On this special holiday episode, JP shares morsels of advice for association leaders and small business owners.
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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.
Today, I have a special holiday themed episode of the Association Hustle. You might have your own traditions around the holidays. I love them. I’m recording this the day before Thanksgiving and we’re already in the holiday spirit. We all need it.
I’ve got my own traditions around this time of year. I always listen to Alice’s Restaurant on Thanksgiving Day by Arlo Guthrie. I watch the movie The Last Waltz about the band’s final concert, which was recorded on a Thanksgiving Day. It’s a great documentary by Martin Scorsese with a fantastic performance by Van Morrison. I love these traditions.
In today’s episode, I’m going to work my way “around the plate” and give you tidbits and morsels of advice. Some of the helpings are going to be larger and we’ll work around it give you a little turkey, a little dressing, lots of gravy, a dab of yams, maybe a special green bean casserole, whatever it might be.
I want you guys to tell the truth. The absolute truth about your business, not “kind of” the truth. Stop telling lies. It starts with you. Quit telling yourself lies like your team is well trained or that you’re doing all you can to make your business successful. Your clients and your team will value it.
Be Your Best
I want you to be the best that you can be. Offer the best solution, develop the best program and the money will come. If you work on being the best, the finances will take care of themselves. Stop worrying about the money. Stop crying, stop judging, work on your skill and talent – those things will help you win majority of the time.
You will lose business development and sales deals without speed and velocity. I see it over and over again. Get to know the person – your potential client – by learning something personal about them. Drop that knowledge into your conversation. Go to LinkedIn after your first meeting and connect with them and learn something about their professional career. Get intrigued by something in their story, look at their bio, and check out their thought leadership. The wait time between the presentation, the discussions, and the proposal is now shorter. Weave parts of their story or anecdote into your conversations as you share information with them. Is there a piece of content that could be helpful to them?
The day before you get back together to go over the proposal, send them a quick video message, “Hey, I can’t wait to see you and talk about what we’re going to do together!” Scan any content or leads from industry blogs and send it to that prospect. Offer value every time you’re interacting with them. Do it quickly and consistently.
Follow up is about helping others and most people don’t do that. They follow up by saying, “Hey, I’m just checking in.” They’re checking in because they have to and check off a box for activity purposes. Instead, follow up by adding value and because that is what your potential clients expect from you. They’ll expect that from you as a client, too. This will allow you to differentiate yourself from every other person that’s calling them.
Send a testimonial without them asking for it – as soon as you have that final conversation – about something that you’ve done for someone that’s a similar project.
The number one thing that all sales people do is listen. I got this quick hack from that incredible sales guru, Jeffrey Gitomer. If you want to learn to listen better, take notes. If you write notes down, you can’t talk.
Be concise with your pitch. Make the story about the person you’re talking to and their business, not what you offer. Tell them about the solutions you provide and what it will result in rather than your elevator pitch and what you do and what services you provide. Tell compelling stories about how people use your services and how that helped them become successful.
That’s how to become a better salesperson.
Let’s talk about 2021 and upcoming events. I see a troubling trend where organizations are sitting on inventory and waiting to release their sponsorship offerings because they’re working on “perfect” implementation and clarity on whether the event will be a virtual, hybrid, or in-person. The result of that is that they’re not getting any sponsorship inventory out into the marketplace. When the sponsorship inventory is delayed indefinitely, the potential sponsors don’t have time to decide.
We were making major progress on being more proactive with our sponsorship inventory and our prospectuses. I recognize that you might be unsure. However, we got to get something in the hands of our partners. Create standards around cancellation, their timeframe, and deposits so people can make decisions. They need to know if they can get out of the deal if needed. Address the sponsor’s risk because no one wants risk. If you can eliminate risk, they are more likely to buy.
Mergers and Acquisitions
These will continue as associations face financial headwinds and they’re unsure if they can sustain themselves in their current state. The real opportunity in 2021 is to collaborate more with other organizations and partner with others. Recently, I’ve been fortunate to help an association navigate a strategic alliance and the best progress is made when the members of that strategic alliance are talking about the members and how they might benefit, how the industry could thrive, and how they’re going to achieve their industry goals from an advocacy perspective. A lot of progress is made when the parties talk about and collaborate in those areas. When they start talking about board seats and who gets to decide and when they get away from the member benefits, that’s when the mergers and acquisition conversations come to a screeching halt. It will be a better outcome the more you think about collaborative aspect.
We’re going to have to go to the dentist for a checkup. This is what I use to compare keeping your data quality healthy. Every six months, you need to open up your mouth and look in there. Do you see a crack in your crown? A cavity? Is anything coming in crooked? You need to do the same thing around your data.
Check your emails and verify them. We use a system called BriteVerify to verify all of our email addresses. If email addresses are bouncing or not confirmed, it’s more than likely that the entire contact profile needs to be updated for that lead. I’ve seen a lot of contact lists that needed to be updated because there have been changes in the company. The company is still a valid a prospect and/or member it’s that the people within the company that you have listed are not the right contacts. Check the quality of your data every six months… and your teeth.
Revisit the No’s
Help yourself make a sale at the end of the year by going back to all of the prospects that you closed as lost and those who said no throughout the year. Ask them what it would take for them to revisit the opportunity now or next year. They’d love to hear back from you. They also might have budget leftover either now at the end of the year, or in the first quarter of next. I guarantee you, revisiting your former prospects – or people that were in the pipeline – is a great move for you to set yourself up for a final sale this year, or tee you up for a great 2021.
Have a great holiday. Thanks for joining me at the table. We’ll talk next week! Bye bye.
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.
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