In the first installment of this series, Secrets To Cause Partnership Sales Success, I covered tips about effective prospecting. Now, I’d like to turn your attention to a key ingredient in sales success – tenacity!
Secrets To Cause Partnership Sales Success, I covered tips about effective prospecting. (link to first article). Now, I’d like to turn your attention to a key ingredient in sales success – tenacity!
One of my favorite sales people has a saying that I just love. No doesn’t mean no – it means not yet. It is so true! Consider the data in this infographic from InfusedLabs:
Thank goodness Stephen, Tim, James and Colonel Sanders didn’t take no as the the end of their story!
Too often, nonprofit development staff stop pursuing a prospect because they hear no. Or, even worse, they stop trying because they didn’t get a response on their first outreach! It takes time, effort and tenacity to get a response. Too many give up too quickly. Here is another infographic to get you thinking – this one’s from crmworld.com:
So, for starters, I challenge you to reach out to a prospect at least 10 times before you give up. And, you will have greater success in landing a conversation if you find a meaningful point of synergy. When reaching out to a new prospect, be sure to craft an attention-grabbing email. Corporate executives receive a heavy volume of nonprofit requests and yours has to break through the clutter. Don’t expect the importance of your mission alone to generate interest. Demonstrate some knowledge about their company or brand and the points of connection with your cause. How can your cause offer a solution or opportunity for the brand? How does your cause impact their target audience? What is the size and scope of the problem you are addressing and why is it relevant to their target?
Second, it is important to set realistic expectations. The goal of your initial outreach is not a donation or commitment. The goal of your outreach is to start a conversation. Craft your email to outline a couple of interesting points of synergy and ask for 30 minutes of time to discuss further. My company uses this approach when reaching out to prospects and our outreach efforts have resulted in an average response rate of 55-75% with 45-65% of those respondents advancing to conversations and partnership exploration.
Third, to increase your success rate, consider a realistic ask. Face it, we all wish we could land that six or seven figure deal on our first call. But, the reality is that building partnerships takes time. Partnerships typically start small and grow. Chances are that you will be making an ask outside of the budget planning window. If so, ask for initial support that can fit within the current budget – for example, can the prospect help expand awareness of your mission with their audience by promoting a message to their FaceBook or Twitter followers? Can they recruit employees to participate in your event? If their budget is set, can they work to raise funds for you instead of writing you a check? Think of realistic “first date” asks you can make before you push for the big commitment. More ideas are featured in my previous blog post “Asking for support myth busters”.
In the final installment of this Secrets to Cause Selling Success series, I will share Secret 3: Closing. The number one reason a sales person fails is that they don’t ask for the business. I’ll share effective closing techniques to help you clinch the sale.
And if you need more direct assistance, For Momentum offers a variety of sales support services from Sales Readiness to Pipeline Development and Outreach support.! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.