Soliciting: Confessions of A Community Service VolunteerBy
Soliciting: My Confession
I am guilty of caring too much and sometimes I overstep boundaries when it comes to my fundraising activities. Many times people don’t know how to react to me as I explain what I am doing. Many are so programed to say No Soliciting that they miss out on an opportunity to have an ally for their business. Some are so programed to say Not Interested that they lose the opportunity for business that day and in the future. Think about it if you own a business, how many times you may have let someone walk away that could have helped you build your brand and invrease your revenue. I must confess that if you are nice to me even if you say no if you do it in a polite way I will speak highly of you. If you are mean guess what? No positive exposure to my network of business associates and friends and family. On an occasion last week I was out collecting for The American Cancer Society Relay For Life and a business owner after his manager said I could collect in the nail salon siad I am not interested, you trespass, you bother customer. A customer stated she was there to relax and not to be solicited to which I answered I can appreciate that however I wasn’t talking to you, she then made it point to tell me that she gave at church and if I didn’t leave she was calling the police. As I turned to leave I heard her say you don’t know who to trust, this set me off and I turned back I said to her you never know the opportunities you miss out on because of preconceived ideas or the lack of being open to receive. I left the location took a deep breath and realized that it was not about me at all that some people don’t get it and wonder why they struggle in their personal and professional life. I also realized to focus on the positive and to keep moving forward. At the end of the day $69 was collected in the community for Relay for Life. I met some good people and was successful.
Soliciting: The Benefits
I am often asked the benefits of soliciting and supporting causes. They are many:
1: Doing community service and publiciizing it can lead to more business as people like to do business with people they perceive to be giving back
2: Loyal Customers and a good reputation in the community come when you give back
3: Free publicity from media sources
4: Employee Morale is Boosted as an atmosphere of caring and compassion is created in the workplace
5: More people see your ads as you include the goood deeds youa re doing
6: Creating Allies and Advocates for your business that will share with others and thus increase your brand awareness and revenue.
I confess when I walk into a business and I see plaques and certificates from organizations that they have helped I will spend a little bit more then I intended as I know they support the community.
Soliciting: Embrace It
Let’s come to the realization that being open and receptive to people presenting opportunities for our businesses is a good thing and that by supporting one another we will build a stronger business base in the community. Think about it the kid you just said no to and were mean to may be the kid that could have brought you business because of his facebook following and twitter following. In the begining of the year think about the idea of declaring I will support causes in the community that approach me with no excuses as this will lead to building a stronger brand and increase my revenue. It is as simple as donating product or services and thus creating loyal clients. I have been doing business with one restaurant in my community every week spending on avarage $12 a week simply because they donated 10 large pizzas to Relay for Life for The Pizza Lap. I have made them a few promo videos and will continue to do business with them. I think of all the restaurants that said no we can’t and still complain how bad things are. The key is to be receptive and open and find a way to help. Think about it you have a service oriented business and you can donate $1 for each client to a cause for one month.At the end of the month you invite a representive to accept the check at your location, you take pictures, you send the photos with a caption and your location and phone number to the media, you post it on all your social media and on your web site word gets out and people begin to do more business with you as they perceive you to be a giver in the community.
This week pick one cause to support and maximize your message to the community that your business cares.