You can talk your way right out of a major gift.
Let’s set the stage: So, here you are, with your colleague, seated in the prospect’s living room, sipping the coffee you were offered. You’ve spent the first 30 to 45 minutes of the meeting re-connecting, telling your story based on the prospect’s interests, listening and responding.
It is now time to make the “ask.” You say, “So Susan, we’d like you to consider a gift of $<pre-determined gift amount> to support <project, program, campaign or organization>.
And now, here it comes: BE QUIET!
Repeat: Be quiet. Do not speak again until the prospect responds.
Why? If you speak before the prospect answers you are:
- Negotiating against yourself (the prospect hasn’t said anything yet)!
- Distracting the prospect (give the person space to consider your request)
- Signaling that you are nervous
- Missing the prospect’s core reaction
You’ve put a lot of time and energy into setting up the “ask.” Don’t do the talking for your prospect.
To learn more about making the “ask”?
- Google—you’ll find lots of information and training programs.
- AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) conferences, workshops and trainings http://www.afpnet.org/
- Can I toot my own horn?