Friday, May 9, 2008

I give online

An objection that is increasingly encountered by fund-raisers is the dreaded "I only give online" response. As with any objection, it seems insurmountable and absolute to those fund-raisers who don't know how to handle it. The good news this objection is by no means insurmountable.

The internet is quick and easy. The internet doesn't ask donors to drop what they're doing and give right now. Raising money by direct mail in a world that doesn't the obvious perceived advantage to of internet giving for donors into account, is a strategy that can only produce diminishing returns.

As with any objection, donors often use this one not out of reluctance to support a charity. Fund-raisers learn to hear "the objection behind the objection" and provide solutions to the problems a donor has with giving to a campaign.

Here then, are a few strategies to over come the overcome this increasingly common objections.

Giving online isn't a "no" its an absolute yes. The best part of hearing the giving online objection is that a fund-raiser can be sure that they are speaking with a qualified prospect. A second ask at this time is critical, be prepared for this response and to reply with something that may overcome it.

People forget.
  • Let your donor know that giving over the phone today is a sure way to get the donation over and done with.

Are there any special incentives that your telephone campaign is offering that my not be available if a donor gives online?
  • A Matching Fund,
  • A Member Card,
  • Perhaps a discount on the membership itself.

As calmly as possible, people can sense your mood over the phone line, inform the donor that you'll be able to take care of their donation right now by phone in 1 minute or less.

  • People prefer to give online because they don't have time to do it by phone.
  • At least they imagine that they don't.
  • Being prepared with this response and delivering on your promise to be brief can in fact increase a donor's respect for you and the organization you are calling for.
  • One of the most beneficial things you can say to a prospect is that you respect their time and will be brief with it.

  • Is it a security issue? Many donors prefer the internet alternative for the sake of protecting their information.
  • Let the donor know that your call center and credit card processor are secure. If they aren't, work for another company.
  • Know your security processes and repeat them to the donor.
  • Donors are protected by state and federal laws; tell them this.

How about the absolute truth?

  • Tell the donor you've reached that your working with a team of fund-raisers and that giving to you, today by phone would not only support their cause; it would be a sign of support for all the hardworking fund-raisers on your team (this works!)
  • Be frank, not rude; donors like being talked to, not talked at or talked over.
Think fast.
  • A donor can hear the wheels turning in your head.
  • Professional fund-raisers should know the answers to common objections before they arise.
Is your pitch any good?
  • If you're coming across an unusual amount of objections, listen to yourself.
  • Tweak your words. You already know what doesn't work right? Try something else.
These are only a handful of the possible responses to this objection. Creative fund-raisers will develop far more.

The only possible outcome of not clearly presenting a counter to an objection is failing to secure a pledge. Donors realize for the most part that its a fund-raiser's job to ask. So Ask.

No comments: