Many questions come down to O.N.E.

Establishing a cause marketing relationship with a business is not just a fundraising endeavor (not that fundraising doesn’t enter the picture). Getting the venture going is very much a job of selling — selling the for-profit on the benefit it will derive from the partnership, selling donors on the good of the program, maybe even selling people within the nonprofit of joining with a corporate sponsor.

And, selling isn’t always about giving a spiel and being able to answer questions. It’s often about asking questions as well.

During the 2015 Cause Marketing Forum, Mollye Rhea of For Momentum and Chad Royal-Pascoe of Boys & Girls Clubs of America stressed the importance of doing a selling job by asking one question. That’s not one question; it’s the O.N.E. strategy to ask better questions.

O. Orientation questions. One that reveals valuable customer information and customer needs that is not available elsewhere. It can include big-picture questions, history, mission, values/goals and challenges. “I read that your company is going public. How do you foresee that changing the way you manage your community relations and employee engagement?”

N. Needs-based questions. These address specific problems or opportunities a company faces, personal and organizational needs, and the need behind the need. “How could a volunteer opportunity with our organization help you personally and corporately?”

E. Effect questions. These are questions that reveal what effect the organization’s mission has on the company. “How much of your healthcare costs go to costs related to cancer?”