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Relationship or the Ask?

Planned Giving Job Search

I recently saw a post mentioning that “it’s all about the relationship, not the ask.”

It had several likes, and I can see why. In this profession, most of us are “confrontation-reluctant” (an “ask” is confrontational). It’s a soft, vanilla industry that we’re in, and we like the easy way out.

As I have mentioned before, the top 5% in our industry know that fundraising is marketing and sales and that an “ask” is critical. Unfortunately, most in our community would rather play touch football.

Here’s a true story:

Several years ago I believed it was all about relationships. I spoke at conferences (for free; even paid my own way), gave out free books, free advice, made friends and built up solid relationships that I still maintain. At one conference in Houston, a lady walked up to me and said, “Viken, you are wonderful. I can’t believe how much you taught us today … all for free!” The next morning I discovered that she signed up for the services of one of our competitors. Why?

I never made the ask.

So I woke up and asked myself: Is it the relationship, or the ask?

It’s both. If you do not ask, you will not receive.

Stick with this strategy if you want to be in the top 5% like my clients and friends. You’ll even surround yourself with others who do the same — and your career will soar.

Get out of the vanilla zone if you want any kind of success in your life.

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