It’s true, when we’re nervous we may talk too much. Maybe even ramble.
Asking for a contribution makes most people nervous which results in feeling the need to persuade by over-sharing. Put these together, and we have the perfect storm to make the most common fundraising mistake: talking too much.
Have you’ve ever walked away from a conversation or meeting thinking, “Why didn’t I just close my mouth and stop talking?” I have.
We start off with a terrific point and then we get out on what I call the tree branch and we can’t figure out how to get back to the original topic.
Don’t do this:
A few months ago, I received a phone call inviting me to make a contribution to an organization I regularly support. The gift amount was fine and the story shared was interesting. But I waited for an opportunity to answer and then I waited some more.
After 5 minutes of the other person talking I lost interest. My mind wandered and, frankly, I began to wonder when they were going to stop talking. I was no longer listening. I didn’t make a contribution that day.
If you want to get a YES — use fewer words.
Every ask should have these three elements:
1. Teach something new
3. Call to action
How long should you talk?
Fundraising guru, Jerry Panas, says at least 50 to 55% of the conversation should be spent LISTENING.
Meaning, if you have a 5-minute phone call to ask for a contribution you have 2 to 2½ minutes to talk – including the greeting and wrap up.
Join Lori for one of her high-energy signature workshops: Art of Asking, May 14, 2019 – 9:30 to Noon, Minneapolis, MN. Hosted by Minnesota Theater Alliance. This session is open to any and all nonprofit organizations.