Two days ago I outlined my “do’s“. Today, here are my “don’t’s”. Both can be found here on this cheat-sheet.
- Be disingenuous. For instance, don’t apologize for calling. You’re not sorry, and your prospect knows you it. Similarly, don’t lie about anything. You will be found out. If you don’t know the answer to a question, be honest about it and then promise to find out and call them back with an answer.
- Be afraid to change your approach and message if it isn’t working
- Interrupt your supporter when they are talking. It is a clear indication that you don’t care about what they have to say.
- Forget the specific, strategic reason for your call (unless you failed to devise a strategy in the first place). Stay on track. Aim to achieve the goal you originally set.
- Read a script word for word.
- Forget to address the person by name (but only after asking for permission to do so first). Then don’t overuse their name. That will sound tacky.
- Prejudge. You never know which call might turn into a fantastic opportunity for you and your supporter.
- Type while they are talking. In fact, don’t type at all. Use a pen. They can hear you!
- Stuff pauses with “like”, “um”, and “er”.
- Use jargon your supporter won’t understand. They are not involved in your organization’s mission day in and day out the way you are. They’ll feel stupid.
- Worry too much about failure. Most people will become more engaged with your mission thanks to your outreach. But some might actually become less engaged. You can’t worry about the possibility of failure. The positives gained will surely outweigh any negatives. And, besides, if you do nothing, you’ll fail for sure.
- Talk over your prospect – it shows you aren’t listening
- Allow any background noise when you are calling. It’s disrespectful. If you are nearby other callers make sure it doesn’t sound like you are in a call center on the other end of the line. Your supporter will feel like a piece of meat.
- Argue or debate with your supporter. Look for ways to agree not disagree.
- Underestimate the power of telemarketing to build better relationships with your supporters
>> 15 telephone call do’s for major and planned gift fundraisers
>> 7 common major gift marketing mistakes you should avoid this year (including planned gift marketing)
>> 5 potentially big problems related to telemarketing for planned gifts