publication date: May 26, 2011
author/source: Colleen Bradley
A successful gift planner will probably spend more time using listening
skills than any other kind of skill. Listening is even more valuable than
familiarity with the technical aspects of gift planning - knowing how gifts
such as life insurance, trusts, annuities and bequests work.
Like other skills, listening takes practice. And each donor you listen to
will add to your expertise.
being a good listener
Learn more from this author
- Give your full attention to the
person who is speaking. Don't look out the window or at what else is going
on in the room, even if you have a rambunctious dog vying for your
- Make sure your mind is focused.
It can be easy to let your mind wander if you think you know what your
donor is going to say next, but you might be wrong! If you feel your mind
wandering, change the position of your body and try to concentrate on the
- Let the donor finish before you
begin to talk. Donors appreciate having the chance to say everything they
would like to say without being interrupted.
- Let yourself finish listening
before you begin to speak! You can't really listen if you are busy
thinking about what you want say next.
- Listen for main ideas. Pay attention to statements that begin
with phrases such as "My point is..." or "The thing to remember is..."
- Ask questions. If you are not
sure you understand what the donor has said, just ask. It is a good idea
to repeat in your own words what the donor said so that you can be sure
your understanding is correct.
- Give feedback. Look at the
donor. Now and then, nod to show that you understand. At appropriate
points you may also smile, frown, laugh, or be silent. These are all ways
to let your donor know that you are really listening. Remember, you listen
with your face as well as your ears!
- Active listening builds trust
and rapport. Have fun! You never know what a donor may share with you.
presents a two-part workshop for Hilborn's Key-To-The-Sector
Learning on June 13 and 14, 2011 from 9 am to 4 pm EST. "The Will" on June 13th
and "Planned Giving Vehicles" on June 14th
will be held in Toronto
and online via live, interactive webcast. Full details at http://tinyurl.com/planned-giving-workshops
or contact Training Manager
Mary Singleton at 416-267-1287, firstname.lastname@example.org