It is a primary goal of every membership orginization to sell more memberships. How cool would it be if we could simply say a few magic words and have every prospect we talk to say “YES!”…? Now THAT would be AWESOME!!! Well, the truth is we could say the exact right words every time and we’re still not going to close at 100%. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be working our TAILS off to get just a little bit better every single day. Today marks the one year anniversary of our very first Membership Campaign with the Union County (NC) Chamber of Commerce. We’re celebrating with…well…ANOTHER campaign, this time in Metairie, Louisiana with the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce. And let me tell you, we’ve heard some really smart comments over the past 12 months from people who don’t usually sell memberships. We thought we’d share a few of them here with you.
- “I’m calling today to help you grow your business.” We just heard this one today from Ray Seamon, one of the Chairmen of the Jefferson Chamber’s campaign. He suggested to his team that they open the conversation with that statement. How many calls have you ever gotten that began like that? Not too many, I bet! What a fantastic way to start off the conversation about how your organization is going to benefit my business. Not a bad way to break the ice!
- “I know you may not be able to make it to all the networking events, but let me tell you about the REAL value of this organization!” How brilliant is this? We all know that one of the more frequent objections we face revolves around something that only about 8-12% of our CURRENT members even take part in. We had a volunteer in Columbia, SC say she was “diffusing the objection before it could blow up in her face”. She said that she didn’t figure her prospects would EVER attend networking events, either because they were too busy or already well-connected in their community, so she wanted to get rid of that objection and get to the real “meat & potatoes” of what their organization was doing for EVERY business-owner in the community, whether they belonged to the Chamber or not. She was able to focus on those things that affect the greatest number of business-owners and ended up selling a LOT of memberships that afternoon!
- “I’m passionate about this organization and what they’re doing. I knew that if I could just tell you why, you’d be as passionate about it as I am!” Not everyone can play the “I’m passionate” card, but we met this sweet young girl in Beaufort, SC who did it beautifully. I overheard her saying it on every single call she made, and every time it sounded more honest than the last. Do you know why? Because it WAS! She was genuinely passionate about what her Chamber was doing to protect her business and to strengthen her community, and she couldn’t WAIT to tell other people about it. And guess what. When that passion came through as sincere, it was infectious. The people she spoke with became passionate about helping, too. And they joined!
- “What if it was free?” One volunteer in Fayetteville, NC was asked “How much does it cost?” His answer…”What if it was free? Would you join then?” Of course, the answer was YES! He responded with “Then let’s get you signed up! I saved enough money on member-to-member discounts in the first month to pay for my entire membership for the YEAR! It’s AWESOME!” Does your Chamber or Association have affinity programs or member-to-member discounts in place that would quickly offset the cost of your membership investment? Do you have plenty of testimonials to back those claims up? You should…
- “If you could meet just one person…someone who could turn your business around if you could get them as a client…who would it be?” We met a young professional in the Quad Cities who asked this question to one of her prospects. When she got him to “name names”, she explained to him how she had written up a list of HER top 20 prospects when she joined the Chamber. She showed that list to the membership professional who had recruited her, and asked for personal introductions. She got 16 introductions from that list, closed 13 of them, and her business has EXPLODED…all because she created a list of her top prospects and asked for introductions via the Chamber. Doesn’t YOUR organization make connections every single day? Why not put it out there and let people know they can break through the gate-keepers and get directly to the decision-makers that can most affect them and their businesses?
There are more. A lot more! But it’s time for us to REALLY celebrate our first full year of work. To all of our friends and mentors, our clients and our colleagues, we thank you for the support you’ve given us as we left what was safe and comfortable to do something we TRULY believe in. Thank you for your referrals, your recommendations, your testimonials and your stories. Without them, we couldn’t be where we are today. But we’re going to ask just one more thing before we pop the cork and get down to the REAL celebration. Would you be so kind as to comment below with some of the BRILLIANT things you’ve heard from your Board, your staff, your members, your volunteers…something you’ve carried with you that you think others should benefit from. We want to hear from you!
Jay & Annette