Why sales tools are just as important as your product.
When it comes to selling, the product itself is most important, right? This makes intuitive sense. It's only logical. We've heard of products that "sell themselves". Everyone wants to reap the rewards of that type of product.
But you can have the best product in the world, but what if no one's inspired to sell it? So one might conclude that the prize program is also important. It's like a beautiful car without gas in the tank. The product is the car, and the gas is the motivation.
It would be great if all you needed for a successful sale were a good product and exciting prizes. These two things will make your sale go, but if you want it to run well, you need fundraising sales tools.
If gasoline makes the car run, proper maintenance will ensure it runs smoothly. Having the right sales tools helps make your fundraiser easy to run. It makes you more efficient, allowing you to do more things in less time. One could argue that a better-running car can go further on less gas. It will probably also be able to go faster.
Does this suggest that organized sponsors raise more money too?
Probably. There is more to raising money than finding the perfect brochure to sell or choosing the right prize program to motivate your students. To take their sales to the next level, groups should utilize their sales tools more.
There are two types of tools that sponsors use. The first type focuses on supplemental selling materials. These are what help the sale run well. For example, we offer a fundraiser supply kit to all our schools. They receive a kickoff video, extra order forms, and a postage-paid order mailing box.
In other words, the kit includes everything the sponsor needs to run their program. It's analogous to the manufacturing instructions for your car. How it's constructed determines how well your car runs. If we provide useful information, the sponsor can do their job better.
The second type of tool helps to increase sales further. This is like putting a fuel additive in your tank to make the car run better and even go faster. Everyone should consider boosting sales by integrating additional incentives into their campaign.
Here's a deeper dive into the two ways our sponsors receive their sales tools from us:
1. Mailed Fundraising Sales Tools
Schools receive information by mail and by email. Their mailed kit includes the following basic supplies.
- Promotional flyers. This includes posters of the prizes. Schools should also post basic information about their fundraiser, like start and end dates and what they sell.
- Extra order forms. Each student packet already has one order form. Students need to know where they can pick up a second once they fill up the first.
- Classroom envelopes. You will want to organize your orders by student and class if you're a larger school.
- Postage-paid mailing box. You'll need to know where to send in your order forms. As a courtesy, many companies will also pay for the postage.
Sponsors also receive a 'fundraising flowchart'. It's a roadmap of what to expect and when. We also know that having a successful kickoff meeting is important. We also furnish a 'How to Prepare for Your Kickoff' flyer.
Included are tips and suggestions that create the right atmosphere for your meeting. You'll also need to know how to prepare your equipment. Remember, you only have one chance to make a great impression. If your kickoff goes well, you've laid a strong foundation for fundraising success.
There's one other thing that comes in our sponsor kit. Our larger accounts also receive a step-by-step school fundraising guidebook. This provides all the 'need to know' information about your fundraiser. It's also in chronological order for ease of use.
Things like how to better market your fundraiser and get better results are included. You'll also find various types of premade notice flyers. These are in English and Spanish. All you have to do is fill in your dates and make copies. Here are the types of notices you'll find in the guidebook:
- Mid-sale reminder. We're halfway through our campaign. Keep selling.
- Order form & money collection. Start preparing to turn in your orders.
- Lets parents know when their orders are coming.
- Late money collection. For orders received without money.
- Money correction. When people turn in the wrong amount of money.
- Insufficient funds. Handles bounced checks.
Also included is a cover sheet for submitting late orders and how to prepare for your delivery. In the back of the book is a comprehensive checklist. This allows you to check each task off as you go.
We encourage our customers to review it beforehand so they will know what to do. If questions arise, they have time to discuss or contact us before their kickoff.
Once everything's in place, it's time to focus on fundraiser promotion to maximize results.
2. Electronic Sales Tools
From day one, we tell our sponsors to ensure our email domain has been whitelisted. Why? We're big believers in sending real-time information. Receiving supplies by mail is only one part of the process. 'Heads up' emails let sponsors know what's coming next.
We provide helpful resource links to our website. The goal is to provide a better experience or improve outcomes when doing a specific task. For more information, check out our fundraising company notice tips.
As with anything else, fundraising sales tools only work if used. Once you've prepared, the next thing to do is implement your plan. The results will always follow.
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Clay Boggess has been designing fundraising programs for schools and various nonprofit organizations throughout the US since 1999. He’s helped administrators, teachers, and outside support entities such as PTAs and PTOs raise millions of dollars. Clay is an owner and partner at Big Fundraising Ideas.