When churches look for new church management software, online giving solutions, or live streaming solutions, they need experts to come alongside them in their ministries. These relationships can foster ministry growth and challenge churches to harness tools to bless their churches and beyond.
Here are six helpful tips for selling technology to churches:
1 – Churches Want Relationships
How do tech companies build these relationships with churches in an effective manner? Taking time to listen to the church’s needs and respond within budget is perhaps one of the best ways companies can serve churches well. Don’t upsell, don’t push the latest upgrade that the church may not need (or be able to afford). Listen to them. Allow them space to share their heart, then, explain how your solution can fit into their ecosystem and help with their vision.
2 – Respect the Senior Pastor
The senior pastor of a church should be the most well-guarded person within the walls of the church. While their approval and support is imperative, many churches allow their music or worship pastor to make decisions regarding A/V related software. The church secretary can review and make choices regarding the church management software, and so on. Target the relationship-building with someone who deals directly with the product or service you offer. If you only look at communicating with the senior pastor, chances are you might never have the option to start building a relationship.
3 – Good Service is Key
Companies who succeed in the church market are those who want to provide important services that will help churches maximize what they already have. Churches operate within a strict budget. Some departments have discretionary spending, but any big purchases with long-term contracts will require approval from leadership. Companies that provide excellent support will have the advantage, especially as many companies cut back phone support in favor of online only. Worship software with support available on Sunday mornings is a great example of meeting the church’s need with good support.
4 – Be Transparent
If you have something to sell, it’s best to just explain what you are offering by being direct. If the church you are working with is interested, make sure to ask if they want to move forward to the next step. If not, be gracious, say thank you, and politely ask if there is a time in the future you might follow up to see if the church’s situation has changed.
5 – Respect the Church’s Time
Unless you’re bringing fresh baked cookies or free lunch (and have a prearranged appointment to do so), dropping in to say ‘hi’ and drop off literature is not a good idea. It’s best to send an email, and then perhaps follow up with a second email or phone call; they will reply if they are interested.
6 – Don’t Waste Resources
Direct mailings can sometimes be effective, but most churches throw away printed sales materials. Sending an email with more information, a link to a YouTube video or the like would most likely be more effective. In addition, its best to send communication directly to the ones who actually use whatever it is that you are offering.
What would you add to this list?