Selling as the Key to Your Cause Marketing Success
Accepting the fact that cause professions are all in sales is tough to stomach because they see themselves as “fundraisers” or in “development.” Call yourself what you want, but whenever you’re trying to convince another person to do something they’re not inclined to do on their own, you’re selling. If it makes you feel better substitute “persuading” for selling! Maybe you’ll be a director or vice president of “persuading” some day!
Your ability to close cause marketing partnerships will depend greatly on your sales skills. Don’t sabotage your success as a cause marketer just because sales advice reminds you of a bad experience you had at your local used car lot.
Here is a prescription for selling success as a simple four-step process.
Know your product. Understanding cause marketing is key, but so is your ability to present cause marketing simply and compellingly to your prospect. You should be clear on what cause marketing can and can’t do and how it’s unique from other forms of marketing.
Know your customer. With the amount of information available on the Internet, you have no excuse not to know about your prospect. From the Internet, you can explore needs and goals via your own personal network of contacts. You can dig further in phone calls and meetings with the prospect. The information is out there. You need to be adept at finding and collecting it.
See a lot of people. Here’s a strange fact about selling: Most people say no. In order to get some people to say yes, you’ll have to hear a lot of people say no. Plan accordingly. See as many people as you can to improve your closing average.
Ask all to buy. If you’re not asking people to buy, you’re in customer service, not sales. Sales isn’t just about information, telling prospects about your organization and the benefits of cause marketing. That approach works only to a point. At some point, you have to ask the prospect to join you. Don’t be shy. It’s unlikely the prospect will ask you to marry him first.