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Managing Membership In An Instable Environment

There are numerous factors impacting your ability to be successful and achieve your recruiting goals. These factors have altered the way membership representatives engage with both members and prospective members; and how you position your chamber’s services and opportunities.

In case you’re wondering…The coronavirus pandemic did not create these challenges. It simply highlighted, and hastened, the need to adapt. 

Regardless of the impacts on your organization, it is imperative to remain mindful that businesses within your community continue to have targets to achieve that are not as easily attainable as they were six short months ago. Continually remind your team how your chamber remains a key resource for members and prospective members to achieve their business goals.


With membership teams facing the need to communicate value under changing circumstances, it is critically important to insist that your membership personnel demonstrate value for current members. To stay ahead, you must foster individual relationships. You need to know why each member joined, how your chamber can help them succeed, and take appropriate action to deliver on your promises

Building loyalty requires human interaction. Consider this, it is somewhat easy to quit the chamber - the institution, however; it is much harder to quit a real person - someone with a name and a face.

As it relates to recruiting, prospective members’ expectations are at an all-time high. They want to know what you can do to help them achieve their business objectives. And they place high-value on member reps who understand their problems, make them think, and offer creative and workable solutions.


It’s certainly a challenging time to recruit and retain members. Stress levels can spike easily as a result. Now more than ever, chamber executives and membership team leaders must go above and beyond to keep recruiting and retention efforts on the rise.

Of course, everyone appreciates a pat on the back and encouraging thoughts. Keep the positives coming!  Today’s environment necessitates well-timed, actionable insights that empower membership teams to succeed. We recommend a daily (or at least frequent) member relations and recruiting feedback meeting as a stress-free and effective way to enhance membership team growth and production, particularly in an evolving environment like we all face today. In person or via Zoom is best, but conference calls are also effective.

Basically, the feedback meeting is designed for membership personnel to share feedback and concerns they are hearing. The opportunity for reps to share what they’re dealing with can be a relief in itself. It’s comforting to know that leadership cares. But you’ll also be pleasantly surprised with the synergy and teamwork these meetings can create. It’s remarkably helpful for reps to learn firsthand what fellow team members are hearing. The team comes to understand how they are in this together; and that they never have to settle for the status quo. Instead, they compare scenarios, brainstorm ideas, and proactively work together to improve results.

No matter the size of your team, regular feedback meetings ensure that you have a constant stream of timely information coming into your chamber. You can identify trends and developments in your marketplace, review challenges and opportunities, and formulate how you can help your membership team in real-time. Critical insights and feedback can also be shared with volunteer leadership to provide a true “boots-on-the-ground” update on how the pandemic is impacting member relations and recruiting.


It’s equally important to regularly review how your meetings and the resulting insights and assistance have impacted your team and their production. Are adjustments working? Are team members adapting and realizing better results? Check in regularly to reinforce what’s working – and readily adjust when necessary. When we finally emerge from the shadow of the coronavirus, regular feedback meetings will continue to promote esprit de corps, enhance professional development, heighten job performance, and boost morale.

As always, we’re easy to talk to. Feel free to reach out with questions you have about this technique or other membership sales or retention issues.

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