When running any kind of fundraising campaign, the word “no” will likely be heard a lot. Whether you are selling a popular item like chocolate or coffee to earn money for your team, there will be people who turn you down flat. The reality is that you won’t be able to reach everyone and that’s okay. Be prepared to hear “no” some of the time. The trick is knowing how to reduce the number of lost sales by using a few tried and true methods.

So let’s go over a couple that anyone can use to increase sales.

  1. Sell the features, not the product. Believe it or not, even coffee can have features. Find the things that will be of interest to your potential buyers. Maybe it’s an organic product or the company was started by someone from your hometown. The product may also cater to a particular group of people, such as being gluten free or suitable for vegetarians. Whatever makes your product unique is a selling point. Be sure to tell your buyers before they can even start to turn you down.
  2. When using print or email to promote the items you are selling as part of your fundraising campaign, consider testimonials. These can be especially helpful if your product is likely to be an unfamiliar brand to your customers. In some cases, up to 85% of sales can be from returning customers or that heard about it from friends. Hearing positive buzz about something can help change a “no” into a “yes”. In fact, product reviews can make or break entire companies. If you have tried the product your group is selling, be sure to share how great it was. Your customers want to know that someone like them enjoyed the product too.
  3. Be ready for objections with “feel” statements. When a customer says they aren’t sure if the product is right for them, you can respond with “I understand how you feel. A lot of our supporters felt the same way before they bought the (product). However, when they realized how delicious it was, they couldn’t resist. Many came back for more.” By acknowledging their doubt and helping them to see that others who felt the same way eventually came around and were glad they did you help remove the objection and turn it into a positive feeling. By using “feel/felt” statements you are connecting the supporter with the product in a subtle way. This can sometimes help turn those “no” responses into a sale.
  4. Be enthusiastic about your product. It’s really important to know your product before you try to sell it. If you can, you should try it for yourself, however, sometimes in fundraising sales that isn’t possible. What you can do though is to really learn as much as possible about the item you are selling. Find out what people love about it and what makes it better than other similar products. If you know and love it, your enthusiasm will shine through. Other people will want to be a part of your excitement and want to try it too.
  5. Be prepared to move on if you aren’t making progress with someone. There will be some people you can sway, but there will also be some that will never change their minds. Learning to recognize those who are likely to come around and those that are a firm “no” will save time and effort. If you’ve tried to make the sale and you just aren’t making headway it’s okay to cut your losses and move onto the next person.

Be prepared for some people who will turn you down or ignore you no matter what you try. Don’t let it get you down; they may have a very good reason that has nothing to do with you. Just stay positive so that when the next person who says they aren’t sure if the product is right for them comes along you’ll be ready to go make a sale.