The Blessed "No"
(Posted: Saturday, June 3, 2017)

You’ve done your homework and the “ask” conversation has gone well. You’ve delivered your commitment question smoothly and given your potential donor ample time to answer first – only to hear the gut-wrencher: “We won’t be participating in your campaign.” Not even a pondering, “We’ll have to think about it.” Now what?

We’ve all gotten turned down for something in life and business. Like most setbacks, it is how we respond that makes all the difference. Donors aren’t to be won-over, conquered, or converted. They have their reasons for saying no. With practice, you can begin to see a negative response as a blessing, an opportunity to identify and overcome objections. After all, you are one step closer to a “YES”!
Donors want you to succeed. They have already given you the gift of their time. Those who initially answer “NO” don’t believe, to the level you do, or are not ready to give, as you already have, because they lack of information. Their answer allows you to dig deeper. Begin with something like... I appreciate your consideration and quick answer. Can you help me understand that just a bit?

Questions to turn the donor’s current “NO” into a later “YES”:
  • Do you still support the organization’s mission?This may seem like an oversimplification, but we want to verify that their past support hasn’t shifted. Besides, getting a “Yes” at this point helps.
  •  What concerns do you have about the campaign I covered today?Be prepared for any manner of answer – and DO NOT ATTEMPT TO OVERCOME THE OBJECTION AT THIS TIME. There will be a better opportunity for a follow-up meeting later. 
  • Was there, at any point, something I said or covered today that turned your “Maybe” into a “No”?Again, take note for a future conversation.
  • Try this if the answer was, “We have already committed all of our donation dollars for this year.”When would be a more appropriate time to consider your future support? If there is pushback again, they have a larger objection you must uncover.

Blake Conover, President

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