By: Elizabeth Smith, Project Coordinator
He’s just not that into you…the worst words for a single girl to hear after going on what she thought was a successful date. We all know you can’t always salvage a relationship when there is no chemistry, but what about donors? What do you do if they are not into you? Could it be the timing, their feelings, or even you that may be hurting their relationship with the organization?
- Not the right time. Something could be going on for the prospect that you are unaware of. Follow up with some of your insiders to see if they have any insights on the person to find out if everything is alright. If not, maybe let things settle for a little before reaching out to the prospect. While preparing for a solicitation, ask the prospect, “would it be a good time if we approach you and your family for a gift?” This tends to go one of two ways: they say it is alright to go ahead with the ask or they give you a timeline of when things might settle down so you can follow up. Never remove them from your list completely or make assumptions that they will not give!
- The prospect is feeling disconnected. Help them to get re-involved with your organization. Personally invite them to take a tour, to attend an event, or ask them for advice on a particular opportunity you have been presented with. Everyone likes to feel a little attention, and, if they haven’t heard from you for a while, it may be time to reach out again. Try looking for reasons to reach out to the prospect whether it is about an article you read, a vacation you heard they were going on, or news about a family member.
- You are not the right person to be cultivating/soliciting the prospect. Check your ego at the door and get the prospect reassigned to someone else. You can easily ruin the relationship the prospect has with the organization and potentially lose the prospect completely. Sometimes people just don’t mesh well, and you can’t take it personally!
Understanding your prospects is crucial to the success of your ask. Sometimes, it might take a friend to point out that he’s just not that into you or a coworker to say that the prospect ‘s relationship with the organization is strained. In order to make the greatest impact, each prospect should be treated as an individual. Always remember, even if the prospect is not into you there is still a shot they are into your organization.