ASAE’s Association’s Now magazine published an article this month called Is Your Staff Trained to Sell Membership?
Here is a summary of the article with six ideas to prepare you for dues renewal season:
1. Any association staffer who interacts with members and prospects influences the membership experience. Research from the retail sector suggests simple training on member benefits could sharply enhance your staff’s ability to positively engage members (by 46%!)
2. Staff should know why membership matters and how the association’s membership efforts are performing. But maybe it’s easy to forget the obvious: what membership actually delivers. (This is the place to unify your staff and your leadership on your value proposition.)
3. Assign a Staff Concierge – One association needed the right personality for the job to personally call 1,000 new members on the phone every year. It was a subtle implication that to talk about a complicated organization, to simplify it and to be able to explain it takes years and years of experience.
4. Train staff on your association’s membership as a product to position better to engage members. Can everyone answer questions like these:
- What are the key benefits?
- What are the dues rates?
- How many issues of the magazine are published annually?
- How does a member sign in to the association’s online community?
- How soon can a member access new research reports before nonmembers?
- Does the association offer members any insurance coverage?
- When is the next call for volunteers?
And so on. Association staff—all of them—ought to be able to answer these questions for members, and not just ones about the products or services they work on.
5. Be patient for the investment to pay off: Getting members to recognize an excellent experience takes time. ”The full impact won’t be known until new members reach their third year of membership and beyond.” (Dan Ratner)
6. Wear Your Culture of Member Service: Tony Russell visited a client last month and the receptionist was on a break. As he waited in the lobby, every single person who paced through asked if they could help him. It was very impressive. He assumes that the staff maintains this same attitude toward helping and serving their members.
To read the entire article, click here. Image via ASAE and iStock.