When prospective members consider joining your chamber or association they may want to grow their business, make key business connections, or stay abreast of business/industry trends and best practices. Learning about your prospective members builds relationship. And relationship builds trust and credibility.

Are your actions and engagement with your prospects and members transactional or relational?

Here are 5 tips to help you proactively form member relationships:

  1. Build rapport. Get to know the person as well as the business.
  2. Identify goals. Uncover their business goals and learn how your chamber or association can help.
  3. Keep the conversation going. Relationship happens when you talk to your member’s throughout the year regarding what’s important to them. Personal contact and engagement is essential, especially for your 1st and 2nd year members.
  4. Develop a follow-up system. Take notes when speaking with members and use this information in future conversations. Schedule next steps and follow up. Implement a system that reminds you of follow-up actions on a specified date.
  5. Make relevant calls and visits to members. Spark conversation based on what you learned earlier. For example, invite clients to an education session you’re hosting that you know can help them meet their goals. If you know your new member wants to connect with more executives and your upcoming golf outing attracts CEOs, ask that member to be a tee sponsor. Be proactive, using the reminder system you set up, to keep members engaged.

With relationship, you aren’t simply selling and processing transactions. As the member realizes you have their best interests in mind, you gain their trust. In turn, your conversations are more relevant, which allows you to interact in ways that benefit the member, rather than just making a transaction.