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Why "hope" is not a strategy.

Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

People have been throwing the word “hope” around a lot lately.  Two years ago President Obama’s entire campaign focused on that very word.  And although this is not a political blog…  I have to say, hope is NOT a strategy.

Recently I visited a prospective client.  I gave him ideas.  That’s what I always do.  But after our meeting he decided he was just going to wait for the economy to improve.  Then, he hoped, business would improve too.

His business had lost more than 60% of its revenue and laid off almost 20 people in the past 4 years.  So I told him he didn’t have to spend money on marketing to formulate a strategy.

He still had several people hanging around- underworked.  So I suggested he put them on the phones.  Heck!  They’re not doing anything.  Cold calling is cheap.

So put ’em on the phones!  Call every prospective customer.  Call past customers.  Write a script.  Ask them questions.

Who knows?  Some of them may have business to give.  Maybe they just forgot about his company.  Or perhaps they were pulled away by a competitor and now the relationship has soured.

Doing something is much better than doing nothing.  Marketing does not have to be expensive.  Hoping things will improve is not a strategy.  Making things happen is!

So… get out there!  Make the extra call.  Ask the extra question.  Search for your clients’ pain.  Then… and only then… will you have a chance to fulfill their needs and make a sale!

2 responses to “Why "hope" is not a strategy.”

  1. Vicktoria Comerchero says:

    Wow, I really enjoyed this one, I mean it is so interesting how “Hope” can have such a positive and negative predictive value to success in starting a business or in life, I think they key reason that really mediates the relationship between “Hope” and positive outcomes, whether they be personal or business related is whether or not the person has a Proactive or Passive coping STYLE. A PROACTIVE APPROACH…INVOLVES USING THIS “HOPE” AND the inspiration provided from businesspeople, politicians, professors, teachers, etc. to actually DO something or take action. On the other hand, A PASSIVE APPROACH will lead a person to perhaps feel temporary hope but take no action…because they feel “helpless” due to forces outside of their control. OBama’s “HOPE and “YES WE CAN” sounds great on paper but really the message should have been “YES WE WILL….” interpretation, YES I HAVE HOPE and therefore NOW I will take action to actually do something despite the barriers (e.g dour economy). This is related to having an internal vs. external locus of control…

  2. Vicktoria Comerchero says:

    Wow, I really enjoyed this one, I mean it is so interesting how “Hope” can have such a positive and negative predictive value to success in starting a business or in life, I think they key reason that really mediates the relationship between “Hope” and positive outcomes, whether they be personal or business related is whether or not the person has a Proactive or Passive coping STYLE. A PROACTIVE APPROACH…INVOLVES USING THIS “HOPE” AND the inspiration provided from businesspeople, politicians, professors, teachers, etc. to actually DO something or take action. On the other hand, A PASSIVE APPROACH will lead a person to perhaps feel temporary hope but take no action…because they feel “helpless” due to forces outside of their control. OBama’s “HOPE and “YES WE CAN” sounds great on paper but really the message should have been “YES WE WILL….” interpretation, YES I HAVE HOPE and therefore NOW I will take action to actually do something despite the barriers (e.g dour economy). This is related to having an internal vs. external locus of control…

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