My blogs typically focus on membership and sponsorship growth strategies and tactics to run your organization better, but for a change – I really want to break down how we sell association memberships at The Moery Company. This might be helpful to you.
We’ve been in the membership sales game for about 6 years and our process has evolved over that time. Right now, we are selling more memberships per quarter than ever before.
Let me dig in on what’s working for us. Very simply – we’re developing the very best prospect list we can and collaborate with our association clients in doing so. We develop prospects, review membership categories in which more growth is needed, and the result is a strong list. Today, you have to start with a great list, folks. If it’s not in place, you won’t win.
Secondly, we are conducting “Drip Email Campaigns” on behalf of our association partners. Interestingly enough, our email content focus isn’t on “joining” the association. The email includes essential content of interest: we emphasize the association “White Paper” on a new position statement; the sponsorship prospectus for an upcoming annual meeting; a recent CEO statement about a new program; and/or an industry briefing detailing a government affairs issue looming over the industry.
We identify several pieces of really good content to include in an email campaign and launch. Our client campaigns take 2 to 3 weeks – we usually send a series of 4 emails, and here’s how it works: We send out an initial message. We identify who’s opened the email; but, in particular, we receive an alert when someone clicks onto the content. If someone clicks on the link about a pending regulation in California, our sales team is alerted immediately. Those are those folks with whom we contact to offer more on the topic – and, our sense is, “Yes, they’re interested” because they’ve taken the initiative to investigate the link.
This system is driving our success in sales. We are covering more ground than ever before. The day of just burning through lists and cold calling people are over. This antiquated approach just doesn’t work. We initiate that first conversation about the content of interest and eventually dovetail to membership.
The dialogue goes something like this…
“Hey, if you’re interested in this – you might be interested in some other association initiatives… Tell us about your business. Tell us about how you stay informed and in compliance with regulatory issues. Are you interested in possibly growing your business through the association? We have buyers and sellers here – we could put together a sponsorship opportunity for you.” These are the conversations driving the success of our association sales process.
Most importantly, all of these tactics are about the prospect first and their interest. Not your latest “do you want to join?” request. Why would they want to join if you haven’t shown interest in their business and attempted to align your resources against their pressing need?
We’ll contact a quarter of million people this year and refining the process along the way: it just gets better and better if you build the data and then put the prospect first.
If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to JP’s weekly Blog and Podcast series – delivered right to your inbox.