Are You in the Driver’s Seat?
Meeting with people – check.
Share your message – check.
Challenge people to think and pray about their giving with focused follow-up – check.
For leaders and/or those who are in the development director role, delivery of information is only part of your responsibility. It’s the GPS. Skillful execution – action – occurs when givers turn the ignition and put the car in drive by supporting your ministry.
Today, I want to talk with you about how to get potential donors to shift from thinking into acting.
Verify the Destination
It’s impossible to get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going.
You must prepare your talking points. Write down extremely simple, but meaningful need to know information to use as you personally help potential donors move toward a decision.
- Do they know what’s under the hood? – What have you said you will do? Remind them of your core development plan and message.
- Are we there yet? – Update them! How is your ministry doing? Provide people with four to five pieces of new information since the last time you spoke with them. Even if you haven’t received a single giving commitment, you need to inform them of ways you have moved closer to the goal.
- Objects in Mirror May Be Larger than They Appear! – Keep the important role they play in front of them! Your concluding talking point should always sound something like this: “If people will do what we’re asking them to do, which is pray, think, and make a decision about giving, then we will be able to move this vision forward.”
Compile the Perfect Playlist
I can’t say enough how important face-to-face meetings are when driving people to decisions. Your agenda should have three crucial tracks.
- Rewind. Share your talking points, then let them know what you’re doing. It may sound something like this: “I’m meeting with ten people in the next few weeks that I have been sharing this with and I’m so hopeful that you will have been praying and thinking about our plan.”
- Play. Let them know a commitment at this point would provide leadership to others. Simply say something like this: “I’m so hopeful that you’ve been praying and thinking about your giving to our ministry and a commitment, a decision at this point would really provide leadership to others as we move forward.”
- Fastforward. Actively listen and be ready to position them for impact. You’re prepared to give them their next step, regardless of their response!
- If yes… “Thank you! That commitment, not only the gift, and what it’s going to do for moving us forward is so important. Your commitment now is going to really provide leadership to others. For me to be able to talk about that, even it’s anonymous is really going to move other people to make decisions as well.”
- If they’re not ready… “I’m just so glad to hear you’ve been thinking and praying. I’m so glad to hear that you’re really considering this. We’re in a very important season and I’m just thankful to be able to provide you with an update.” Be ready to ask them for names of other people that you should be talking to. Position them for impact.
- If no… The tendency right here is to kind of accept that as the end and that’s a huge mistake. You immediately want to position them for impact in the future. You don’t want this no to be final. “Thank you for taking the time to pray and think about that. I’m really looking forward to keeping you updated along the way. I’ll do my best to do that. I’m going to need your feedback along the way as well because you’re still going to be hearing about this and watching this unfold, and maybe the Lord will lead you to do something at another time.”
Remember to Check Your Rearview Mirror
You told people you would be speaking with others during the course of the next few weeks. Report back. How did the conversations go? Provide results on the face-to-face meetings. Did people make a commitment? Whether yes or no, tell people what you’re hearing. Share with them what other people are doing while keeping it anonymous.
Be thinking along the way in your follow-up of other people who you can share the news with when someone makes a commitment. You’ve positioned others for impact – put the wheels in motion!
Forward momentum is key. If you don’t keep others informed, people will wait and see.
If people wait and see what happens, nothing happens.
This is a deep aspect of your leadership – how you carefully and strategically move people to decisions. You’re not pushing people. You’re not being pushy. You’re leading others in the way they should go, and God will use that in a big, big way!
Remember, it will only be as important as you make it. You must turn the key.
If you read this and feel compelled to get more face-to-face meetings on your calendar, we can help you prepare! Click here to download our first meetings tool to help guide you in getting that first face-to-face meeting.