The holiday season is not only a time for joy and celebration but also an opportunity to effectively manage your prospects and continue your outreach efforts. Balancing the festive spirit with your prospecting goals can be challenging, but with the right strategies, you can make the most of this time while maintaining positive relationships. Here are some practical tips to help you stay organized and achieve your prospecting goals during the holiday season:
1. Plan Ahead and Prioritize
Before the holiday season starts, take some time to plan and prioritize your outreach activities. Evaluate your prospect list and identify the most promising leads that you want to focus on during this period. By prioritizing your prospects, you can allocate your time and resources effectively, ensuring that you make the most impact with your outreach efforts.
2. Be Mindful of Timing
While the holiday season can be a great time to connect with prospects, it's important to be mindful of timing. Take into consideration that many individuals may be on vacation or have limited availability during this period. Schedule your outreach activities strategically, aiming for times when your prospects are more likely to be available and receptive to your messages.
3. Personalize Your Outreach
During the holiday season, add a personal touch to your outreach efforts. Tailor your messages and communications to reflect the spirit of the season. Show genuine interest in your prospects' well-being and extend warm holiday greetings. Personalization can go a long way in building and strengthening relationships with your prospects.
4. Leverage Seasonal Events and Themes
Take advantage of the festive events and themes that are prevalent during the holiday season. Incorporate these elements into your prospecting activities to make your outreach more engaging and memorable. Consider hosting virtual holiday-themed events, sending personalized holiday cards, or offering special promotions that align with the season.
5. Follow Up and Follow Through
Don't let the holiday season be an excuse to neglect follow-ups. Timely and consistent follow-ups are crucial for maintaining momentum and nurturing relationships with your prospects. Be diligent in your follow-up efforts, ensuring that you respond promptly to inquiries and continue the conversation even during this busy time of year.
6. Stay Organized with Automation
To streamline your prospecting efforts during the holiday season, consider leveraging automation tools. Use customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage and track your interactions with prospects. Automate routine tasks, such as sending follow-up emails or scheduling appointments, to save time and ensure that no prospect falls through the cracks.
7. Maintain a Positive and Festive Attitude
Lastly, remember to maintain a positive and festive attitude throughout your prospecting activities. Embrace the holiday spirit and convey enthusiasm and joy in your communications. A positive attitude can help you build rapport with your prospects and leave a lasting impression.
By implementing these tips, you can effectively manage your prospects during the holiday season while still achieving your prospecting goals. Embrace the opportunities that this festive time of year brings and cultivate meaningful relationships that can lead to long-term success.
Wishing you a joyful and prosperous holiday season!
By Gregory Duke, bCRE-PRO
While data cleanup and integrity are always important, the timing of focusing on it during the fall season might seem curious. October—and the last three months of the year in general—is typically a particularly busy time for non-profits.
This is the season for sending holiday event invitations to our top prospects and preparing end-of-year mailing lists for nearly everyone in our database. Who has time in this season to perform any data auditing or cleanup?
Since data is constantly being added to and changed in our databases, data integrity is an ongoing concern—even in the fourth quarter of the year. But since we also don’t have as much time to enforce that data integrity (as if we do in the other quarters of the year!), it’s imperative that we make the most of that time.
There are only two ways to do more with less time when it comes to data cleanup and integrity.
The first is to prioritize data cleanup that will most improve your organization’s fundraising activities. In previous Water Cooler Chats, I have emphasized cleaning up data that reaches your external audience or allows you to reach your external audience (especially contact information such as name, address, addressee/salutation, phone number, email address).
In a recent Water Cooler Chat, I discussed topics such as fixing foreign and non-alphanumeric characters in names and addresses deformed by file formats, rebuilding corrupt email addresses with a simple find-and-replace method, and identifying misspelled city and street names.
By prioritizing the data which your constituents can see—and which is most important to them—you can turn Murphy’s Law on its head by doing 90% of the important work in 10% of the time!
Speed Up the Process
The other way to do more with less time is to speed up the process of data cleanup. One thing I’ve learned over the past few years is to identify the more efficient process between building an import process, or to do the data cleanup manually in the database.
A good rule of thumb is that if you have fewer than 20 records to change in your database—or if there are fewer than about 40 or 50 records with only a single, similar issue to change—fixing or updating the records manually will be faster. Most CRMs will allow you to create a query of the records you will need to change and will allow you to select or scroll through the records in the query: this saves you time in opening each record.
Another way to speed up data cleanup is to export the data fields you want to review (for example, city names or street addresses) into Excel. By using a filter such as the column filter under the Data tab or the many filters in a Pivot Table, incorrect and misspelled names will stand out in your data, allowing you to filter for the records which need correction.
At Staupell Analytics Group, we help our clients audit their databases, identify data errors and database structural issues, and enforce data integrity. We also help clients prepare their data for database migration or changes to their CRM products. Contact us today.
By Marianne M. Pelletier
When I was in college, I would walk past the science building on my way to take a drawing class at the arts building. In the drawing class, I learned how to hold up a pencil to find the angle of a line on the object that I was drawing.
That new skill came with me when I walked back past the science center, noticing its lines. On my last trip to visit my alma mater, my eyes immediately traced the roof lines of the science center while I flashed back to those January treks to the arts center. Even after 30 years, it was visceral for me to think of a 3-dimensional object as a series of lines in order to draw a 1-dimensional image of it.
By Ruthie Giles
Know Where You Are Going
When I was a kid, my dad loved to get us all in the car on a beautiful summer day and go for a drive. This was back in the days before cell phones, so there was no GPS to guide us. We almost never had a map in the car, so we relied solely on only my dad’s sense of direction and his recollection of roads once traveled in some prior decade.
He would never tell us the specific destination of these drives, we simply got in the car and off we went, full of wonder and excitement about where this drive might take us. And then he would inevitably turn onto a road that would prompt one of us to ask, “Where does this road go?”
The summer is often a time for fundraising organizations to review their strengths and weaknesses, and to improve their tools, for the upcoming fiscal year. One of the most popular targets for this improvement is the organization’s database, as the database affects all aspects of fundraising activity. If your shop is considering a review of its database effectiveness—a process which is popularly called a data audit—there are three principles that will help guide the course of your work.