There are a few fundamental items that your association should have in its toolbox: a strong value proposition, testimonials and referrals, and CRM.
1. Value Proposition.
This is not what you put in a brochure ten years ago and you just continue to update with new graphics and fonts. What is the true value proposition of your organization according to the members of your organization? Use real member stories. Why they join, what they gained in terms of value from the organization. Talk about a specific situation where the legislative affairs program helped them.
Here’s an example of a specific value that an association brings: recently I heard from a member of a manufacturing association that learned from a webinar about potential tariffs that were coming to their industry. They pre-purchased a lot of commodities because the association alerted them and saved possibly millions of dollars.
2. Testimonials and Referrals.
Can you name and reach out to a dozen or so members that can endorse or refer prospects to you?
We need someone during the sales process, at a strategic time, to speak on our behalf and tell a story that goes something like this, “Hey, I was a small business, too. I wasn’t sure if the association was a fit for me. My perception was it was for big businesses. Then, once I joined and I went to the annual meeting, I was able to meet some of the VIPs of this industry. I do work for them now and my business has grown exponentially because I was a member of the association. I was in the same situation you were and I decided to make the move and it’s absolutely changed my business.”
Are you going to get these kinds of testimonials at scale? Probably not, however, two or three of these will be very helpful.
3. Salesforce CRM or something similar.
We’ve got a golden rule in this company: if it’s not in Salesforce it didn’t happen. You’ve got to log every single contact you have with a prospect. Over time, the data will help you see what’s effective and what is not. You start to identify how many calls it might take to close a deal. You learn which tactics work and which ones do not. Is it better to email? Is it better to make a direct phone call? Is it better to have a face-to-face meeting? You start to learn the cadence of your membership development work. But if you don’t put it into a CRM where you can get a pipeline on a moment’s notice, or you can’t generate an activity report when somebody requests it… you’ve got a problem because your process isn’t sound.
Want to learn how The Moery Company can help you build out your association’s membership tool box and help grow your membership? We offer consulting and membership sales services that have helped dozens of associations reach and exceed their membership goals. Reach out to Mike Thomas today to learn how!
NAM January 2020 Event | National Association of Manufacturers | NAM Council of Manufacturing Associations: 2020 Winter Leadership Conference, West Palm Beach, FL, Jan. 7-9, 2020