The Value of Saying No

This is going to sound a little bit weird but I like hearing “No” from my supporters. Sure, I like hearing yes much more, but “No” is my second favorite answer when I ask for money. The majority of asks that I’ve done in my life result in a vague answer that can be really hard to figure out, does not help in terms of sorting out what to do next. People seem to be afraid to give a direct answer.

I love “No” because it allows us to move to another place and I don’t have to read between the lines to understand what someone meant. In fact, I’d say that when a donor feels comfortable enough to say “No” they often say “Yes” in a bigger way in the future. A firm “No” is often followed by a better “Yes” than I’ve received before.

The best way to grow engagement with your supporters is to walk with them down a path where they make intentional decisions about their giving. If you never ask, they never understand the reality of your need. Everyone likes to feel like they can fill a specific need. Even when you get a “No,” the supporter or prospect has been invited deeper into an opportunity to connect with the organization.  This is always a win.

Any other upsides to hearing “No?”  Join the conversation at @infosmallchange #ascblog


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