When a sales person struggles to meet their quota, they double check all their leads and look for alternative prospects. But, they are often ignoring a key sector.
What sector tends to get overlooked? The nonprofit sector.
This opens up the door for salespeople that realize the value in marketing to NPOs (non-profit organizations). It’s a large market to explore, with less competition to deal with.
Why should a business market to NPOs?
There are over 1.5-million nonprofit organizations registered in the U.S. and they need business services the same as any other group. Since this group tends to get ignored, it’s a good opportunity for business-to-business (B2B) sales.
Businesses that provide a service have the chance to tap into a mostly unexplored market. It can also open the doors to partnerships or help a business put their clients in touch with a local nonprofit.
Selling to nonprofits is a good opportunity to explore, but there are a few differences involved in marketing to an NPO compared to a standard business. It’s important to keep in mind that you’re dealing with a business that has greater goals than making money.
With 5 basic strategies, anyone can begin targeting NPOs. Find out what it takes to make a sale to a nonprofit organization.
#1 – Focus on the Time That They’ll Save
Marketing a business-to-business service to an NPO is not entirely different from working with any other business. Though, there are a few details that can help a salesperson land an NPO as a client.
First, businesses should appeal to the needs of an NPO. Nonprofits often have trouble maintaining adequate staffing. In fact, about 71 percent of nonprofits believe they don’t have enough staff.
When an NPO is constantly understaffed, the volunteers and employees that devote their energy to the organization can be stressed and overworked. They need relief.
This is where a business can come to the rescue. By presenting an NPO with an offer that can save time or increase their productivity, there’s a greater chance of making a sale.
#2 – Learn More About Their Finances
Before you even try selling to a nonprofit, you can learn more about their finances. This isn’t always easy in the commercial sector. But, you can access nonprofit IRS tax forms for free.
By looking at their tax forms, you can see how much money the NPO has to work with. You can determine whether they are a major organization with lots of money to work with or a smaller group that is struggling to get by.
Learning the difference between success and struggle can help you with your sales pitch. You’ll be better equipped to determine their needs…
#3 – Determine Their Specific Needs and Goals
It’s essential to understand what the nonprofit wants to achieve. You then need to consider how your products or services can help them achieve this.
Nonprofits aren’t always an easy sale. Every dollar needs to be carefully accounted for. They may even have a board of directors that needs to approve any purchase.
So, any business attempting to sell to a nonprofit has to be prepared to sell the value of their products or services.
Businesses can discover the goals of an organization by looking at their website or Facebook page. It should be easy to find their mission statement.
Learn more about the organization, including when the organization was founded, how many people are involved, the scope of their operations, and their finances.
Compare these details to your products or services. Create a short list of the main advantages that you can bring to the table.
Don’t feed them the same lines that you give to your other prospects. Be genuine and offer them real value.
#4 – Become Active with Local Nonprofits
Nonprofits are more open to working with a business that has experience working with NPOs. This doesn’t necessarily mean prior sales.
A business can become active with local nonprofits by joining local organizations, attention fundraisers, and taking part in local nonprofit events. They can sponsor some of these events, donate time or money.
This serves a few different purposes. First, it’s a great networking opportunity. Local charities and NPOs that regularly work together may also require your services. It also shows that your business is willing to give.
You’re making a personal connection by showing that you care, even if you’re not directly involved in the NPO that you’re selling to. It shows that you’re of the same mindset as them.
#5 – Businesses Must Be Genuine and Authentic
When you’re dealing with a business that’s not in it to make a profit, you need to be genuine. Do not put on an act to appear more sympathetic to their cause or charity.
It helps to work with organizations that are working towards something that you truly care about. For example, if you’re a pet lover, it’s easy to be authentic about your love for pets while working with an animal shelter.
Making a personal connection is always helpful in sales. But, this especially true when selling to a nonprofit organization.
Remember to be genuine and use the other suggestions provided. Focus on the time that can be saved by using your products or services.
Selling to a nonprofit can be very rewarding. You’re helping an organization that has devoted itself to helping others.
It’s also important to understand that nonprofits are not created to make a profit. They’re trying to help people or a specific issue. The people running the nonprofit are in it because they truly care about the issue.
So, using typical sales pitches may not appeal to a nonprofit. They care more about the time and resources that can be saved so that they have more available for furthering their work.
The fact that sales people often overlook nonprofits gives other businesses a great opportunity. But, this doesn’t mean that selling to a nonprofit is simple.
The most important issue is treating the nonprofit with respect and listening to their needs. You need to present them with an offer that helps them achieve their goals.
If you can do that, then you’re about to tap into a great resource for additional sales.