The Call to Get the Appointment
Our Partner, Jay Frost, writes in his weekly Fundraising Digest: “Not long ago, I met with a terrific young fundraiser at a major university. She was having a problem with her phone. And it wasn’t mechanical.”
“I have no trouble meeting with people,” she said. “But I just freeze when I have to make a call. I just don’t know what to say.”
Jay goes on to say that this fundraiser has no trouble communicating. She knows exactly what to say. The challenge is in making a call to get the appointment. That’s when so many freeze.
In my book, ASKING, I spend a little time talking about overcoming objections to getting the appointment. The reason that’s so very critical is that if you get the visit, you are 85% on your way to getting the gift. I promise.
Here’s what I suggest. First of all, stand instead of sitting in your chair at the desk. When you stand, it sends a surge of energy through your body. You are going to be able to punch in those numbers. Just try it.
The book goes into some detail about making the call and getting the appointment. I’m going to give it to you in a much abbreviated form.
1. Send a letter in advance of making the call. I have samples in the book.
2. Put yourself in the prospect’s shoes. Think about what is going on in the prospect’s world.
3. Practice, practice, practice. I suggest even writing out what you’re going to say. You won’t read it, of course. But it helps to write it out.
4. Smile when you talk. Honestly, it helps. The person can “hear” your smile!
5. Keep the small talk brief. Be cordial and pleasant, of course. Your focus has to be on setting the visit.
6. Be up front about the amount of time you’ll need.
7. Stay focused. Your job is to set the date for the visit.
Obviously, there’s a great deal more in the book. ASKING, by the way, is the largest selling book in the history of fundraising.