A few weeks ago, I heard that 65% – 70% of sales happen during the follow up phase.

65% – 70%!

The person sharing this information said that most business owners get stuck chasing the “cream,” just looking for the three people out of ten who are easy to sell to. Even though the majority of sales is in the additional ten, they ignore them. And wonder why they’re struggling.

True for Fundraising Too

In my experience, this rings true with fundraising too. Especially major gift fundraising.

Nonprofit leaders and fundraisers too often look for the “easy” or “new” donors, while ignoring the discipline of following up with those who haven’t responded. Or who have given in the past but not for a while.

Looking for new donors is wise. But too often, the search for “new” people can be a distraction that leads to funding struggles.

The thing is, it’s a struggle of our own creation. There could be another four or five gifts in the seven people waiting for our follow up.

Following up is a kindness

My friend Hilary Blair said that whenever she is second guessing making a follow up call to a prospect, she remembers the people she wishes would follow up with her! Would you go to the gym more often if someone followed up with you? Or get your hair done more regularly if they’d call you? I know I wouldn’t have changed barbers in the pandemic if mine had followed up consistently.

Remembering she’d be grateful for a follow up helps put her in a better mindset for calling.

Hopefully it can help you get into a better state of mind too. Following up is part of the job of fundraising. You don’t have to enjoy this process of following up. But if you have to meet payroll or hit specific goals, you’ll be glad you did.

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