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Three Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills

Reprinted with permission from Successful Fund Raising newsletter (stevensoninc.com)


Those who are most successful at soliciting gifts possess a key quality: the ability to really listen to prospects and key in on what most matters to them. Being sensitive to every word a prospect utters ultimately plays into the way in which a gift is solicited and the type of request that is made.

To hone your listening skills, follow these three suggestions:

  1. Allow a prospect sufficient time to finish a thought. Donít be too quick to jump in with a response.

  2. Echo key comments back to garner more information. If a prospect makes a statement that you donít fully understand or may have a deeper underlying meaning, use what the individual just said and pose it back in the form of a question: ďYou think our cardiology department could be stronger? Iím interested in hearing more of your thoughts in that regard.Ē

  3. Practice listening. Conduct an occasional practice listening session with other development colleagues to test each otherís comprehension levels and interpretations of what was said. There are online listening exercises as well offered to improve oneís listening skills (www.esl-lab.com).


***********************


About the Author: This article is being reprinted from the from the Successful Fund Raising newsletter with the permission of Stevenson, Inc., PO Box 4528, Sioux City, IA 51104. Phone (712) 239-3010. Fax (712) 239-2166. Website: stevensoninc.com

Established in 1993, Stevenson, Inc. publishes six monthly nationally-acclaimed newsletters with thousands of subscribers throughout the U.S., Canada and other foreign countries. They include:

  • Successful Fund Raising
  • Special Events Galore
  • The Membership Management Report
  • The Volunteer Management Report
  • The Major Gifts Report
  • Nonprofit Communications Report

The newsletters are sold on an annual subscription basis, focus on specific aspects of nonprofit and association management and carry no advertising. Additionally, the company has published several "hands-on" manuals and special reports. To see a sample or subscribe to any of these newsletters, visit Stevenson, Inc. at stevensoninc.com.

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