Shhh, don’t tell others…it is not about the sale.
Ever get a message like this?
“Hey, glad we were able to connect. Ever heard of (fill in the company/ organization/ etc.), (Fill in what you do)?
Would you like to hop on a call or grab coffee and learn how to get you some great new results? What day works best for you?”
My LinkedIn message inbox and email spam folder are full of this kind of message.
People are always saying they want to connect, when all they want to do is sell me. Is this what your follow-up looks like?
I used to think that the reason I did follow-up was to get a gift, sponsor, or volunteer. (Funny, I also once thought it was to get staff to act or prospects to buy.)
As a nonprofit fundraiser, my goals were based on dollars raised and the number of donors secured. I believed that the best way to achieve those goals was to visit more prospects, make more asks, and do more follow-up.
Of course, each follow-up was an ask, followed by another ask.
Does it work? Yes, if you ask enough people enough times, some will act.
The challenge is maintaining those relationships.
The number one issue for organizations and non-profit leaders is effective follow-up.
80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting. Exactly 44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow-up, according to the Brevit Group.
Does this sound familiar? If so, why don’t you follow-up?
- Unsure what to say or how to say it?
- Worried you don’t know the best format to follow-up?
- Concerned people will get sick of hearing from you?
- Certain they are not good prospects?
Each of these thoughts might slow you down from doing one thing that has been shown to increase sales: Finding donors in the nonprofit world and building effective teams in an organization.
You spend an enormous amount of resources (time and money) securing a donor or member. What resources are you putting toward follow-up and what kind of follow-up are you doing?
Sadly for me, and I imagine you, not enough time was spent building a relationship.
Nonprofit donor retention rates have fallen from 49.7% (2005) to 43.4% (2018). That means 57% of donors you worked so hard to get don’t give again the next year. (Bloomerang)
What is your retention rate of members/donors/sponsors/staff?
What if your follow-up process was about building relationships and not asking for the sale?
When I shifted my follow-up from continually asking people for a gift to building a relationship with them and with my organization, my acquisition and retention rates grew significantly.
Take a look at your follow-up messages. Do they look like this:
➡ “I was just calling to see if you are ready to become a member or sponsor.”
➡ “I know you were interested in our organization and we are offering a limited time sale.”
➡ “Thanks for connecting. Are you open to connecting to see how we could work together? (That’s code for: so I can pitch you on my product and pretend to be interested in what you do.)”
➡ “You made a gift last year. Are you able to make one this year?”
➡ “Did you complete that project yet?”
When I started using my follow-up to provide people with more:
I built a relationship, not just a donor.
We stopped losing people to:
- a better offer.
- a good cause.
- something more expensive.
- something less expensive.
As you look at your follow-up, you might want to remember this quote from sales pro Jeffrey Gitomer, “Great salespeople (leaders, business owners) are relationship builders who provide value and help their clients win.”
Are you providing value and helping your clients win in your follow-up?