Treat Your Prospects Like Donors, and Your Donors Like Friends

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There is one marketing truth you must understand: People give when they are ready to give, not when you are ready to sell (i.e., “ask”). So, just because your lead is not ready to buy (donate) today doesn’t mean that they aren’t important to your organization.

Relationships are Critical

That’s why we develop relationships. After all, today’s leads are tomorrow’s donors, or next month’s donors, or donors who remember your organization with a bequest. Always treat your prospects like valued donors to ensure they will come directly to you once they are ready to “buy.”

I’m going to admit something that may sound a little arrogant, but isn’t intended that way: I have thousands of customers. They just might not be buying from me right now.

Perspective, Perspective, Perspective

It’s all in how you view things: Whenever I’m talking to any fundraiser, I am thinking, “This is one of my customers.” I don’t even have a chance to tell them what PlannedGiving.Com does before I have categorized them as a “Customer” in my head. Many times it is my perceived value of this person that causes them to want to learn more about us … and often earns me another customer!

Similarly, treating your prospects like donors (and your donors like friends) is going to dramatically increase loyalty to your organization — and, in turn, increase your gifts.

Planned giving is all about loyalty. We all want to feel like we’re part of “one big family” — not like we’re just a number that a fundraiser is trying to meet. Treat people like people, not like the next big donation.

No one likes the feeling of being a sales target. If you’re reading this and disagreeing, think back to the last time you walked into a car dealership just to look, and had to fend off five different salespeople.

(This article was inspired by Clate Mask at Infusion Software)

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