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Shift Your Focus For Successful Post-Pandemic Prospecting

Across the country, communities are opening for business. Wherever your city is in the process, you have likely discovered that member prospecting will not be business as usual.

Engaging prospects will be different, because what you now have to offer as a chamber has changed– at least for awhile.

You are going to have to recalibrate your sales process. We get it. Change is hard. But frankly, we think this is a silver lining moment. It’s a time for you to make changes that you should have made long before COVID-19 entered the scene.


We’ve been working with chambers across the United States and Canada for many years, and one thing we have noticed is that there is a disproportionately high percentage of recruiting effort focused on what we call micropreneurs. Micropreneurs are businesses with less than five employees. Often, they have just one or two employees.

We understand why member reps tend to gravitate toward these folks. They’re easy to talk to. They’re easy to connect with. And, they immediately see the advantages of networking. Because of that, they join with relative ease.

Though they may be easy sales, we strongly recommend that you stop actively pursuing them – now and later.

Why? In the current environment, your chamber simply cannot deliver what those micropreneurs need – a room full of prospects they can sell to. If you are able to close the deal, you are looking at a short-term relationship.

We have spent a lot of time analyzing renewals over the years and the data is very clear. Micropreneurs are not long-term members. As a matter of fact, most quit the chamber after one year.

Actively pursuing micropreneurs right now or ever, is a lose-lose scenario. It’s time to change your ways.

You need to shift your focus away from selling events, and engagement to micropreneurs, and move toward conversations with larger companies about chamber resources and services that can genuinely help their businesses succeed.

We recommend that you focus all of your outbound member prospecting activities on larger businesses. It will vary from chamber to chamber, but we believe that a minimum of five employees is a good starting point.

Companies with more employees tend to be farther along in the business life cycle. They have broader needs and they have employees that are designated to address more than just customer acquisition. They are more likely to understand and be prepared to take advantage of the resources and services that your chamber offers to help local businesses grow and thrive. And, they’re far more likely to become long-term members.

Think about it this way. Your goal as a member rep should be to welcome companies into membership not individuals.

We encourage you to try this technique and let us know how it goes. We’re easy to talk to, and we want to help. Feel free to reach out with questions you have about this technique or other membership sales issues.

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