The Most Dangerous Position
As we’ve seen, a ministry marketer is either “neurotic” or “character disordered,” and either “identified” or “distinct.”
Down through the years, we have found far more identified individuals than distinct individuals working in ministry development situations.
In no fewer than 100 separate marketing meetings, we’ve heard the following statement (with easily imagined variations):
- “If I get a letter like that, I throw it right in the garbage.”
- Or: “I hate getting robocalls from telemarketers, and I know other people do, too.”
The urge to identify one’s own likes and dislikes with the donor’s likes and dislikes is overwhelming. But it is rarely correct.
- The identified position is most dangerous in a ministry leader. By definition, a leader is different from the average Joe or Joanne. The leader emerged into a position of leadership because he wasn’t a follower.
If the donor were a leader like the leader is, then the donor would have her own ministry!
The identified ministry marketer feels that the donor’s needs, motives, and priorities are essentially the same as his own — so he constructs donor communications as if he were talking to himself.
So whether he writes long letters or short; emotional letters or straightforward, rational ones; pushy or apologetic; often or seldom — he still communicates in a way that fails to elicit much response from donors.
But it is possible for the distinct ministry marketer to arrive at the same undesirable result by a completely different route….
By believing that the donor is unlike himself, the distinct marketer communicates in ways opposite to the approaches he would appreciate most himself.
So, again — regardless of the length, frequency, or tone of his letters/emails or social media posts — he fails to get the maximum potential response from his donors.