Association leaders are getting laser focused on delivering great information to their members and are really focused on long-term business projects with their partners while addressing the urgent needs of now. Listen to this week’s episode to learn about steps associations are taking to overcome these difficult times and come out on top.
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Hello and welcome to JP Moery’s Association Hustle Podcast. President of The Moery Company, JP’s mission is to arm today’s associations with insight and strategy to thrive and a progressively complex and competitive business landscape. 21st century associations must move forward with a little bit of hustle and revenue development at their core.
Hey everybody, thanks for listening today, it’s great to connect with you! Today, I’m going to share with you several themes from our From the Field videos that we’ve been posting on our website, on our YouTube channel, and a lot of our social media channels. In those videos, I share observations from our sales team and my conversations with executives from all over the country. I just had one the other day with some friends from Hawaii, as an example!
First, the pace right now during the pandemic is frenetic for our organizations. For most associations that type of pace is probably not sustainable for the long term. I’ve spoken with a couple of association executives who are working six or seven days a week focusing on helping members get through this. I hate the term uncertain times but it is a different time for sure. To be honest, I don’t think the association industry is accustomed to this amount of workload unless it’s during an annual convention or they’re working on a big bill on Capitol Hill. They’re currently deploying all of their association assets to help their members and doing it on a day to day basis. But it’s good for us, we’re building muscle that we have maybe never stretched before. Overall, this is a very good thing.
The second observation is that at the same time there’s a real focus on what is vitally important to our organizations, our members, and our customers. Vital now because there are some interesting issues being addressed with long-term implications. We’ve got urgent issues, along with important long-term ones, being addressed at the same time. For example, this week, I had a conversation with a very prominent CEO about their retention program. We’ve never done that before. He and I have known each other for a long time. We’ve never talked about retention, but he’s thinking about it because he has a little bit of margin to devote to it. He’s working harder than ever before and he’s also thinking about long-term items that he now has some ability to focus on. I presented a whole revision of a sponsorship program in the midst of the pandemic to another CEO yesterday. Their sponsorship program has been based on a face-to-face meeting platform; all of their sponsorships were connected to face-to-face meetings. However, now is the opportunity to leverage all of the assets of the association in their sponsorship efforts. This is something we’ve been talking with associations for a long time. However, because of the uncertain future of face-to-face meetings, it’s really important to have all of your assets in place: your thought leadership, your online programming, your publications, your magazines, and other sponsorship inventory. Our conference call was focused on now changing their long-term sponsorship program.
A third conversation was another conference call where an association CEO was speaking with state association executives giving them advice on membership renewals, how to go about it, and providing tips on how to address membership recruitment. I don’t think those conversations were happening before, to be honest with you. The point here is that people are getting laser focused on delivering great information and are really focused on long-term business projects while addressing the urgent needs of now.
The fourth thing that I have seen is how things can change with customers very, very quickly. We’ve had a client that basically pulled up stakes and said, “No, we’re not selling anything or marketing anything to anybody right now.” Then we have another organization that originally delayed a project for 30-60 days and then suddenly, this week, moved it up urgently asking us, “Can you talk today so we can get started?” This example underscores the importance of staying in touch with all of your stakeholders, your clients and your industry, because you never know how quickly things might change.
The fifth thing I wanted to mention to you is how tactics really matter right now. We’re seeing an increase in e-mail open rates of 10%, or more, from our current outreach efforts. I have also seen the reawakening of the phone call. Executives are surprisingly more accessible across a variety of industries. They’re interested in strategic conversations and to talk about what’s happening in their business today. This is an opportunity to, frankly, show your value. I’m not sure that this amount of phone call interaction is ever going to come back post pandemic. When things return back to a more normal pace, I’m not sure if we will have the opportunity to have these kinds of conversations like we’re having right now. I’m finding them incredibly valuable.
My second to last thought for you today is that this is a tremendous time to think. My hope is that your group can improve during this temporary setback and slow down. We can all take this time to get better. I think we already are because we are listening and being more self-aware than we maybe were before this happened. Simply, the improvement of paying better attention to the market could be the improvement that could change your association, or your small business, forever.
Finally, I want to say thank you. I’m so grateful that you listen to this podcast, watch our videos, and bought the Association Hustle book. By the way, I’ve got a couple boxes left, please go to jpmoery.com and order one if you want!
I have no expectation that we’ll ever do business together. None. I’m just pleased to have the platform to tell you about our observations. However, if you ever want to chat personally, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Let’s start that conversation!
Thanks for listening.
We hope you enjoyed this edition of JP Moery’s Association Hustle Podcast. We’d love to connect with you. Check out our blog at moerycompany.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. You can also connect with JP on LinkedIn and Twitter at @JPMoery, as well as The Moery’s Company’s Instagram and Facebook page. To purchase a copy of JP’s book, Association Hustle: Top Strategies for Association Growth, go to JPMoery.com.