Practice Thinking Like Your Prospect

No one Googles Unitrusts first thing in the morning. If you want your planned giving program to grow, you have to practice thinking like your prospect.

And that means creating marketing materials that focus on benefits to the donor.

Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak

Seriously, do you think your prospects will be motivated to become donors if you send them technical explanations of gift plans?

The guy ordering a filet mignon rarely asks about how the cow was raised. He’s just thinking about those perfect grill marks, and how it’s going to taste when he bites into it.

If a donor wants more information about how a Unitrust works,  they’ll ask.

Practice Thinking Like Your Prospect

Who are they? What do they care about? What are their hopes, fears, dreams? What are their deepest desires?

With the answers to these questions, you can show prospects how planned gifts fulfill dreams. You will also be showing empathy.

Find out who inspires your prospects. That will soon tell you what is most important to them.

Take A Page From For-Profits

As marketing guru Dan Kennedy advises,  “Think of yourself as the protector of the hordes of confused seekers. You are the one who will take your prospects by the hand and guide them through hype and confusion and lies, and take them to the promised land of clarity and truth.

“The practice of market empathy is one of the hardest marketing tasks you will ever have to accomplish. Before you can pretend to be someone else and think like a prospect, you first have to pretend you aren’t you. You, after all, are a very small but very loud market sample to yourself. The more you listen to yourself, the less room you have in your brain for thinking about others.”

That’s why it’s crucial to practice thinking like your prospect. When you think the prospect is the same as you, the “market to yourself” syndrome follows: you speak in industry jargon (you promote features, not benefits), you assume everyone knows the purpose, history and significance of your nonprofit, and you believe everyone can see the dramatic differences between your nonprofit and the competition.

And since it’s obvious you’re talking to yourself, your prospects politely ignore you.

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