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Selling for-profits and for nonprofits: are they really that different?
Third of three parts. known as a also promote other things like literacy. bottom row of the table you’ll find “4.
consultative sale. Here we are speaking about the beneficia- Simple Transactions.” These consist of
As I conclude this series, I’m looking at As it turns out, ries, not the purchasers themselves, the items which don’t cost much: donations
how selling in for-profit and nonprofit the type, size and actual donors. made while checking out, purchases of Girl
organizations has more similarities than complexity of the Now move down and to the right to the Scout cookies or pink top Yoplait.
differences. revenue generating heading “4. Primary Needs of Purchasers and • Column A: lead volume is driven by
I collect sales training manuals and have opportunity Donors.” The needs fulfilled here are more advertising and little or no prospecting is
two open that are used to train car sales dictates the most evolved than those of the recipients of required, mostly because it is cost prohibitive.
executives. One system is used by a appropriate sales or charitable services. For donors they include • Column B: selling is limited to the
well-known car dealership in Tucson. Here fundraising emotional motivators like belonging and activities of volunteers, retail clerks or
are a few excerpts that may surprise you, SAM WILLIAMS approach, not the esteem, empathy and guilt, altruism and sometimes just to product packaging.
but shouldn’t: for-profit or tradition. Rational motivators include tax • Column C: buyers are responsible for
“Customers are the most important nonprofit status of the organization. deductions, image enhancement and social evaluating their own needs.
people in any business. They are not In this table below, for-profits are standing. • Column D: the role of building trust
dependent on us. We are dependent on and rapport is limited branding (Nabisco,
them. They bring us their wants and needs. Revenue Generating Organizations Tommy Hilfiger).
It is our job to fulfill them. Customers For-Profits Nonprofits • Column E: there is usually only a single
Types of
deserve the most courteous and attentive Organizations Public/Large Private Small - Med Business 501 (c) 6 501 (c) 3
decision maker, you!
(SMB) Private • Column F: the sale is simple and the sales
treatment we can provide. They are the Business Associations
lifeblood of our business.” UniSource, Raytheon, Eurofresh, Securaplane, (TAMA, Adfed, FEAT)
Religious, educational, cycle time may take from a minute to a day.
charitable, socuial welfare
“The adage ‘we don’t sell cars, we sell
1. Examples AT&T, Google, Ford, US Steel - Apache Nitrogen, Golden Chambers of Commerce (United Way, Boys & • Column G: the risk to the decision
Cargill, SC Johnson Eagle, T.A. Caid (Metro, Hisppanic, Marana, Girls Clubs, Primavera) maker is minimal, because the cost of the
people’ is true. A professional concentrates Northern Pima County)

on the person-aspect of the sale…Building a General Information purchase is small and because you are the
relationship is one of the most important 2. Primary customers More business than Small - Medium Sized SMBs & Consumers Mostly Individual Consumers only person who might be affected.
consumers (B2B & B2C) Businesses + Consumers • Column H: your private emotions and
aspects of successful selling…and consists of 3. Maslow’s Hierarchy
the following: building trust, empathy and of Needs that are met
All 5 Levels: Physiological (food, clothing, shelter), Middle 2 Levels: Lower 2 Levels: impulses usually drive the purchase rather
Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem & Self-Actualization Belonging, esteem Physiological, safety
confidence. than the collective logic required in
4. Primary needs Emotional: Professional security, image Emotional: Belonging and social / Emotional: Empathy, guilt, evaluating proposals in row 1.
“We ask questions to determine the of purchases/donors enhancing, safer, fun Rational: better, faster, tribal Rational: professional edu- altruism, tradition, religion
logical and emotional motivations of the cheaper, more reliable cation, networking, marketing Rational: tax deduction, image - If you continue to work up through rows
legacy, social conformity
purchase. Only after determining these 3, 2 and 1, you’ll find the entries in columns
motivators can we prove that our product A through H change as the sale evolves
satisfies what the customer wants and needs. The Sales Spectrum - Revenue Generating Elements in Common for All Revenue Generating Organizations from a simple transaction to a complex,
This is done as we build value by presenting A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H.
consultative sale. However, the skills and
Elements of the sale Amount of Team vs. #Decision Complexity Risk to Role of techniques that need to be applied to each
only those product features and benefits that Needs Trust and
Personal Sell- Individual Makers & and Sales Decision Logic vs.
