Fundraising is a relationship business. We raise our dollars, one donor, at a time. While many of us like to think that human beings are rational creatures, the fact is, we are irrational, impulsive and emotionally-driven animals that make 90% of decisions at the subconscious level and then try and rationalise our decisions.
As a collective, one of our main challenges as human beings is understanding others, and a lot of this comes down to our subconscious. Without the right environment or experience, it can be tough to handle different personality types.
As a fundraiser or as we prefer to call is, philanthropic sales professional, being able to understand different personalities is vital, not just for your career, but also to boost your organisation’s revenues and reputation.
So, with this in mind, this article will show you why philanthropic sales professionals need to understand personality.
Acknowledge That People Are Driven By Emotions
This is also key to become a philanthropic sales master.
By understanding personality, you can influence people at the subconscious level by communicating to them in their preferred subconscious style, which helps us to build more powerful relationships.
From a psychological point of view, emotions are various states of mind that are determined by an interaction, both physically and mentally. As such, every emotion requires a specific trigger. Once that emotion has been triggered, as humans, it impacts how we process that information and the subsequent reaction.
So, coming back to a philanthropic sales professional standpoint, you can use this to your advantage.
By understanding the triggers, you can counter any negative emotions with conscious positive emotions. Then, by being the trigger yourself, you can help them feel like they’re making a real difference.
Better Reach People
Once you understand personality, you can use it to influence your results, whether it’s the initial interaction or closing the donation. Here are a few scenarios where this skill works particularly well.
Approaching Existing Donors
For those that already support your brand, understanding their personality can help you gauge what they’re looking for. This will help to personalise your message and encourage action. For example, you could focus on the potential rewards of the donation for one personality type, while you could focus more on the donation’s impact on the surrounding area for another personality type.
For those that are in your sights but you haven’t managed to quite get on board yet, learn how their personalities compare to those that are committing to the cause. Perhaps you first thought their donation was about them “doing the right thing”(and approached them with this mentality) but, later on, you realised they are really committed to the cause. From here you could adapt your approach to focus more on values and quality.
Knowing the different personalities within your existing donor network can also help you identify new targets that were, perhaps, unknown beforehand. For example, if you analyse your network and find there was a significant number of a certain personality type, then you could work with the marketing team and senior people to start targeting more of the same people. Since you already have that message in place, you can then figure out how to get it across to an audience that you already know responds well to it.
Now, while the most popular and recognizable personality type systems help most people to learn about themselves, they aren't sure how to use that same information in their day-to-day lives.
Hence, Askology has created the Askology Personality Colours, similar to how Myers-Briggs is based on the work of Dr. Carl Jung. We set out to create a powerful but straightforward personality system for philanthropic sales professionals to master and use every day on the job.
Which brings us to the following...
Better Understanding of Donors
Askology Personality Colours can help you use the same data about different people and group them together to gain a better understanding of them.
There are four Personality Colours that cover the four main personalities to understand, each of which will require a different approach. They are as follows:
Orange - Inspire and Entertain Me
People with a high level of Orange like to be with people they like. They are open, extraverted, friendly and enthusiastic. Orange donors enjoy the interaction and inspiration of the task.
They can also be impulsive and can get carried away in the moment.
Green - Demonstrate Empathy and Trust
Green energy enjoys a more low key, friendly approach, and has a strong need to form close and sincere relationships. With a deep-rooted fear of being taken advantage of, Greens are most comfortable with philanthropic salespeople that demonstrate empathy, honesty and sincerity.
Blue - Systematic and Precise
Donors who have Blue energy are both questioning and sceptical and give the impression of being detached from their feelings. They carefully evaluate all the options and have done a lot of private research. They are most comfortable in a formal, business-like atmosphere. Blue prospects place donating decisions on objective information rather than emotions.
Red - Assertive Action and Results
With an assertive and results orientated demeanour, Red energy prefers orderly, matter of fact conversations so they can make up their mind quickly, even if it is a complex decision.
Red likes to be in control of the pace and has a tendency to dominate the conversation. They expect the meeting to be formal, focused on the task, with decisions made at the end of the meeting.
Learn More About the Importance Of Personality
The best tool a philanthropic sales professional has is their ability to adapt to something as simple as someone’s personality. The more you know about the people that have an interest in your product, service or cause, the easier you’ll find it to connect with others just like them.
For more information, be sure to check out our FREE Askology Personality Series White Papers.
Sandy MacKenzie, CPSL
Chief Askologlist and Partner