2 Steps to Getting the Second Gift
Canadian researchers studied the betting habits of people at racetracks and found something that should interest fundraisers.
When people were contemplating their bets, they felt a lot of stress. They were anxious and uncertain. They worried about putting their money on the wrong horse or whether they should even gamble at all.
But immediately after they placed their bets, they were filled with optimism and anticipation. The people who, moments before, had felt timid about making a wager on a horse were now looking forward to a big win. Many wanted to double their bets.
The researchers determined that once they'd made the difficult decision to bet, they began looking for ways to reinforce that decision. This made them more willing to take additional risks. It also made them more vulnerable to suggestions that would increase the feeling they'd made the right choice.
Making decisions is stressful. You feel anxious and intimidated by circumstance. You're being pulled in opposite directions. Your breathing becomes shallow; you start to sweat ...
So when the decision is made, two things happen:
- You feel relieved, like a weight has been lifted, so you can relax a little.
- You start looking for ways to reinforce the decision you made. So while you feel much better, you have also let your guard down.
No one understands this better than car dealers. This is the time good salespeople come at you with what professional negotiators like Roger Dawson, founder of the Power Negotiating Institute, call "The Nibble." After you've been through the painful process of making the decision to buy a car, you feel a great sense of relief.
And the dealer knows, even if you don't, this is also your most vulnerable point in the negotiation, and you want to reinforce the decision you made to buy. So that's when they come at you with all the enticing little extras like the clear coating and extra warranties to "protect your investment."
Willis Turner believes great writing has the power to change minds, save lives, and make people want to dance and sing. Willis is the creative director at Huntsinger & Jeffer. He worked as a lead writer and creative director in the traditional advertising world for more than 15 years before making the switch to fundraising 20 years ago. In his work with nonprofit organizations and associations, he has written thousands of appeals, renewals and acquisition communications for every medium. He creates direct-response campaigns, and collateral communications materials that get attention, tell powerful stories and persuade people to take action or make a donation.