Thursday, February 3, 2011

Don't Tell Me Membership is Everyone's Business!

In my previous post, I jokingly asked how Tony Soprano might engage the entire staff of your association in the cause of membership. In the interest of building harmonious relationships between the Membership Department and other departments, I would like to offer the following brainstorming exercise…

It’s called the “Don’t sell me _____, sell me ____!” exercise.  Begin by considering the following list:

Don't sell me clothes…...…....Sell me attractiveness

Don't sell me sneakers……….Sell me "airtime"

Don't sell me books………….Sell me knowledge

Don't sell me a lobotomy……..Sell me peace of mind

(FYI:  This if from Jumpstart Your Marketing Brain by Doug Hall)

The idea is to consider the real benefit or motivation for a product or service from the customer’s point-of-view. It is a powerful approach and one you can use inside your association to further the cause of membership.

So let us modify the exercise to make it more relevant for a Membership Director. Imagine you’re having a conversation with someone from your Conventions Department. You’re trying to explain that “membership is everyone’s business” and he responds, “don’t tell me that, tell _____!” What does he need to hear from you? What will make the concept of “membership” relevant to him and his staff?

You can repeat this exercise for other departments:

The beauty of this exercise is that it helps you to think about membership from the perspectives of others, and that will make it easier to win their support. Good luck!

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