5-Minute Interview--Paul Leo
FS: What are the stages of a telefundraising phone call?
PL: First there's the introduction, who's calling. There's the situation ... something in particular that we're talking about ... something specific and something urgent. And then there's the ask: "Can you help CARE with this situation and other situations like that?" And then thirdly, you usually don't get a yes on that very first ask. You usually get some kind of rebuttal ... some kind of hesitation or reason why a donor can't give. So then there's a rebuttal. There's myriad reasons why a person can't give and just as many reasons why that person should give based on that answer. So, it's at that point that you have a conversation, listening to the donor and where they're at.
FS: Aside from getting a donation, what's the most important thing to accomplish on a telefundraising phone call?
PL: Something that's really important, whether [they give a] gift or not, is to exit the phone call with a good feeling or a good rapport with the donor so that you haven't ruined the relationship but you've, in fact, solidified or enhanced the relationship based on the phone call. And hopefully the communicators -- the people that are calling our donors -- are skilled enough to handle a variety of different responses, but in the end hang up the phone with a positive outcome. And that doesn't necessarily mean a gift.
Paul Leo can be reached via http://www.care.org