How to communicate your selling strategy
Brochure fundraisers are known for sending students out to do door to door selling. Students become motivated by the prizes at the kickoff assembly; so is it no wonder that there’s a big sense of urgency to go out in search of buyers? Furthermore, to get the really big and exciting prizes, a lot of sales have to be made, thus fueling the fire.
It’s fairly easy to understand why many people feel negatively about brochure selling. And even though students simply want the prizes, your reputation is at stake with people who feel that you’re manipulating children to bring in money.
If you want your fundraiser to be successful though, you’ll need to work to change this undesirable perception. Here are some things you can do to overcome this door to door selling hurdle that may prevent some parents from wanting to participate.
Educating Your Parents
It really starts and ends with your parents because they’ll decide if their children will participate in your fundraiser or not. If they have a good vibe about your campaign, chances are greater that they’ll become involved. Unfortunately the opposite is also true. So how can you cultivate a positive perception with your parents?
It starts with effectively promoting the reason that you’re having your sale in the first place. Your goal is to have a purpose-driven sales campaign. In other words, you need to communicate why they should join in. Hopefully you’ve talked to others ahead of time about your purpose and people understand the need. How will the money enhance the school and more specifically, the students?
If you can answer these question effectively, you should be able to build back parent trust. Many parents distrust fundraisers simply because they don’t know anything about the purpose, and thus where the money ultimately gets spent.
Reinforcing Student Safety
Make sure to reinforce student safety at your fundraiser kickoff assembly. Students need to know that it’s not about how many people they can approach, but rather finding the right buyers. Approaching strangers just to make a sale is not what your campaign is about. They need to know that it’s only ok to approach people that they know, like family and friends. You should also convince them to ask their parents to sell for them by taking their sales brochure to work. Most importantly, any unsupervised selling is not allowed.
Targeting the Right Customers
Approaching everyone you can find is like throwing something up against the wall and hoping that some of it will stick. This is a careless approach and is actually less effective. Strangers are less apt to buy from someone they don’t know anyway. So why approach them in the first place? Instead, students should be encouraged to put together a plan by creating fundraising prospect lists of family and friends that they can approach. This is especially effective with smaller high school groups.
Regrettably many schools have a fundraiser simply because they want to have money when they need it. This is one step short of crisis management. On the other hand, if you do a good job of educating everyone on why door to door selling is a bad idea, the misperception can be greatly minimized. And best of all, you’ll probably end up making even more money in the end.