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General Selling Tips for Fundraising

by Chip and Ralfie Blasius


These fundamental, time-tested tips will help you and your group sell your fundraisers more effectively. They are designed to help the first-time salesperson get up to speed as well as serve as refreshers for the lifetime adult professional. Read and think about each point before you go out to sell.

  1. Remember you are selling to a living, feeling person and treat each one as such.

  2. When dealing with people, be honest and treat them with integrity. Your honesty and integrity helps create positive public opinion for you and your group.

  3. People love to buy, but hate to be sold to. Avoid hard-sell tactics; help them buy instead. Think of your job as helping your customers feel good about buying from your group.

  4. The best salespeople have fun and enjoy selling. They help customers buy.

  5. Be conscious, alert and focused on each sale as it is occurring. Do not become a robot repeating a memorized sales pitch word for word. Remember your job is to help your customer feel good about helping your group's fundraising effort.

  6. When you get a "no", remember it is only a word. Do not attach any emotions to it. A "no" is just a stepping-stone to a "yes". Just say, "Thank you for your time," and go on to your next sale.

  7. People feel best doing something they want to do, not something they're forced to do. This is true for customers as well as salespeople. Relax. Be friendly, feel good about what you're doing.

  8. Rehearse your sales technique with others. Switch roles back and forth as buyer and seller. In each role visualize a successful conclusion. When you're out selling, choose to be successful.

  9. Imagine you are the buyer. How do you feel and respond to the items offered and the sales pitch used? Also ask friends and relatives for their opinions about sale items and sales pitches.

  10. What are your personal goals for this fundraising event? Write out your goals and your sales pitch on a single sheet of paper. If you don't have any goals or a defined sales approach, write one or two of your best ideas. There are no wrong answers.

  11. While you create your own reality, if you focus on things going wrong, they probably will. Instead, focus on all the things that can go right. See your reality as positive, dynamic and upbeat.

  12. If you feel uncomfortable, do a few easy sales first. Start with relatives and friends. With a few of these sales under your belt. your sales pitch will be polished and your confidence up. Now go out and sell to the world.

  13. Ask people who successfully sell similar items in fundraisers for their sale suggestions and tips. Find out what they did right, what they did wrong and how they would do it differently today.


This is an excerpt from the book Fundraise Painlessly by Chip and Ralfie Blasius and is reprinted with permission.

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About the Authors:

As an office manager and active volunteer/fundraiser for over 20 years, Ralfie Blasius knows the importance of keen organizational skills. She and her husband Chip have a long history of activity in non-profit organizations including scouts, churches and other clubs. Combining their business knowledge with their fundraising experiences, Chip and Ralfie have condensed the essence of many practical lessons on business, time, volunteer, and project management in their book, Fundraise Painlessly. The book is available through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, or your favorite bookstore.



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