“Did you get the [information, brochure, or letter] I sent?”
Has anyone really had great success starting an outreach call with this question?
In my experience, that question fails to engage a supporter unless they are already deeply involved in a relationship and/or a transaction with you. Absent a serious relationship and/or a deal on the table, the question usually results in the following response from the donor:
“No, I don’t think so. What did you send?”
I know, I know… you probably sent the information because they asked you to do so. And now you’re wondering, “How on earth could they miss it? They asked me to send it!”
But it’s important to realize that, absent a real relationship and/or ongoing involvement in a transaction with you, they likely told you to send information just to get you off the phone in the first place. They didn’t really want anything from you.
They fooled you, changed the subject and put you to work so they could get on with their day. Then, their spouse or partner might have tossed it in the trash thinking it was junk. Or, they might have noticed it but ignored it or forgot they noticed it.
And, if you sent the information without their permission, then the situation only gets worse. In that case, your question will make less sense to them. After all, they’re busy. They get tons of information thrown at them all the time. So, the likelihood that they’d pay attention to your mailing is very improbable. So, when they get your call asking if they received it, they’ll just say, “No.”
Then what do you do? Gosh I hope you don’t say you’ll resend it.
Here are 6 things you can do instead of playing this game.
Subscribe to our blog today and get actionable fundraising ideas delivered straight to your inbox!
very good follow up
Good advice – thank you.
I hate when people do that to me. I grew up learning the old adage “Do unto others…”
How I interpret the question “Did you get the [information, brochure, or letter] I sent?” = “You are clearly bad at follow-up, and had you just gotten back to me I would have not called to bother you.”
Wouldn’t a PDF of the mailed brochure as an attachment to the follow-up email you mentioned in point 2 be advisable? Seems like a no-brainer to me.
[…] The worst way to start a conversation with a donor […]