Creating a true “sense of urgency” can be one of the biggest challenges you face in the sales process. If a prospect doesn’t see the ticking time bomb early on, your chance of closing that sale quickly decreases. The better you can successfully nuance your discussion in this way, the more sales you will close – but, how do you do it? These three strategies have been highly effective for me:
#1 Offer the opportunity to participate. Let your prospects attend a conference or webinar on a one-time only basis to test out the benefit of membership. Once the event is over and the door is open, consider applying the registration fee to their first-year dues, if they are on the fence to join. This helps to create an “act now” mentality so they don’t miss out on an offer. If they don’t join right away, be sure to include them on notifications of future events, so they see what they are missing – and, reinforces why they should join before the next one.
#2 Emphasize deadlines. This is an effective strategy and goes hand-in-hand with the above point. “If you join by X date, we will apply your registration fee towards your membership dues.” This tactic is a bit easier when dealing with sponsorships because those exclusive opportunities can be swept up at any time and creates that subtle pressure to commit in a timely fashion. So, my advice? Include an “end date” when communicating with a prospect about membership or sponsorship.
# 3 Be subtle. The key is to create that sense of urgency without being overly obvious or aggressive. Try sending someone an article you know will be of interest to them and tie it back to your association and its value prop. “I came across this article about XXX and thought of you since you mentioned it was an area of importance to you. We’ll be discussing this exact topic at our next member committee meeting. Are you free this week to chat about having a seat at the table?”
Effectively communicating why someone should act NOW is not always easy – but, if you can implement the above tactics, you might find fewer prospects dragging their feet.
If you have any questions about membership or sponsorship sales and creating a sense of urgency, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.