A Google search on “nobody listens to me” yields over 34 million results. That’s why the emphasis on telling stories, rather than listening to stories, is such a dead end. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun, and story telling is an important skill.
But people are starved for someone to listen to them. Including your donors. Their story is far more interesting to them — and it should be to you — than perfecting your story.
And when you’re listening, avoid listening just to you can jump in with your story. As Stephen Covey said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
Actively engaged and profound listening is the best gift you can give a donor.