Focus on Great Agents, Not Great Scripts 7335

Focus on Great Agents, Not Great Scripts


How much time do you spend creating, editing, and updating scripts? Perhaps that time is better invested in coaching agents to build better relationships. Think about these “3Bs” of coaching as you develop student agents.

If you’ve worked with student callers long enough, you’ve likely had the experience of hearing a student turn a great conversation into a gift. As I think back to the times I’ve witnessed those moments, I can say with certainty that those students were not reading a script during those conversations. They were using their knowledge and skills to build a relationship.

Good messaging for agents doesn’t come from the scripts you craft, it comes from the resources and training you provide your agents. As you’re coaching your agents, these are the “3Bs” they should keep in mind: 1) Be personal 2) Be authentic 3) Be attentive.

Be personal – Encourage your agents to get to know the person on the other end of the phone. Have them practice asking open ended questions that will allow the prospect, and the agent, the opportunity to expand on the conversation. Instead of asking “what did you study while you were here?” make a slight change and ask “why did you decide to study X?”. Asking the question this way provides the prospect the opportunity for much more discussion and leaves the door open for the agent to share their experience.

Be authentic – Give your agents the confidence to make each conversation true to them. Provide them talking points on projects and initiatives as a guide but encourage them to use their own words. The campaign materials provided by your marketing office may describe the future science center as an innovated facility that will accelerate collaboration among the disciplines, but to your agent it may be an exciting new space that will help them learn and achieve their goal of earning a degree in biology. An agent can still deliver a strong case for support using their own voice, but you need to coach and encourage them to develop that voice.

Be attentive – The agent’s most important job is to listen. Help your agents find the clues within conversation that will help them address objections and craft a case for support. For example, if your agent has a prospect who shares that they are preparing to send their child to college, this will be a potential financial objection the agent should anticipate and prepare to address. Or your agent may have a prospect whose most transformative experience was studying abroad. Your agent will likely want to emphasize how the prospect’s gift will impact study abroad opportunities for current students.

If you focus your time on coaching, you won’t have to fret about the scripts you write. The scripts can simply act as bullet-pointed guides and reminders for your agent.

Now, I want to hear from you! What are your best tips and tricks for coaching agents?
Blog Blackbaud Guided Fundraising Blog 12/08/2020 3:28pm EST

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