Making the commitment to raise money and walk 60 miles in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® is huge, and the majority of Komen 3-Day participants sign up to walk and share the experience with someone they know. But even though you may be certain that the 3-Day® is something you want to do, sometimes it’s a little harder to talk a friend or relative into joining you. Here are a few suggestions for persuading someone to be your 3-Day buddy:
1. Share Your “Why” – What motivated you to pick up the phone, or to click that “Register” button on the website? Perhaps you want to walk in the 3-Day to honor the memory of a loved one. Maybe you’ll walk to celebrate someone’s survival of breast cancer (maybe even your own). Or it might be that you just want to face down the immense challenge of walking 60 miles. Whatever it is, you have a reason, and it must be a strong one to have made such a big commitment. Look your friend in the eyes and tell her why this is so important to you. Don’t do it by phone, text or email. You’re asking her to share in a very personal journey, and it will mean a lot to her if you ask her in a personal way to be part of it with you.
2. Offer to help. Then actually help. – The most common reasons people give for hesitating to register for the 3-Day have to do with fear: I’m afraid I can’t walk that far; I don’t think I can raise that much money; I’ve never done anything like this before. If your friend is nervous about the demands of the 3-Day, tell her you’ll help. Then take it a step further and work out a plan. Take her out to coffee and brainstorm some fundraising ideas. Go for a short walk together and talk about a training schedule that starts small and builds slowly. Ask people who have done the 3-Day before to tell you about the fun and amazing things you won’t want to miss. (Shameless plug: invite her to subscribe to the 3-Day blog and see things for herself!) Then, for goodness sake, follow through! Promise your friend that if she registers, you will help her get her first donation within 24 hours. Then do it! She will start off with a good burst of confidence, and that will inspire and motivate her to start running with it herself (so to speak… I mean, there’s no running on the 3-Day, but, well, you get my point).
3. Register Yourself First! – In my experience, one of the single most effective ways to motivate someone else to register for the 3-Day is to register yourself first. Don’t say to your friend, “I’m thinking about doing the 3-Day.” Instead, say, “This is important enough to me that I’m going to do it no matter what. But I’d rather do it with you.” Aside from that, registering gets you access to a personalized online Participant Center—your treasure trove of 3-Day fundraising tools, training tips, and event information—so if you sign yourself up first, instead of telling your reluctant friend about all the outstanding support and information she will get, you can sit down with her at your computer, log in and show her first hand.
BONUS TIP! – Share this video with your friend. Sometimes, you just have to see it to get it.
Many of our wonderful walkers will admit that they were hesitant to commit to the 3-Day at first, but I would bet that every one of them who took the plunge and saw the whole thing through would tell you that it was one of the best decisions they’ve ever made. When the chance to do something extraordinary is right in front of you, don’t wait! Say “Yes, I can do that.” You won’t regret it.