I recently spoke with an association member who had just returned from a meeting where the incoming president addressed members for the first time. I asked the member for his immediate impression and he replied, “I think he’s a really nice guy.” (I was asking because I find myself talking more and more about leadership’s role in delivering an association’s value proposition.)
My follow-up question was: “Beyond being a nice guy, what was memorable about his remarks to the group?” His response: “…(pause)…um,…(pause)….I can’t say there was anything particularly memorable.”
“Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!” This association has a problem. Talk is cheap. If your – or your leaders’ – communications don’t influence behavior, elicit a substantive response or make an emotional connection that you’re looking for, then how will you further the association’s goals (much less retain and attract new members)?
This is why a unified message of value is so strategic and important. When an association leader is considering what to say to a group of members (or business owners, the public, the media, etc.), connecting with the audience is most effectively accomplished by addressing their biggest worries or recognizing the challenges they face, and then talking about how the association is responding.
Convey an important message to a group of members by explaining how the association is strategically planning to confront related challenges or respond to members’ needs…for today and tomorrow. Remember, the most promising outcome of a meeting with a leader is that the future looks brighter.
A must-read for every leader is “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect,” by John Maxwell. The #1 rule of connecting with an audience: people don’t want to be sold; they want to be helped. Make sure your value proposition speaks to how the association helps its members.
Help your leaders (and your staff) with this message. Discover, deliver and articulate your value proposition. Learn more about the process and how Associations use them at www.MemberValue.org.