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  • Writer's pictureAndy at Fireside Fundraising

Are you a corporate gossip girl?

I hope you’re having a good week - my brother got married last weekend and my head and sleep schedule are just about back to normal! 


It was an awesome event with a Scottish Ceilidh dance, a huge amount of cake, and the perfect number of tears as the bride walked down the aisle. It was lovely to see so many people from my brother’s life, and as I was telling the stories of who was who too my partner, it brought me back to the conversations we have about people, years, weeks, or even just days later than we met them, and thinking about how we can influence that in a day-to-day world.


Gartner recently put our their B2B sales report which is all about sales psychology and what it takes for businesses to buy from other businesses. There is a huge amount however that corporate fundraisers can learn from this because ultimately corporate charity partnerships are very equivalent to B2B relationships. A particular thing that we can learn is that for any major purchases, and we want our partnerships to be major purchases, is that on average 7 people need to say yes for the partnership to happen. Yet the sales people, in this case that’s us corporate, fundraisers, will often only meet two of those people.


So, in the way that gossip was reverberating around my brother’s wedding venue, we want people to be talking about us in their businesses too, and I wanted to give you three quick tips to make that happen.


1 - Understand who the '7' might be 

Asking open questions and getting to know a business will really help you because it will often surprise you who has power, and who has operational decision making. You might hear a senior job title and assume they’re going to be involved, but often it’s the day to day contacts that have the right to veto. Don’t overlook someone in your journey. Hear the names of the colleagues and ask what they like about partnership proposals and what it might do to get them brought in.


2 - Follow up your contacts promptly 

I was once told on some training that a meeting isn’t over until you’ve sent the follow up and I think that’s a really good practice to embed when working with a company. By sending them your recollection of the meeting and any assets that you shared, you’re immediately empowering them to go to their colleagues with ready made phrasing. They’re much more likely to say it in the way that you would like it said because you have sent it to them.


3 - Think about having an email version of any slides you share. 

For example, when you are telling a story in a corporate setting, you’re likely to just have a picture of the person whose story you’re telling. You want them to be paying attention to you, and emotionally engaging with you in that moment. However, if they were to forward those slides cold to a colleague, they would just see a nice image. Having a version of your slides that you present and version that you email through, perhaps with that story written up, you’re much more likely to have those cold forwarded slides have an impact, meaning that that person will see exactly what the person presented saw, or at least feel on email the way that person presented to felt, and that will help them get closer to a yes.


Playing games of corporate gossip girl are something we absolutely love doing at Fireside Fundraising, and it’s really interesting to see how culture and influence can shift throughout a corporate partnership. If you have other examples of how you’ve got people to say yes, we’d love to hear it. 


See you by the Fireside,

Thanks, 

Andy


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