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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Good News! » » On The Road: Cold Calling Churches (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

stempleton
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It's been a tough 12 months for me, and I now find myself (again) without a "real" job. My ministry has always been that, but circumstances (divinely crafted or otherwise) have brought me to consider it full time. So here's my question...

What are your experiences on hitting the road and visiting church leaders? In my case it would be children's ministry leaders primarily. I have mostly relied on direct mailing, but obviously now a more agressive approach is in order, yet remain personally eco-friendly (personal ECONOMY, not ecology Smile)

I'm no stranger to knocking on the door, as I have outside sales experience from a past career. I want to know your thoughts and hit/miss experiences.

Thank you friends!
Donald Dunphy
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According to the title of David Ginn's book, "The Only 3 Ways To Book Your Show", they are:

(1) by mail (this would now include fax and email)
(2) by phone
(3) in person

I have some friends who do lots of in-person selling for their shows (I should clarify that I'm not thinking about the church market specifically). Some make appointments first, and some just show up.

I have heard that you get a much higher close rate doing it in person, because you can develop a higher sense of rapport (and it's harder to say "no" to a person when they are there in front of you).

Personally, I prefer to do it by phone and mail combined.

Sometimes I even do all of my lead generation by mail only.

I have tried in-person selling (set an appointment) many years ago, and it wasn't most effective for me personally. But, again, I know others who like it a lot.

Around here, when calling churches, sometimes the key contact is there and sometimes they are not. So, that would seem to indicate that setting an appointment first would be a good idea, so you aren't wasting your time showing up when they aren't there (nor spending money on car gas).

- Donald

P.S. In either David Ginn's book, or in a Steve Taylor book, one of the two talks about differences in customer behavior based on geographical location. In Steve's area, the Pacific Northwest, at that time, mail was more effective than in-person visits. Whereas down Southeast, in David's area, an in-person visit was effective. I thought that it was interesting that geography / location played a role in the success, but I guess it makes sense.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
KENNYRB
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My rule of thumb has always been that any marketing that I do has to bring in much more than I spend on it. If all I do is pay for the marketing it is a loss. In the case of going door to door you will need to calculate all of the associated cost related to your car, your clothing, your PR material, and your time. Your time is worth money no matter what you do. You have to have an idea of what your time is worth and use that in your calculations. Since you have experience in going door to door give it a shot and keep good records on cost versus expense.

The other thing that I have noticed with churches is that the person I really need to talk to often does not keep regular office hours at the church. Talking to the pastor just wastes his time and mine. To make sure you get the right person you need to call first and gather that contact information. This has to be counted in your cost of marketing as well.

When everything is said and done doing something is always better than doing nothing. But you will want to keep good records so that you can invest more and more in those activities that are profitable.

I hope this helps. Before I sent this I spent some time praying for you and your ministry. I know that whatever we do must be done prayerfuly knowing that God will meet our every need.
Terry Owens
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Your pastor needs to step to the plate for you and recommend you to those in his circle. That would be a big help for the right now.

Here's some IMPORTANT INSIDE TIPS:
1. Define what it is you're going to do for the church. Become a specialist in some sort of area that would help local churches. I do Kids Krusades which is much more econimical for churches than VBS and they are more evangelistic than VBS and they don't require as many workers as VBS and it's for the entire family...unlike most VBS.

In 98% of my church work I'm at a church for at least 3 nights. My marketing consisted of going to State wide church meetings and because of my work, pastors would recommend me to other pastors. I don't think I ever sent a letter out to pastors when I was traveling full time, but yet I would be booked 2 years in advance.

2. Just because you're a Christian doesn't mean that every denomination will open the door to you. 90% of what I did was within my own denomination, but I was traveling 12 to 14 states a year, 12 months a year. So the key is WORD OF MOUTH IN YOUR OWN ORGANIZATION FIRST!!!!!!! As you get known then other churches outside of your own denomination will begin to call you because of word of mouth.

3. Pastors tend to trust the recommendations from the State leadership for a denomination. Find out where the State Youth and Christian Education directors for various denominations are located in your state and make an appointment with them and tell them what you can offer to their churches. Then they can send out letters or put in their publications your name and that your available to come. Pastors many times look towards their state offices for resources or recommendations. I'm listed on both the State web site for my denomination and the international headquarters site so pastors across the United States can get my information.

I hope this helps and this post should probably be saved for others to see. This comes from my 26 years of experience of being out there and doing it.
B Hackler
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Great information Terry.
stempleton
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I was hoping you would chime in, Terry. There's a book in you rattling around, my friend...
Donald Dunphy
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Just a point of clarification. It should be pointed out that the way that Terry does (did) his shows, as I understand it, was that they collected offerings at the show(s) / kids krusades to pay his fee, or that he was paid on an honourarium basis.

