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MEMBERSHIP SELLING AND
SALES MANAGEMENT INSIGHTS

Doing As Much (Or More) With Less

Over the past few months chambers have had to make some tough decisions. And likely, there will be more to come. Some chambers have been forced to layoff staff members, and in extreme cases, permanently let valued members of their teams go, including membership managers and sales reps.

If your chamber finds itself needing to do as much or more with less, here are a few thoughts to help you do the best you can with what you have to work with.

FOCUS ON RETENTION & SPONSORSHIPS

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.  If you’ve had to cut staff, your efforts may be best spent right now reinforcing existing relationships – meaning renewal and sponsorship revenue and other similar revenue streams.

Once you have a handle on those areas, shift your focus to prospecting. Start picking up the phone and talking to prospective members. Maybe it’s not 40 times a day, maybe it’s 30. Schedule time to prospect, set goals, and do the best you can.

Alternatively, you can divide your efforts. Perhaps you can devote half of your calls to renewals and mission-based investor upgrades. Then devote the other half to calling prospects.  You have to fill your pipeline.

WHAT ABOUT VOLUNTEERS?

We’ve had chamber executives ask if it’s okay to engage volunteers to assist with membership recruitment. The key word would be “assist.” Volunteers cannot take the place of a member rep’s effort.

If you have volunteers who can be managed in a sense that they will follow a plan as it is laid out for them, then go for it.  But if they are volunteers who are just going to wing it, we would not endorse the plan.

Another thing we've observed with volunteers is that they tend to recruit professionals similar to themselves. For example, insurance agents recruit other agents.

If your volunteers are transactional and do not meet your criteria for strong, long-lasting members, they may not be the best messengers for your chamber. Sure, they may close a sale now and then, but you have to consider the impression that they are leaving on those who join and those who don't. The image they paint of chamber membership may be very different from the one you want to promote.

Not every community is rebounding as well or as quickly as we had hoped. If you have questions about how to manage member recruitment and retention, contact us. We’re easy to talk to, and we want to help.

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