You know what people want more than anything else?
They want to know that someone is paying attention to them. People want to matter. They want to know that you know they’re there.
When it comes to building donor relationships, it’s pretty simple. Pay attention to them. Get to know what matters to them, and do something about it.
I speak a lot at Habitat events. And I always manage to work in something about my horses when I speak. This summer, one Habitat affiliate paid attention and then knocked my socks off with a heart-felt gift of a few T-shirts (I love Habitat T-shirts!) and a coat rack made of horseshoes. It absolutely made my day! I love that they paid attention, then said “thank you” in a meaningful way. Notice that the gift wasn’t expensive nor was it complicated. It was just a great way to say thanks.
When you’re visiting with a donor, pay attention to the décor in their home or office. Notice what they’re talking about when their eyes light up. These will give you indications about what’s important to them. All you have to do is turn on your donor radar and see what you pick up on.
Then next time you chat with them, you’ll have a topic to begin a conversation with. Small talk? Yes, it is. But it’s meaningful to your donor and that’s what matters.