Frustration can set in if you are making appointments, and walk away empty handed. There could be 3 reasons why this is may be happening.
1. Not A Clear Presentation
Many times appointments with prospects and donors are those times when you and your friends play catch up and enjoy one another’s fellowship. But if you intend to ask for funds, you dare not be distracted from your goal. If you do not make a clear cut presentation, you have missed the mark. At the end of your appointment it should be crystal clear to your prospect or donor that they have a good understanding of what the Lord has asked you to do in terms of ministry and they are being asked to make a financial decision. Anything less than that simply would be a social call. You have to be very clear.
The key is to be prepared. You have to do your homework. You need to answer such questions as:
- What might they like to give to?
- What is their hot button?
- How much am I going to ask for? Remember you need to ask for a specific amount or ask in a range. People need to know what you want them to do.
I maintain a donor log and review it prior to the appointment. I like to review their interests, information regarding their family, career, church, any challenges or issues they may have been experiencing, etc.
Most importantly, I like to role play the appointment. For key prospects and donors, I will even write out my script.
All of these things will better prepare me to make a clear and concise presentation.
2. Unenthusiastic Presentation
I love being around excitable people. Their enthusiasm can be contagious. Even if I am down for one reason or another an enthusiast person can change my attitude. As you make your presentation for funds, get excited. Reflect on the fact that you are in the greatest enterprise this world has known as you are called to share the gospel. Be sure to show your passion for the ministry the Lord has called you to do. On top of that, you are about to give your prospect or donor the opportunity to be a part of it as well. From my perspective, that truly is very exciting. Your job is to show your passion and enthusiasm.
Apparently the Lord has charged me up when it comes to enthusiasm. I am always reading my donor’s body language and when I see a smile on their face, I know I am connecting. Then at the end of the visit I hear them say, “It has been great being with you. I am glad to be part of your team.” I know they caught my enthusiasm and passion.
3. Not Asking For The Gift
You might say this seems like common sense, but I have coached so many people who role play a great presentation but neglect to do the ask. It is full of vision, passion, evidence of God’s leading, but at the end there is no ask for the gift. This is a critical part. This is why you called and asked for the appointment. Put it in your own words but I would say something like: “Would you be one of those people that could give $_____?” This way there is no doubt in their mind they are being asked a question that needs their response. Otherwise, they may think you are simply providing them an update on your ministry.
By the way, after you ask, you need to remain silent. You have asked a question that needs their response. Staying quiet can seem like an eternity but keep in mind you need to give them uninterrupted time to make their decision.
Next time you find people not giving to your ministry after a conducting an appointment ask yourself:
- Was my presentation clear?
- Was my presentation enthusiastic?
- Did I ask for the gift?