When you’re interacting with prospective new members, you need to have a convincing pitch. I’m sure you’ve all heard some bad ones. I know I have. The last association I didn’t join didn’t have a pitch; I’m not even sure they had a purpose. If they did, they weren’t communicating it to me, and I certainly wasn’t buying.
Naturally, a good pitch includes a strategy for delivering it, how and when.
What am I looking for in an organization? What’s missing from my professional life that I’d be willing to pay money for? You don’t know, do you? You know what your organization can offer, but you don’t’ know the best way to sell it to me. One good way to find out, talk to me. Better yet, listen to me. Until you know what I’m looking for, how can you be sure you are selling the right aspects of your organization? Take time to listen to what I need and what I’m looking for in an association. If it’s something you can offer, I’d love to hear about it.
This might mean a number of personal conversations. In a room full of prospective members, each might be looking for something completely different that you can provide. Find out why they join. Especially when it comes to recruiting Gen Y, they will be impressed if you take the time to show some personal interest in their needs before trying to push membership.
Your association needs members to survive, but do you want just any members? Maybe, but you should also be recruiting for the talent you need. When conversing with a potential member, find out what their skills are and what skills they’re interested in pursuing. If it’s a need your organization has, let them know you have a role for them, specifically.
People are more likely to get involved if they know they will play a specific role. Recruiting for talent you need is a way to make prospective members feel valued before they even join and strengthen your association.
Millennials are looking for ways to gain experience and job skills to give them an advantage in the tough job market. When it comes to associations, they are looking for a way to engage in a meaningful way. Let them know that your organization can offer them a value worth joining for.
I hate to point out the obvious, but at some point, you’re going to need to ask a prospective member to join. Even if they understand the value you can bring to them, the gaps that your association can fill, asking someone to join is an important step. Even if their answer is “no,” it will give you a good sense of where they are at and if you need to answer more questions. If they aren’t interested in membership at the time, make sure you find out the best way to follow up with them in the future. Then, do it.
If you want to keep adding members to your ranks, you need a good pitch. And keep in mind, no matter how good your pitch is, if you want to keep that member, you’ll need to deliver on everything it promises.
Looking for a game changer at your next event or a strategy unique to your organization?