We’re watching something that’s getting ready to happen and it’s this: we’re about to be in a real business development, either in crisis or opportunity, mode in your organizations over the next 30 to 60 days.
Think about what’s been happening. Some of you may have suspended your recruitment activity. You may not have sent out membership renewals. We’ve all adjusted or canceled meetings and we haven’t been selling sponsorships for them. As you can see, all of this business development pressure has been building up. We got to be ready over the next 30 to 60 days to move on some of these opportunities and I’ve got a few ideas for you based on the conversations with our team.
Map out the next 60 to 90 days and be prepared to make phone calls to renew your existing members. Your invoices might not be reaching people by mail so you may have to deliver them virtually (email) and then follow up. Do those follow ups as a way to see if you can keep the member engaged with payment plans, deferral, or whatever you choose to do as an association. This is going to be a different invoice process than what we have done before with our renewal efforts.
Make sure to capture names, titles, email addresses, and phone numbers of all of the people that have been downloading your content, participating in webinars about COVID-19, and consuming the valuable information and other valuable benefits that you have been providing them. The time is now to start recruiting them, or in the very near future. Be ready for that.
We’ve been canceling all these events and, in many cases, we have not been reaching out to sponsors. You will need to develop a process for reaching out to them after taking the time to assess the sponsorship inventory and all the assets in your association. In particular, pay attention to things that can be sponsored that are not tied to a live event. Look at your webinars, thought leadership content, blogs, podcasts, and other types of media. Then decide what other things you can add to your sponsorship inventory. This will be critical for when you launch into your new sponsorship program for 2021. Oh, and by the way, organizations will be budgeting for sponsorship opportunities in August in September so you will have to have new offerings that are not related to live events. At this time, we don’t know how live events will be implemented in the near future. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Diversify!
Folks, we have to be ready to go out and get business now because some organizations have stalled or been in a waiting pattern for a number of weeks now.
Get ready for the best businesses development opportunity you may have this year in the area of membership recruitment, membership retention, and sponsorship.
Hope this is helpful to you. Talk soon.
P.S. We’ve launched an Association Stimulus Program to help associations jump start their membership renewals and recruitment efforts and provide expert sales bandwidth to carry out the program. Fill out the form below, or contact Mike Thomas directly, to explore how we can work together: