Fundraisers should try telephoning major donors outside office hours in order to set up meetings with them, delegates heard yesterday.
Rob Woods, director of Woods Training, said in a session called How to Get More Meetings with Millionaires that fundraisers had to build trust with major donors by making more appointments with them.
"A simple way to lift your results is to set yourself a target for the number of meetings you will have this month," he said. "Again and again I've seen that lift people's results."
But he said that fundraisers would need to be persistent and flexible to get hold of potential major donors. "Keep asking yourself: 'What haven't I done yet?'" he said. Woods said he had once tried to get through to the head of corporate social responsibility at Tesco on the phone. After trying seven times during office hours, he eventually tried at 8:30am and they had a 25-minute conversation, he said.
"A golden tip is to call at 5:35pm - the receptionist has gone home then," Woods said. Fundraisers must prepare carefully before making these calls, he added. "Never pick up the phone unless you get yourself in a good state and your voice will be authentic," he said.
He also recommended smiling while on the phone, sitting up straight and remembering that it will be in the donor's best interests to give.