Dealing With Objections
One of the most frustrating things a major-gifts officer can experience is an objection. The tendency, when the objection card is played, is to take it personally or get defensive. But an objection is nothing more than a signal or marker for something else. And the minute you hear one, instead of going inward and getting defensive or anxious, the one huge thing you can do is:
Curious about the reason for the objection.
- Is it the cause?
- Is it the organization?
- Is it the project?
- Is it the amount requested?
- Is it the timing?
- Is it you?
When the fundraiser learns from the donor where the hesitation or objection is really coming from, she/he can gently work through it with the donor. So, as you hear an objection, try to figure out which of these reasons apply to your situation.
Then remember that objections can be transformed into opportunities not only to secure funds, but more importantly, to increase your understanding of the donor's circumstance and get closer to her, building a more trusting relationship.
So, when you hear an objection, do the following:
1. Listen and ask
Before you can act on the objection, it helps a great deal if you can properly understand the objection and the thought and emotion behind it.
So, your first objective is to find the meaning behind the objection. That requires that you listen more and ask more questions that elicit the background and detail of the objection. Listen not only to the objection, but to the emotion behind it. Seek to read between the lines.
The first objection made usually isn't the whole story. You want to keep the conversation going to pull out the real objection(s) and clarify the details. This not only gives you the reasons for the objection, but it also shows that you are interested in the donor personally and want to solve the problems she has.
If you’re hanging with Richard it won’t be long before you’ll be laughing.
He always finds something funny in everything. But when the conversation is about people, their money and giving, you’ll find a deeply caring counselor who helps donors fulfill their passions and interests. Richard believes that successful major-gift fundraising is not fundamentally about securing revenue for good causes. Instead it is about helping donors express who they are through their giving. The Connections blog will provide practical information on how to do this successfully. Richard has more than 30 years of nonprofit leadership and fundraising experience, and is founding partner of the Veritus Group.