Talking on the phone or over email has its limitations. In both situations you are unable to read a person’s facial expressions or you may miss nonverbal communication cues. People are a lot harder to read on the phone than in-person. You can learn a lot more about someone when you are face-to-face with him or her. There are certain rules that apply to in-person conversations that do not apply to phone conversations. You have to give someone more of your complete attention. The conversation is expected to continue for a certain period of time. People will often say more about themselves or offer up information they would not have otherwise offered if you were on the phone.
It is important for any fundraiser to have a good story and be able to clearly articulate what an organization does. It is also foundational to be able to show donors where their money is going and why that is valuable to the organization. Another key factor that motivates giving is if donors know the development staff. People who are making a major gift like giving to other people. They will even make a gift because they trust and like the staff member.
Not every meeting needs to be in-person, and many people are not willing to meet in-person for their first meeting. Meeting in-person is a great tool to engage internal and external people. Know the value of talking with someone face-to-face.