“Blessing and Releasing” people who are not interested in becoming more involved with your organization is one of the many counter-intuitive aspects of the Benevon Model that will leave guests feeling respected and more favorably towards your organization.
At Step 2: The Follow-Up Call, many Point of Entry Event guests may have a hard time telling you directly that they are not interested in becoming involved, even though that is their preference. They do not want you to think they are mean and uncaring.
Therefore, it is critical that the person making each Follow-Up Call listens carefully to read the signals from a guest who is trying to tell you “No.”
What might these signals look like? They include hesitating, being polite but not forthcoming with any suggestions or responses, being quiet or noncommittal.
If you are listening closely during the Follow-Up Call, you will start to develop radar for those guests who are nicely asking you to “bless and release” them.
However, even if the person does not want to become involved, before you bless and release them, don’t forget to ask them the last question in the Five-Step Follow-Up Call: “Is there anyone else you would suggest we invite to another______ (Point of Entry Event) like the one you attended?” If they give you a name, ask, “May I ask you to contact the person (or group) first to let them know I will be calling?” Any suggestions, names, or ideas they have given you need to be acted on immediately and, in turn, reported back to them quickly.
Thank them for their time and ask them to keep your organization in mind, and then put a note in their file in your database saying you have blessed and released them.
Do not put them on your mailing lists or attempt to contact them further. In the long run, they will respect you a lot more for valuing their time and involvement in other organizations.
If you do not connect with the initial Point of Entry Event guest:
- Leave one phone message and send one email message offering to arrange a time to talk.
- If you do not hear back, leave one more phone message.
- Then note in your database that you have blessed and released this person.
- Do not put this guest on your mailing list or follow up with them in any way after this, unless they request it.