I’m a huge fan of Andrea Kihlstedt. She’s a true expert in fundraising – one that makes you feel smarter just by being around her. She’s the author of multiple books and the creator of the “asking styles” way of helping people ask in coordination with their hard wiring, not against them. She’s also done the best teaching I’ve found on exactly what to say during the major gift solicitation. (She’s giving a webinar on just that over at The Nonprofit Academy next Monday. There’s still time to sign up!) But first, you need to get the appointment. She shows you how to do that in this post! You can learn more about Andrea at CapitalCampaignMagic.com and you can reach her @AndreaKihlstedt
How to Overcome Objections in Scheduling Your Fundraising Solicitation Meetings
To become a great solicitor, you’ve got to get in the door to meet face to face with your prospective donors. In my opinion, that’s the toughest part of the assignment. Because once someone has agreed to meet with you to talk about their gift, they are going to make a gift. It’s that simple!
So rather than just picking up the phone to make your calls, it’s worth spending a bit of time practicing!
The objections people give you over the phone call when you call to schedule a meeting are a small, natural part of the process. They’re quick, knee-jerk resistance to the idea of getting together to talk about something weighty like money and values.
Here are some typical set-up-the-meeting phone call objections.
- I’m too busy.
- No need to meet, I’ll just send my check.
- I already know what I’m going to give.
- It’s just a bad time for me.
- Can’t we do this over the phone?
You’ve got to want to meet with your donors
These objections aren’t hard to deal with. But here’s an important warning!
If you don’t really want to meet with your donors chances are good you won’t be able to overcome the telephone objections. If somewhere in your psyche, you feel relief that they’re not willing to meet, chances are, you won’t rise to the challenge.
If you talk yourself into being fully committed to getting the meetings, at least 4 out of 5 times, you’ll get beyond the objections and get your meetings set up.
But you’ve got to do some practice first, before you ever pick up the phone.
Practice makes perfect
Here’s what I’ve found works.
Find someone at home or in your office that’ll help you get ready. Schedule 30-45 minutes to work on this.
Start by making a list of the most common phone call objections. Then, ask your partner to be the objector. Sit back to back so you can’t see one another. Ask your objector to pick one of the common objections and make it again and again so you can try out different responses.
Practice many times with each objection until you find responses that are comfortable for you. You’ll feel it when your responses start to work.
Then, when you’re ready to call your donors to schedule meetings, expect them to object. And you’ll be prepared with responses.
It’s not uncommon for someone to resist more than once. Don’t be flummoxed. Just keep gently pushing through.
One more note about scheduling solicitation meetings. Be sure to have your calendar handy. Start by offering dates 2-3 weeks out. If that doesn’t work, then suggest a time in the next two days. You’ll be surprised how often you can find a time that day or the next!
That’s just the beginning!
That’s just the start! To find out how to make an in-person ask that feels easy and conversational and avoids resistance, check out my “The Asking Conversation” webinar in http://TheNonprofitAcademy.com/. I look forward to sharing my approach to conversational asking. You’ll find that it works when you are asking for most everything!