As we head into the last week of February, it’s a good time to reevaluate your New Year’s goals. Around this time, either your resolutions have prevailed, flopped, or maybe, they’re collecting dust in that new planner you bought with such gusto just two short months ago. If you’re in the latter of the three situations, don’t feel too bad. Only 9.2% of people feel like they’re successful in achieving their New Year’s goals, according to Statistic Brain. Unfortunately, for association managers like yourself, the success or failure of your NY resolutions can actually affect the health of your association as well.
No matter the goals you set for yourself, one of the most important responsibilities as an association leader is constantly growing your membership. So, even if you’re unhappy with the status of your current goals, driving membership numbers is always time well spent.
To help you reset for Spring, we’ve compiled our best tips to jump-start membership sales.
Understand a prospect’s journey
Before you can dive into selling a membership, you need to understand exactly why a prospective member wants to join your association. Are they looking for professional networking? Career opportunities? Sponsorship opportunities? By first prioritizing data collection, you are much more apt to help a prospect decide if your association is the right fit for them.
HubSpot calls this pathway “The Buyer’s Journey”. You’ll notice that each stage comes with a different set of questions. It’s critical you have content and resources for each phase of the journey so prospects can do their own research. As they get closer to the decision stage, they’ll most likely reach out to your team for further discussion. This is where you can shine and show them your personality!
Image Credit: HubSpot
Identify your ideal member aka personas
It’s tempting to take anyone willing to give you money, but unless your group is truly open to anyone and everyone, be selective about who you want to serve. An audience persona, or a composite sketch of distinct audience group, can help create content that’s valuable, relevant and engaging. If you’re unfamiliar with this process, we highly suggest this exercise where you can create 3-5 member personas that help you better engage with the right people and convert propects faster.
Track all prospect information
Now that we’ve got a unique understanding of a prospect’s journey and 3-5 ideal member personas, we need to build a membership sales funnel. Similar to our point above, data collection is an essential component of the sales strategy. Not only should you already have their name, company information, location, LinkedIn information and more, but it’s also important to track their engagement pathway, online and in real life. If a prospect navigates your website, fills out an online form, attends an event, interacts with an online ad, or downloads an ebook, that information should be collected an added to their profile.
If you’ve had multiple conversations with that individual, it’s also important to track notes on that conversation, the likelihood of their conversion, date of that conversion, and how that will affect sales forecasting for the association as a whole.
While this all may seem like a lot of work on the front end, we promise it pays off. This kind of habitual work can make a huge difference in your membership sales strategy. Start testing it out in your own group and see if it makes a difference. Remember, all associations are different. So what works for your competitor may not work for you. Do your best to always prioritize decisions around member needs and long-term association goals.