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Qualification Training: Hone Your Skills

BY Jason Manning

Qualification visits are a critical component of a gift officer’s role, however, they are also among the most challenging. As new fundraisers, it can be intimidating and difficult to learn how to take a referral from a clinician and create that sense of urgency to get the prospect to meet. A few simple steps of preparation will ensure a smooth process for the fundraiser, clinician partner, and the prospect themself.

Be Prepared Prior to the Call
Prior to your call, prepare yourself. What will you answer if someone asks why you’re calling? Or to explain your role at the organization? Develop a script for some common questions and objections. Have a few dates and times, as well as locations, to offer the prospect to ease any sort of indecision on their part.

Be Prepared Prior to the Meeting
Make sure you have a mental agenda of how you want this meeting to go. What questions are you going to ask the prospect – do you have a different set of questions for a past donor vs a new clinician referral?  Do you have the resources you need to bring with you to the meeting? These may be physical resources to give to a prospect, such as renderings, program documentation, or other printed materials; or they may be institutional knowledge, such as personal fluency around the cause, program needs, approval chain for gifts, etc.

Be Prepared for After the Meeting
If, after meeting, this is a prospect you wish to move forward in the cultivation cycle, already have your potential next steps in mind. Aligning the prospect to the next step is the difference between a “nice” visit and a “productive” visit. How can you utilize the resources of the hospital to help with your post-qualification cultivation steps? Are there lectures or presentations open to the public you can invite your prospect to? Are there labs or spaces within the hospital that would be inspiring to tour? Does your hospital allow the public to come to grand rounds? How can you involve your clinician champion who made the referral in your cultivation plans?  Know what events are coming up that could be interesting to your prospect or have some other next step in mind to create natural follow-up.

Are you interested in learning more about how to become more entrepreneurial in your work, how to better qualify your prospects, what metrics to use to ensure you can be successful as a gift officer, how to connect with your clinicians and prepare them to be your partner in philanthropy, and more? Join us for GOBEL’s Top Producer Bootcamp, on September 19, 2023, prior to the AHP Conference in Orlando, FL. Email for more information.

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