- He gave to their project, so he would never give to us
- He gave them $1 million, so he’ll also donate that much to us
Both assumptions are dangerous in their own way. In the first, you might give up talking to John completely. In the second, you assume that you’ll receive a similar amount, and you haven’t even talked with him yet! It’s important that we not proceed based on the cleverest of our manufactured answers to their questions. Just ask!
Asking is the substitute, the antidote, for the deadly sins of assuming and guessing. Don’t answer for your donors or prospects. Ask them questions and then listen carefully to their answers. You’ll find that everyone involved is a lot happier, even if that donor doesn’t end up contributing to your mission.