I want to share a recent note from a conference attendee:

“I continue to run into the same scenario where the recruitment sales call or visit goes well, the prospect is on board, but then I get the ‘I have to think about it.’ ‘I need to consult with another, but I am very interested in joining.’ ‘Call me in a week.’ Then I call and chase, call and chase. I don’t know the magic to break this vicious cycle!”

You may have experienced similar conversations with your prospects. But let’s take a minute to look at the experience and journey of your potential prospect. Through your recruitment sales process, have you motivated and compelled your prospective member to invest? Did you create urgency and need? Were you able to connect them to the true value and mission of your organization?

Here are five keys to creating urgency and value using relevance, not magic as you recruit members:

  1. Create urgency. Figure out the value points that will move your prospect to say, “How am I not already a part of this?” You don’t want to convince people to join. No one wants to be chased, or feel stalked by an organization. Walking that fine line between being persistent and being an annoyance can be difficult to manage, but it can be done through relationship building, discovery, and connecting.
  2. Members aren’t buying a membership; they are making an investment for their business.  Often prospects are investing in an experience and an outcome — and we must know what value and outcome they are expecting. That’s when our recruitment calls come into play.  Think about what you’d want to know if you were considering a membership investment. Through your conversations, find out what they care about and offer solutions and value.
  3. Based on your intentional learning and discovery, create a vision. Share a story. Paint a picture.  Make sure your Association or Chamber stands out from others and make it easy for prospects to see a vision of how their investment impacts your mission and more importantly, impacts their business.
  4. Member testimonials and reviews are your best tool for creating a vision and picture of experiences. As you share benefit statements, be sure to connect member stories with outcomes so that your member can picture this experience for themselves.  Create a tool with testimonials to use internally to help everyone in your organization share the story and vision.
  5. Schedule and plan the next step.  For those prospects who are not able to invest immediately, confirm your next step while you are still talking. Book a specific date and time, mark your calendars for the next call or visit, and discuss what will happen during that meeting. If we miss this step, it can be weeks or months before connecting again by phone or email, and the conversation can grow cold.

It doesn’t take “magic” to grow your membership.  I hope some of the above tips will help you motivate more prospects to become investors in your organization.

Shari Pash is the founder of Strategic Solutions for Growth, a training company headquartered in Lansing, MI.  Shari works with Chambers of Commerce, non-profit organizations, and associations in 27 states and throughout Canada. Connect with Shari to learn more about how she can help your organization.