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  • Melinda Lackey

Let’s practice our Three-Step!

Every day is a good day to re-up our commitment to enrolling new partners in our work! The good news is that we can hone our own technique, even as we train our Boards and fund development teams so that everyone is engaged in the dance of enrollment!

Have you tried to teach The Three-Step?

At SEED we love to get Boards and fund development teams dancing, using our SEEDing Financial Stability software with coaching. (Happy to offer you an online demo!)

The Three-Step is an easy dance for one and all. It is so simple, you can practice over coffee. Try teaching it to your team. Do a bit of dancing in your conference room together. Then you'll be ready to dance your way into the hearts of future supporters of your organization's mission.


Step 1. Lead with “why” - Lead with your passion!

Share why you are involved in this mission. Make your "why" statement personal. Highlight why YOU care so deeply.

Step 2. Inquire to learn more about your prospect’s interests.

Ask: “What are you involved in? What do you care about?”

Step 3. Offer a call to action. Speak to your prospect’s interests as you articulate an opportunity, and how your organization impacts this opportunity.

For example, "It sounds like your interest in X has a lot in common with our approach to Y. Would you like to see for yourself? I’ll be volunteering at our program next week. Want to join me there?”

That’s it! Sounds easy, yes? Step right, step left, step together and we’re dancing!

Keep at it. You'll want to practice to several different songs.

Since the Three-Step is so, so easy to do, here are three quick items to-don’t:

“One of the deepest principles of life and leadership: it’s not about you.”

– Ken Blanchard

1. Don’t talk too much! As your Board practices The Three-Step to get more of their friends out on the dance floor, remind them that their Step 2 question is everything. Use inquiry. Listen. Ask another question to learn more. Listen more. Tune into your prospect’s music. Get them to communicate what moves them.

“If I speak in tongues … but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”

– 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3

2. Don’t think for a minute that you have to be brilliant! Feeling low on knowledge? Well please let that go. When have you ever needed more knowledge to dance? Indeed with no knowledge of your content whatsoever, you can focus on connecting with your partner. Elicit their values, interests and deep passion for your topic. Make your partner shine!

“If you can't explain something simply,

you don't really understand it.”

– Bill Gates

3. Don’t overwhelm them with data. How are you touching their hearts? Are you sharing a real story of someone whose life has been transformed? Does your story include conflict -- the harsh life challenges faced by your client, and the drama of all s/he has surmounted since connecting with you? Are you also revealing something of your challenges, and how you and your colleagues are learning? A couple of statistics will strengthen your case, to be sure. Just remember, people give to people, not anything else. Be human. Be you.

Now get dancing!

We’d love to hear how this works for you:

SEED offers SEEDing Financial Stability for Boards -- an incredibly affordable year-long coaching service for boards and fund development teams, with software that supports cultivation, strategy and teamwork. Ask for a demo!

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