One of my areas of expertise is calling and recruiting blood donors country-wide to donate in their local communities after scheduling an appointment with me.
Being a Conversational Marketing™ Expert (CME) that works for the Saves (non-profit) side of Incept can have its own challenges. You aren’t only trying to work around a stranger’s personal (and often unknown) schedule, but in some cases you are actually trying to convince someone to save lives as a first-time donor. This means you are literally persuading someone to have a needle stuck in their arm and then proceed to have a pint of bodily fluid drained from them. It is all for a good cause, but it can be a test of conversational skills.
It is good for blood centers and blood banks to embrace telerecruiting methods. It gives the blood center the chance to focus on the donation process and the literal act of taking care of their donors and leaves it to us to continue to build and strengthen the relationship with those same donors on their behalf. When recruiting blood donors, a CME will hear some reasons for not donating more than others, and there will be situations where we have to make a best judgement call in an attempt to strengthen the relationships with the donors. Accordingly, I’ve compiled a list of the three challenges and responses that will help any blood bank with their recruitment over the phone.
Handling Questions and Objections From Blood Donors
- Why do you people keep calling me so much? This is a common question from donors. The reality is that many blood centers need hundreds of blood donors every single day to be able to maintain their current supply and meet the needs of local area hospitals. Explain this to the donor. Do it in such a way that you acknowledge that your organization might call them on a frequent basis, apologize for it, but be adamant in explaining why you are calling them currently. When you take the time to do this, you usually can even hear the donor respond with a sense of understanding in their voice. It makes for an easy transition into a trial close to ask the donor to donate.
- I had a bad experience at the center last time I donated. It is always important to acknowledge and apologize when a donor says they have had a bad experience donating blood. Donors usually aren’t discouraged enough to completely stop donating, but it can make them more hesitant when it comes to scheduling. Use these opportunities to engage the donor, and offer them a different center or even a local mobile drive to see if a different location would make them feel more comfortable. This technique gives you a chance to still be assumptive in assuming the donor is going to donate, just at a different spot than normal. The key to these situations is acknowledging the bad experience, thanking them for even donating and being a current donor, and encouraging them to try again in a comfortable manner.
- I don’t know what my schedule looks like, so I’ll have to get back to you. This is one of the most common reasons why a blood donor will not donate. This is the perfect chance for us to acknowledge that while their schedule is probably full, we can set them up a few weeks out. The great feature we have for their benefit is the fact that we will give them a reminder call twenty-four hours before that. You want to schedule within a ten-day window if you can, usually. We have done many tests, and all the data shows that a donor is much more likely to go in if the appointment is set within that time frame.
Stay tuned for more tips on recruiting blood donors!