Saturday, 5 October 2013

Client servicing. Some things I have learnt...

Although I've worked directly for a charity, most of my fundraising experience comes from working in fundraising agencies. I've had the benefit of working with some amazing people in and outside of those agencies since I started my fundraising career – people I've learnt loads from.

I've started to realise recently, that I've picked up all sorts of one-liners and phrases from them. Anyone who has ever worked with me will recognise some of them. Probably because I stole them.

They all relate to client servicing, specifically in our sector, but can relate to whatever you want. And yes I know some of them contradict each other. We're all still learning…

Here are the first 11. There are 11 more...

Be authentic and give a shit. Passion is impossible to fake. You work in fundraising. So you need to care about something. Not everything, but you do need to have an opinion and have a sense of the issues. If you don’t, you just come across as someone who is blagging.  

Everyone can learn. None of us are perfect. We've all got development needs. We will never know it all. I learn from people every day, from my clients, my team and from my colleagues. If you think you know it all, you're not ever going to be as good as you think you are.

If you want something to happen, take personal responsibility to make sure it does. Don't wait for someone else to do it. If it’s important to you, make sure it’s important to the person who is doing it. And be accountable for it happening. That probably means pissing a few people off from time to time. Which is OK, but only from time to time.

Be brilliant at the basics. It’s important to know all the latest developments in the sector and the wider world, to know and have a view on the future. It’s more important to be brilliant at the fundamental aspects of your day job. You need to make sure you’re the person people look at and want to be like. Why? Because if you're known for getting stuff done and done well, you will earn the right to do the new stuff which you will naturally do better than anyone else.

Know what makes people tick and act on it. Our jobs are to keep people happy. To make things happen. So ask questions, remember the answers and do something about it. If your client is interested in the fundraising techniques used in Peru, and you find an article about the fundraising techniques used in Peru. Why don't you take the time to send it to them?

Leave your clients happier than when you started. No one wants to work with an agency and be bored. So make sure you're not boring. Smile, be positive, have an opinion and make sure you share it.

Know your numbers. Know how to use them. We're geeks. Numbers geeks. 50% response rate is a brilliant thing. Until you realise that that segment had 29 people in it. I mean really, how silly will you look when everyone realises?

If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. We're fundraisers. We need to understand the things that affect response so we can make the next campaign even better.

Being on time is being five minutes early. Enough said.

Know your outcome. A meeting without an agenda is a crime. A campaign without targets is a whole load of future trouble. A project without a schedule is destined for failure.

(In meetings) Don’t sit on your bum. If you are the most junior person in the room say something. If you don't say something make sure that everyone gets tea and coffee. And then make sure you say something.

I don't mean to sound all ranty. I wrote them very quickly and I didn't want to go back and edit them, I hope more authentic that way... More soon.

And yes. I know I don't stick to them all.

Part 2 here.

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