This is a slightly different approach to the more traditional approach for a show booking, where the performer is asking for a preset fee in exchange for his services. Often the approach in that case, is that the customer comes up with the money out of some budget, instead of taking an offering at the show.

Neither approach is better than the other. But they are different.

Because of this dynamic, in addition to the dynamic of it being a kids krusade (an event in itself), it does affect the whole picture... how word of mouth works, ease of promotion, ease of booking, etc.

I just want people to understand the whole picture. I don't want to see some performers merely try some parts of it (while being ignorant of other parts), and then get frustrated that it isn't working for them. If you are going to adopt someone else's "system", you have to understand most / all parts of it.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
stempleton
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True, Donald. I had explored the "love offering" aspect while forming the ministry, but from advice from some mentors, (which ulimately rang true) my primary audience would be/is children, with very few parents involved. Therefore, a "love offering" would not be appropriate.

Family nights, etc are different entirely. I believe we all need to synthesize information gathered, and that is why I am so eager to hear as many experiences, suggestions as possible.

Thanks for the addendum.
Terry Owens
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By the way, I still do the Kid's Krusades Donald...I just can't open schedule up as much since I am a pastor, District Overseer and do regular shows too...whew

I do it both ways as far as payment wise. If they want me to name an amount to come, I do that...but whether it is an agreed upon amount or coming for offering received I still incorporate the offering during the program and it is an intregal part of the KK.

So if you are looking at it as a ministry, and you know God has called you to this, then you should have enough faith in God to take care of you. You've got to be ministry minded not money minded...
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2009-07-21 21:29, Terry Owens wrote:
So if you are looking at it as a ministry, and you know God has called you to this, then you should have enough faith in God to take care of you. You've got to be ministry minded not money minded...


I'll take this in the best possible way. But counter with the fact that most churches I know pay the pastor a set salary per year. I would call those pastors ministry minded. To ask for (or to receive) a set fee does not mean you are money minded, at the expense of being ministry minded.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Terry Owens
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I agree with that statement Donald. I'm referring to the mindset "I can make a lot of money from these churches, so I'll work them" That's not a ministry mindset.

But from the ministry aspect, I know that if I would have started asking for a set amount to come to churches, I would have had more days off than I could handle. Yet by trusting God and going into churches with a hearts desire to see people saved, I had a very comfortable income, almost as much as I was making as a computer programmer for AT&T. Because I trusted God, I was doing krusades up to 240 days a year.

Bottom line...if you ask for a set fee, you'll miss opportunities to minister in some churches. You are also cutting down on your income potential. I receive more from the offerings than if I was charging a set fee. Case in point, in May the last night of the KK, one man gave $1,000 in the offering. It was a good 3 days.... Smile

God is obligated to take care of you when you are doing what He's called you to do.
Donald Dunphy
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Quote:
On 2009-07-22 07:37, Terry Owens wrote:
I agree with that statement Donald. I'm referring to the mindset "I can make a lot of money from these churches, so I'll work them" That's not a ministry mindset.


I'm confused, Terry.

You start with this statement, that it's not about the money. It's about the ministry.

Then you talk in the same post about how you make almost the same salary as a computer programmer (by doing krusades), how you work so much (have more opportunities), how you make more money by doing offerings as opposed to charging a flat fee (flat fee is cutting down on income potential), and how someone gave $1000 in an offering at one of your shows.

All of your points lead to the thought that it can be about the money.

How can those two "messages" about money be reconciled?

Just giving you a rough time. Smile

- Donald

P.S. I know you are boasting of God's provision, and how we should have confidence in that. I know that you are not boasting for the sake of looking good in other people's eyes (how much money you make, how many shows you do, how many people are saved at your shows). But some might be mixed up, and think otherwise.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Terry Owens
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You so bad...Donald...lol
afun14u
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Steve, I have to chime in here and say in 35 years of touring and entertaining both for Church and None Church people...You have gotten some of THE best advice here in just a few short reply's than I have gotten in a life time of performing. God bless you all...this has given me a few pointers to use to! Terry, Donald - we have never met but when we do I trust it will be a friendship like no other! Wow, this post has been almost as inspiring as my pastor this morning. Thanks

Robert
Empowering Kingdom Growth through Evangelistic Entertainment!
stempleton
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And I can say that these two guys, along with those that have also contributed to this post and others of mine, have been true blessings to me personally and spiritually.
Donald Dunphy
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Thanks Robert and Steve. Your appreciation is encouraging.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Terry Owens
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Thanks for your kind words...
jnrussell
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As the pastor of a small church, I really don't appreciate cold calls, either in person or by phone. My practice is looking through all my mail (and e-mail)... if I see something that catches my attention, I'll call.

That said, a pre-call postcard could be sent, then a follow up phone call "I sent you a card...". But if you have a reference from a pastor in the area, that's even better... networking works!
John Russell
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