Things I like? They come in all shapes and sizes.
- Summer. And not for the reason you’re thinking! You bet, summer is a great time to recharge the battery but it is also a wonderful time to try something counter-intuitive. Submit grant proposals in the summer. No one else is. Try a creative direct mail campaign. How many other appeals are in the summer mailboxes? And forget about visiting Florida and Arizona donors in January! Everyone else is doing the same thing! Visit them when those donors are dying for company! Trust me, I’ve done it, and it works!
- A physical, take-it-with-you calendar. Yes, I keep a calendar online. But for almost 4 decades I’ve also used the DayMinder G200-00 Black. It goes with me everywhere, I never have to worry about a dead battery and I can look up a date in three seconds.
- Smiling. Who doesn’t like to see a smile? A smile shouts of the “quiet confidence” we have to portray. A smile says “I like you” or “I like what you’re saying.” Who doesn’t respond well to that? I find we don’t smile often enough in our profession.
- A white shirt. By that I mean, dressing the part. Presenting yourself the way you want to be perceived. Do you want to look trendy? Good luck with that. Do you want to be taken seriously. Wear a white shirt.
- Golf. It doesn’t happen often, but at some time in your career a donor, a boss, or a colleague will invite you to play golf. What most people don’t understand, you don’t need to play golf well for people to want to play with you! You need to understand the rules and the etiquette of the game. That, and a little practice every so often, you’ll never regret it.
- Handshakes. A business handshake, that is. Not one of those “mamby-pamby” numbers where you shake fingers. A proper handshake is an acquired trait and something that marks you as a professional.
- A war room. Every advancement team needs a place to congregate, for celebrations or informally. Your war room is your “ground zero.” It “centers” your team. Find your war room, start referring to it as such and watch how fast others start calling it that, too.
More later this week. Have a good day and a Happy Fourth, my friends.