I just finished an excellent book, “Power Questions: Build Relationships, Win New Business, and Influence Others” by Jerold Panas and Andrew Sobel. I highly recommend this book to fundraisers, board members and others who want to build stronger relationships with donors, prospects and volunteers.
I saw this book at the airport when I had a very long layover – and was delighted to find it. Jerry Panas is a giant in the field of fundraising and although this book was in the business section, I say it is a must-read for fundraisers.
Fundraisers working with individuals – whether they are board members, donors, ambassadors or colleagues – need to learn and hone the skill of asking leading questions and listening.
Each chapter begins with a story or dilemma which leads to The Question. Then there are suggestions on how to use The Question, variations and follow-up questions. It is a great primer for people new in the field, or for those who have been using these types of questions, but would like to have additional examples.
I’ll give you the flavor of the chapters (there are 35 in all, with an additional 293 questions at the back) without totally giving away the book. One chapter discusses the challenge of over-preparing for a meeting, and then building little actual rapport while explaining how wonderful the organization is. His suggested question for these types of situations if someone says, “tell me about your company.” “What would you like to know about us?”