“This is a courtesy call to remind you that your membership is expiring.”
Is the purpose of a courtesy call for the member’s benefit or for the organization? Is the intent to maintain a financial relationship or to engage community? What would it feel like if the courtesy call was a personal call. A chance to connect and have a conversation. What if we knew our members so well that the last thing we mentioned on a call was their expiring membership?
We know not when we are going to ‘have a moment.’ An unexpected encounter. A surge in demand for our services. Being in the spotlight, facing an exponentially larger audience. The tailwind of a lifetime to push us towards a personal record.
If we are uncertain of where we stand and our desired destination, we will not adapt quickly enough to meet the moment. The forces will outrun us, and we will be swept by the current of the audiences’ intention.
However, if we state what we believe, remain authentic, then we are assured of developing connections built on trust and a shared vision. The moment of first contact starts with a sustainable foundation.
My favorite causes to support with my time, treasure, talent, and touch are the enterprises where I have a genuine relationship with an individual or more who is intimately involved within the organization. I care about them. I want them to have fuel for their journey. We talk about visions and exchange details about our lives, even if they are delivered in synopsis. The organization’s goals are intertwined with the people who represent them so authentically. I am excited to hear their voice and support them even when they have moved on to the next chapter.
The causes that do not resonate with me entirely value transaction and compliance above relationship. They frequently blast communications outlining the burning platform that faces them. Driven by a fundraising goal, social media campaign, last effort to stop change, and anything else that puts their needs superior to those who they intend to cultivate. Their annual report is a form of score keeping, what have you done for us in the past 12-months. My ideas and networks are only valuable to them if they can be quantified in a return on investment metric. The interactions are predictable, stagnate, and forced.
Much is revealed if people see you for who you are and not the form they wish you would take. I may come and go from the inner circle of an enterprise but that does not mean our relationship is diminished. When we stop communicating because I did not participate in the latest transaction or comply with an offer then there is little left to build upon for the future.