correspond to these motivators.” Size of the sale ing Required Selling
Assessment Rapport
Influencers Cycle Time Maker Emotion type of the sale are pretty much the same
Now, here’s a passage from another car 1. V. Complex Sales. Fewer such Important regardless of whether you are operating in
sales training manual: “We as car sales
Big ticket sales, major opportunities More
Team than usually are to be in-
troduced 2-3 Complexity Risk is
often spread
Logic is
a for-profit or nonprofit environment.
gifts and bequests. clearly Decision ranges from
people are stigmatized with a terrible Personal spelied by Board Makers high to mod- among many, to prevail A practice that separates fundraising
2. Complex Sales. More oppor- sales (Board member reducing over
reputation to the point of cliché. Our Contracts, RFPs, Grants tunities; more Members, out, but + to be erate. Process degree of emotion professionals from for-profit salespeople is the
clarification 3- 4 can take 6-18
customers typically do not believe us. At and Sponsorships (well prospecting key provid- is usually responsive Influencers months. personal and emphasis on formal education and certifica-
defined opportunities & personal ers, experts) to written risk impulse
selling required needs tion. The Association of Fundraising Profession-
best, they think we exaggerate, which is a
polite word for ‘lying.’ We must earn the 3. Medium sized sales, Requires Individual Intro from 1-2 Risk concen- Emotion als (AFP), offers a certified fund raising
donations, (automo- the most selling w/ Board Decision trated among and trust
right to be believed!” prospecting less Board More member, Makers fewer DMs Risk play greater executive (CFRE) and an advanced (ACFRE)
biles, high end cameras, customer/ concentrated
I also have open beside me a fundraising monthly pledges) & personal help + some donor needs helpful, among roles due to program. While there are certification programs
selling org. support assessment but build- 1-3 fewer DMs higher
training manual from Wilson Learning, an ing trust is Influencers personal for commercial sales, they don’t have nearly the
essential risk
international sales training firm based in same recognition as those offered by the AFP.
4. Simple Transac- Trust con- 1 Decision V. low Another differentiator is that the AFP
Minnesota. This program was used to train tions - smalller sales Too many to Volunteers, assessment. veyed via Maker complexity. Emotion
fundraisers at 50 United Ways, and begins (memberships, dona- prospect! retail clerks Products branding Process takes Very and regards the payment of commissions to
tions, cookies, Yoplait and top 0-1 1 minute -
with “Customers often experience a set of High levels of or product target of mind Influencers 1 day. small impulse fundraisers as unethical. But in practice,
pink tops, clothing, advertising! packaging known rule
needs. aware- AFP does have guidelines for bonus
feelings called ‘No Trust.’ …Times have appliances) ness
changed. We can no longer assume a programs. And nonprofits that provide
donor’s commitment…We need to take the divided into public and private companies, The point is that successful sales pseudo-commercial services, such as the
time to establish a trust level that welcomes and the nonprofits into 501(c)6 business professionals and fundraisers must know sale of radio advertising spots to “underwrit-
our involvement and sets the stage for a associations and 501(c)3 charities. how to find and sell to the specific emo- ers,” do provide their underwriting associ-
healthy and growing partnership.” Start with the heading “3. Maslow’s tional and rational motivators of both ates compensation plans that are made up
“Once the customer perceives you as a Hierarchy of Needs that are Met.” You’ll see buyers and donors. This usually involves of roughly 70 percent fixed compensation
credible professional resource, the next that large public for-profits produce a full establishing trust and rapport so the sales and 30 percent commissions.
phase of the interaction begins…Feelings range of goods and services that satisfy all executives and fundraisers can get beneath Over time and in the face of this extend-
that impede this interaction…are called ‘No five human need levels: physiological (food, the superficial motivators to those at the ed recession, it’s likely that the worlds of
Need.” By using questioning and listening clothing, shelter), safety, love and belonging, core. The mantra “People buy from people for-profit sales and nonprofit fundraising
skills, you learn to work with customers to esteem and self actualization. they know, like or trust. People buy from will come to look more and more alike.
develop a picture of their need…” As you move to the right to the 501(c) 3 people like themselves” applies equally to
Sound familiar? If you haven’t estab- charities, you’ll see they produce goods for-profit and nonprofit sales. Contact Sam Williams, president
lished trust and rapport, you can’t investi- and services meeting needs that are The “sales spectrum” table above, shows of New View Group, at swilliams@
gate the motivators because people won’t fundamental to human survival: food, how sales techniques vary by the size and or (520) 390-0568.
open up. These are all elements of what is clothing, shelter and safety. Of course, they nature of a given sale. For example, on the
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