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Posted by Sarah Brown on 29 Mar '23

Three ways to encourage people to buy from you or donate if you are a charity

In this final blog in the series about thriving in challenging times, I want to consider how you attract your share of the limited money people have available.

Whether you are a company looking for customers or a charity looking for donations of money, in kind or in time, there are three things to think about:

  1. Are you offering something that fulfils dreams?
  2. Are you addressing a deep fear?
  3. Are you offering an opportunity to be part of a tribe?

The first two on the list will prompt people to spend money, and the third will attract them to your organisation, where the first two factors will come into play.

Everything we proactively decide to do, i.e. rather than a habit or necessity, is prompted by fear or desire.

1 Are you offering something that fulfils dreams?

A strong desire will make people find the money to do things.

For example, despite the tough times, more than half of Britons plan to take three or more holidays this year, with younger travellers most likely to take more trips than last year, according to the findings from American Express Travel's 2023 global travel trends report. People dream of getting away, and even with money tight, they choose to find the money for a holiday.

It can be what you sell that fulfils dreams, but it can also be how you do it.

Let's take something as simple as a hot drink, like a latte or chai latte. I like these, and many places offer them locally.

My choices of where to go involve the quality of the product - it has to be a real coffee machine. But it needs a product that is more than that, like my favourite cafe in Sheffield, Albies, that sells a fantastic spice mix chai latte in a beautiful cup and jug where the ceremony of just pouring it makes you feel good.

But many places serve similar lattes, so then it is the experience. My favourite, The Cove Maltby, has comfortable chairs, excellent music, and a welcoming and relaxed feel. They ask your names and remember them and use them. They ask how you are and listen to the answer. I want to relax and feel welcome, so while others offer similar coffee, The Cove gets my money. And I also feel a part of their tribe(see below) of people who are happy to chat and pleasant.

You need to communicate how you fulfil dreams to the people most likely to have them and, if possible, do it when that dream is most attractive. Think about the number of travel ads in tube stations appealing to people on their daily commute.

Inspire2aspire sells helping people achieve their dreams of success and improving the world. And having worked in well over a 100 different sectors, I know that whatever you do, success is always linked to being clear about how you change the world for the better, often one person or event at a time. Developing and refining your theory of change will help you identify the dreams you fulfil. (see more here)

Are you addressing a deep fear?

For some people, inspire2aspire sells the dream of success; for others in the same situation, we sell, stopping them from failing. People can fear losing money or doing something stupid because they don't know better.

Some people are more motivated by fear than desire, so what fear are you addressing?

The classic example of a product bought because of fear is insurance which people buy because they fear falling ill or losing or damaging something.

Many charities get support because of fear; it might be that they or someone they care about getting cancer or becoming homeless, for example.

Telling powerful stories can connect to people's fears and explain how you address them.

Are you offering an opportunity to be part of a tribe?

Attracting people is all about getting them to choose you. If you can help people by offering them access to a group of people/ a movement, thus reinforcing their identity as "people like me," you will improve their lives and attract their money and support. Being part of a tribe/community and feeling we belong is vital for our well-being and emotional health as social animals.

In the past, we lived in tribes; now, we live in families and communities but can feel isolated. Families may not watch TV together, they often occupy different rooms, each absorbed with their own screen, for example. Close communities have been impacted by the lack of housing and jobs forcing people to move away from where they grew up and their families.

If you can satisfy our "need to belong", which often goes partially or substantially unmet, you will succeed more as a business or a charity. You will also be changing the world for the better as loneliness is rife. The Pandemic highlighted loneliness, even causing the government to write a report on it. The NHS also mentions it, as it significantly impacts mental and physical health.

If you need help or ideas, I am always happy to have a chat. And if you have any useful tips to share on any of the themes covered, please add your comments.

Here are the earlier blogs in this series if you missed them:

Recession: threat or opportunity

Recession: threat or opportunity .. plan for success

Thinking outside the box - Recession: threat or opportunity

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Tags: changing lives success