So you’ve identified a potential major donor to your organization and picked up the phone. But now you hear the dreaded robot voice informing you your prospect is unavailable and to please leave a message.
- How do you keep your message out of your prospect’s voicemail limbo? Fundraising professional John Greenhoe shares some tips in his book, “Opening the Door to Major Gifts: Making the Discovery Call,” published by Charity Channel Press.
- Be Prepared: Have a plan for what you want to say before you hear the beep.
- Be Clear: Use simple and straightforward language — no jargon or acronyms.
- Be Concise: Just 45 seconds is the absolute maximum. Try to keep it less than 30 seconds. State your main purpose within 15 seconds, and give your phone number twice.
- Be Welcoming: Even if you’re having a bad day, you need to summon up enthusiasm.
- Be Reachable: If your prospect calls back, pick up the phone. Greenhoe suggests leaving your mobile number.
- Be Persistent: Don’t be afraid of a follow-up call. Sometimes messages get lost in the ether, and sometimes returning messages is low on a prospect’s priority list.