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One “Intangible” Benefit Of Membership Has Never Been More Tangible

The slogan “we’re in this together,” couldn’t ring more true for chambers and their members right now.

Many businesses in your community are going through the same thing your chamber is going through. Sales may be down. They likely have concerns about cash flow, and are probably feeling uncertain about the future. No matter how you approach recruiting right now, the business leaders you come into contact with are going to be understandably distracted.

Sales are going to happen slower. And you’re going to need to put more effort into the process of establishing relationships and rapport with prospects before attempting to lead them through the sales process. You have to patient.

Easier said than done, right? If you are leading a team right now, understand what your sales reps are up against, do everything you can to help them succeed, and be realistic about your expectations.

If you are a membership rep, here are some ideas to help you start conversations with prospects if you are feeling a little stuck.

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, those tangible features of membership - things like networking events and other in-person opportunities, are on the back burner right now. You need to dig deeper into your chamber’s portfolio to identify those intangible benefits that will be meaningful to prospects as they stand in a shadow of uncertainty.

Think about how that must feel. Success is never certain, but right now, it’s never been more uncertain for many business leaders in your community. What do you think matters to them most right now? What do they need to ensure that their business has a fighting chance of survival?

We know you’ve been working on it – all of it, and then some. We’re certain that your chamber has been on the forefront of disseminating information and connecting businesses with recovery resources. We’re sure that your chamber has been a steady force for advocating for the safe and intelligent re-opening of businesses in your community. And, we know that your chamber was brave enough to go up against other community forces that argued against re-opening. Your chamber has stepped up, while other organizations remained seated, waiting to see what happened next.

You did it because businesses could not afford to be put on hold any longer. You did it because it’s what your chamber is meant to do.

Your advocacy on behalf of your members and other businesses in your community has never been more tangible.

These are the conversations you should be preparing for, starting and continuing with prospects. It’s important that they know what your chamber is doing and will continue to do to make doing business in your community easier.

Of course, we don’t want you to pick up the phone and launch into a sales pitch. We also don’t want you to make assumptions about your prospects’ individual situations. Success in chamber membership sales has always been about building and nurturing relationships. You need to ask questions and take time to get to know their business and their unique challenges before you can present the chamber as a solution.

What we do suggest is that you give these things some thought before you pick up the phone, because your local businesses are facing common challenges, and it’s important that they know that your chamber is working hard to help move obstacles out of their way.

We know it's tough out there right now. If you have questions, or just need a little encouragement, we want to remind you that we’re easy to talk to, and we want to help.

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