I wrote about Advice Visits in my newsletter this week. (if you are not a subscriber, you can sign up here.)
I have used Advice Visits time and time again. They are based on the old adage:
“If you want money, ask for advice.
If you want advice, ask for money.”
Rule One: Make Sure You Are Interesting, Not Boring
As you tell your person about your cause and seek his advice, you should be watching carefully for his reaction.
If your prospect seems to not be very interested in your cause, then you should not drag on.. If you are perceived as boring or droning on and on, you will never be welcomed back!
The kiss of death for any fundraiser is to be boring. You are the one listening, not talking!
Rule Two: Ask for a Short Appointment and Leave at the End of That Time
Always practice good manners and get up to leave when you said you would. If your prospect is on a roll, talking and talking, and asks you to stay, then do so.
But never overstay your welcome.
When you are an important, extremely busy person, nothing is worse than a well-meaning visitor who stays forever.
However, if you are interesting and keep the meeting short, then your prospect will be much more likely to see you again when you ask for another visit.
It is even good to end the meeting deliberately when the person is not quite finished talking, even if he has warmed to the topic and has plenty more to say.
Then, when you call for a follow-up visit, he will be happy, even eager to visit with you again, because he has more to say and knows you will keep him too long.
Rule Three: Make Sure the Person You Visit Does as Much of the Talking as Possible
You are after his advice and thinking. Only tell him enough about your project to keep him interested.
The important points are to share your personal passion and excitement for the cause and why you are personally involved.
Many nonprofit it supporters think they need to do a “pitch” when they have this visit.
A pitch is the last thing you should do.
Instead, you should be quiet and listen.
People will offer to do so many things for you!
If they suggest a prominent person in the community whom you should approach, then always ask them if they will help open the door to that person.
That way you will not be making a cold call; this influential person will be helping to make the introduction, in effect, blessing you and your cause.
I”ll be talking more about Advice Visits and how to start the conversation with a potential donor in my webinar on April 22.
Join me for more strategies and a step by step guide for engaging someone in a conversation about your cause.