Generally here’s how I leave messages that get returned:
Bottom line: It’s all about them! I show that I care about them and that calling me back will be good for them, not me. I provide value in line with their consideration stage and their interests. I act like a concierge and partner, not a fundraiser.
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I often leave the WORST VM messages, and I know it. I’ve been struggling on my own to refine the technique, and this straightforward template will really help. Thanks! It reminds me to always ask: What kind of messages would I like to receive as a donor?
(that goes for everything, not just VM messages . . . )
Let me know how it goes Laura.
Too many fundraisers, when following up on an expression of interest or consideration of a planned gift, follow up on the intention, rather than the donor’s story. Who would you rather talk to: Someone who leaves a message like “Hi! Thanks for letting us know you’re considering a gift in your will. Let me know if you want more information!” or someone who leaves a message that says “Thank you. It means so much to me that you’d take the time to share your story with us. I’d love to hear more.” I know which person I’d call back!
Well said Tracy. Thanks for contributing.
This is fabulous! I’m sharing it with all of our Individual & Planned Giving Directors and Executive Directors. Such deceptively simple, yet powerful advice!
Glad to hear that Cheryl!!
Greg, while fundraisers focus on the big tasks or the obvious challenges, we can easily overlook the importance of mastering the little, basic details that do count. I definitely include myself in that. Thank you for the great tips and for the reminder of the importance of being donor-centered in ALL communications, even a simple voice-mail message.
Thanks so much Michael.
My voice messages are often long. They are also personal and real. Just like the messages I would leave my mom.
I figure there’s no proof that a long message is a bad thing…. so keep doin’ what you’re doin’! Better to be long but ‘real’ than short and fake.