrelevant!
- Objections are better than questions. Both are calls for more information but questions can be merely polite–unattached and disinterested. Objections show some level of personal interest and connection with your soliciation.
- You don’t have to answer them all! Let me repeat that: YOU DON’T HAVE TO ANSWER THEM ALL! You’re a fundraiser, not an objection answering service. I recently had the wonderful experience of asking a prospect, “Is [the issue you just brought up] something that would keep you from making a gift?” It turns out the issue he was bringing up wasn’t really important to his decision making. So we didn’t have to deal with that particular objection at all!
- In most cases, objections are similar. Sales guru Zig Ziglar says most solicitations are met with 5 or 6 common objections. Figure out these common objections and you’re more than half way to answering them.
Why not get your staff together and brainstorm a huge list of objections? Maybe this could be done in a party like atmosphere or at the local pub. Make this fun. Pretend you’ve just been asked to give to your cause and rattle off all the reasons you couldn’t do that.
Then look at the huge list, and narrow it down to five or six most common objections.
- “My kids are in college.”
- “My businesses isn’t doing that well this year.”
- “There are 17,000 other campaigns in our town.” Etc.
Once you have this list, you’re in power.
See what you can do to restructure your presentation. Perhaps you can incorporate stories of how others that are supporting the cause have overcome one of those objections.
If you know the person has kids in college, you may make an off-hand but strategic comment like: “You know, last week Joe said that this was so important for our community that he’s making a leadership gift even though he’s got 32 kids in college right now.”
You may still get that objection but at least you’ve gone a long way to answering it before it even comes up.
I doubt I’ll convince you to look forward to objections. But hopefully these will help take the sting (or surprise) out of them when they come.
Remember, if you’re not getting any objections, you’re not asking for enough money!