Have you reached the point where you feel like you have been communicating like crazy and now you just need people to make decisions about their giving so that you can move forward?
I want to equip you with a three-part framework that is going to help you time and time again to lead people to make decisions about their giving. I’m just going to cut through the nonsense and mumbo jumbo you’ll often hear. I want to just give you something that works and that God will use because He will be working through your leadership, and He will be moving upon the hearts of people to give generously to the work that He has called you to.
1. Set Your Talking Points
You need to know where you last left people in terms of what is going on in the ministry. Think about what you last communicated to these people, when you last met them or what events they have come to.
You need to know where you left people so that you can meet people where they are in their journey with you. A great set of talking points is going to help you do that because it goes back and ploughs the ground again. It reminds people of what they’ve heard if they read your communication. It reminds them of where you’ve been in the recent past, where you are right now, and where you are headed next.
We teach leaders to remember that giving is the fuel that drives your ministry forward. So, you can’t move forward on any of your next steps if people are not making decisions and giving. Talking points keep you on track, keep you on message, and keep everyone on the same page, literally, as you are communicating with potential givers.
2. Conduct a Three-Point Face-to-Face Meeting
Now that you’ve got your updated set of talking points, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to get out of your office. I want you to get other people out of their offices and go meet with people face-to-face.
There comes a point at which you’ll be asking yourself, “How many communications have they received from us? How many times have we invited them to the event? Why haven’t they made a decision?”
You could just let them go and give up. Many leaders do. Or you can get moving and say to yourself, “We’ve got potential here to grow a partnership with someone over the next two, three, or maybe even ten years if we will engage them face-to-face.”
There is nothing more effective than taking the time to help someone see what God is doing through your ministry by sitting down with them face-to-face and talking with them.
Here are the three points of this meeting to move people to a decision point:
- Share your update, your talking points, where you’ve been, and what’s been going on since you last were talking with them, and where you are going next.
- Simply say something like this, “I’m so hopeful that you’ve been praying and thinking about your giving to our ministry. A decision at this point would really provide leadership to others and enable us to move forward with our next steps.”
Once they’ve heard your talking points they know that their giving will make a difference. Now you are letting them know that you hope they’ve been thinking, (if they haven’t been thinking they need to start now) that you’re communicating, you’re working with others, you’re going to be meeting with others, and their commitment is going to provide leadership as you move forward. That is a powerful idea to get across to a giver.
- Listen actively. Before you make any more points, you need to listen. Then, re-position the giver to understand the impact that their giving will have. You have to do that well by listening to their questions, advice, reactions, concerns, and the kind of information that interests them.Listen, listen, listen, and then respond, but always respond by connecting everything back to the impact that they can have through their giving.
3. Follow Up
The last part of this three-part strategy is follow-up. This is where the work gets done. Most of the time when you meet with someone, a couple of things might happen. First, they may bring a gift with them! Or, they may make a decision right there with you, and let you know what they are thinking about doing. However, most of the time, over 50% of the time, people are going to need to think about it, pray about it, and you are going to need to follow-up to bring this to a conclusion.
A week or two after you have met with them, follow-up by sharing feedback from other face-to-face meetings and give an update.
This can sound something like this, “Hey, I’m calling to give you an update. I’ve been meeting with some other people, as you and I did recently. (Thank you again for your time.) Here’s some of the things I’m hearing from others. It’s pretty interesting to hear some of the reactions, questions, and decisions from people, and how aligned they are with what you shared with me.”
Another great way to follow up is to help them understand when other commitments are being made. You don’t have to mention any names. You just say, “I know that you’ll be excited to hear this. I met with someone this week and they’ve decided to give $5,000 this year (or whatever the number is) and I’m just so excited. I knew you would be excited too because I know you are really praying and thinking about this as well. I just wanted to share this good news with you!”
Always be thinking about other people that you can be sharing these decisions and commitments with. Anytime something happens, think about who you can follow-up with by sharing this exciting thing that God is doing. This is part of what helps givers come along on the journey with you!
It truly is a miracle when God moves someone’s heart to give generously to move a ministry forward. This is a big deal, and if you authentically make a big deal about it, it will make a huge difference in your follow-up.
Lastly, keep in mind that if people wait and see what will happen, then they will wait and see that nothing will happen. You have to help them see what God is doing. You have to take an active role.
You can communicate this to them by saying something like, “I know you’ve been waiting, watching, and praying, and I wanted to give you this update because I’m asking people to move forward with us. Don’t wait, move forward with us.”
That is it! It’s a lot of work, but God will move through your leadership if you take those steps. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing how God uses this approach in your leadership.