The Law of Gravity that is. And it’s costing you big time.
The Law of Gravity is the fundamental principle that describes a natural force that binds the universe together. You can work with it and accept it or ignore it at your own peril.
There are other natural laws that apply to human behavior that may be equally hazardous to your organization’s bottom line (if not the entire universe).
Your organization will pay dearly if you ignore this simple law:
People are far more interested in themselves than they are in you.
Nonprofits are often so tied up in the importance of their daily work that they forget the fundamental principle involved in human interactions.
Dale Carnegie had it right when he said:
“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”
This is just as true in Nonprofits as it is in For-Profit Businesses or life in general.
I’ve personally killed many deals early on in my career by talking too much. Naively, I’d drone on about the benefits of the services my company was providing and never realize that my potential client did not care one bit about me or what I was saying.
That’s right. Remind yourself of this the next time you go to meet a potential stakeholder. They are far more interested in their needs than yours. And then turn the tables in your favor. Listen to their needs.
In fact, I promise you that a potential donor will tell you everything you need to know in order to seal the deal on a large donation. You just have to listen closely, take notes, and fight the urge to jump in and show how smart you are every time she pauses in talking. And when I say listen, I mean really listen instead of using her pause as an opportunity to launch into your canned pitch.
When you do, your potential donor is going to tell you what is important to her. Armed with this vital intelligence, you now understand her goals.
More importantly, you have set yourself apart from the crowd. Chances are your competitors are still guilty of talking too much and listening too little. Your donor knows that you genuinely are interested in her needs. Now just show her how your organization meets those needs.
She is going to choose your organization as the best and most efficient way to help a worthy cause because you showed an interest in her needs rather than talking her to death with yours. You can apply this principle to all of your marketing and watch your credibility, donations, and membership grow.