With car wash fundraisers it pays to sell tickets in advance, there is a right way and a wrong way. It is essential that you understand the sales strategies necessary to maximize your pre-sale efforts. Not every person is a crackerjack sales person. Some people are introverts rather than extroverts. What may seem to come naturally for some will seem like an insurmountable task to others.
If you find that a few sales people are falling behind, put them in a team with an extrovert. If you can’t do that, put them with an introvert. Two introverts together will find success because they will draw upon each other. They will lose fear of rejection and will not be afraid. In the case of kids, they may not tell you that they are totally terrified of knocking on a stranger’s door and asking them for money. Since you don’t have time to fix this problem now, simply put them with an extrovert or perhaps their best friend in the group. This usually works. Whatever you do, don’t criticize or ridicule them in front of their peers. Even simple teasing will only worsen problems. I’ve seen kids go home and cry, stop selling altogether and even quit the group. Remember kids join groups to feel like they belong. If they no longer feel like they belong why should they stay. You may or may not realize it but you can cause psychological damage to a young person by submitting them to something that terrifies them and then ridiculing them in front of their peers for not performing.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
It may be wise to start a full-blown assault in ticket sales or pledges. You’ll have to have a game plan. We suggest you ask each salesperson or pledge driver to put a dot on a map of where they live. Try to assign streets near their house for them to target. Be careful not to duplicate streets otherwise you will be competing against yourself. The larger your group the more neighborhoods you’ll be hitting. It’s similar to precinct walking during elections; each person must commit to knocking on every door in their assigned area. Again, remember that teams might be a good idea. Try to pick between 75-150 home areas per person. If it’s a high-income area or a medium income area but is mostly families, 75-150 homes will be ok. Low-income areas will need 125-150 home areas. This should net you approximately twenty to thirty tickets or pledges. If you are desperate for cash go on the high side with 150 homes. Don’t bother counting houses. Use your best guess. If you don’t know which areas are high income ask the kids where all the rich people live. They know. It would be better if you drove through various neighborhoods before assigning streets to be targeted by each kid. We suggest getting a big map, put it on a poster board and let the kids put a mark where they live. If you have a roster of homes addresses do this yourself. Then go and assign areas after you do some marketing by driving around (MBDA).
OVER LAP PROBLEMS
If you don’t assign areas for a small group you may be ok. With a large group you will have some overlap problems. One or more of your pledge drivers or ticket salespeople will knock on doors and the people answering will say they already came here. Even if they didn’t buy a ticket, they will lie and say they did. Even more discouraging, they may say four people already asked me. Don’t come back. Whoops. The question to your salesperson/pledge driver is now where did they start and where did they stop in that neighborhood? This is a dilemma since it will probably be in a high income area. Kids are not stupid. They go sell in the rich areas first. When all their tickets are sold they quit. Since every kid will go to the easy sell areas then get depressed when they don’t sell any tickets there because ‘Billy’ hit all the good areas first, this will be their excuse for not selling any tickets. You will be facing this excuse. Also, if four kids live in the same area, the first kid who is not scared to sell will go out and sell leaving nothing for the other three in that area. The most likely to procrastinate until the last minute will be the introvert who is terrified of selling and when he or she goes to sell in this area, the neighbors will reaffirm the child’s belief that they can’t sell and they will refuse to knock on any more doors. All because your best salesperson already sold there. You should also realize that if they fail at the last minute, it’s too late to send them out in teams, too late to motivate them and it’s too late to help them overcome their fears. Even if you’re a hard liner, “They’ll just have to deal with it. I did when I was a kid,” if they fail your group loses money and you may have to do a whole other fundraiser if this happens to too many kids in your group. Be very cautious. This is serious.
Where else can your group sell tickets? There are a number of prime locations and I mean prime locations. Ask the owner of the bowling alley if you can ask bowlers to buy tickets. Same with the manager of driving range at the golf course. Outside of major grocery stores are good. Medical centers where there are individual doctor’s offices are good stops. Casinos are good if you have parental escort. Regional shopping centers can also be great. Pizza places after softball games are good. Ask large corporations to put up a small shoebox for donations or a pledge sheet with a stack of free car wash coupons. Small business clusters, office complexes or high-rise office buildings can be good. Soccer fields, baseball, basketball, hockey and softball games work well. Try a local farmer’s market. Service clubs such as: Rotary, Kiwanis, Optimists, Soroptimists, Elks, Lions, Mesonic Masons, Toastmasters, Promise Keepers, Networking Groups are excellent because lots of people who really care about your community are at these meetings. Some members may even volunteer to take a booklet of twenty tickets and sell them for you at other clubs or at work.
Senior citizen groups and citizen/city sponsored committee meetings are good. How about bingo nights? You should also try car clubs that meet monthly.
If you are a sports team, associated student body or school club, anything associated with schools, then go to: Back to school night, PTA meetings, High school football games, Baseball games, Track meets, Basketball games, Wrestling matches and School District Office (Make sure you have permission from the school district for your car wash first for this).
Craft shows, bazaars, trade shows, chamber of commerce are good places to go. Chambers of commerce have regular: Board of Director meetings, Seminars, Mixers, Luncheon meetings, Breakfast meetings.
You should figure out how much money you need to earn from this fundraising event. How many people do you have in your group? Figure out how many tickets you will sell or how many pledges you will most likely receive. Also, how many cars you can wash. Extrapolate these figures out and decide if it is feasible to reach your budget goals. Make sure you know your goals before you start. Let everyone in the group know. Figure out a worse case scenario and best case scenario and then go for it.
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