When your Association’s founders first convened, did they envision hiring staff that would sell products and services? No, they identified like minded companies who shared the same challenges understanding that they could achieve greater impact together that individually.
Creating a board and member driven process that identifies member “up-at-night” issues is only a first crucial step. Utilizing a highly engaged and strategic board task force will help your Association have a reality check. Member’s aren’t retaining their memberships or even joining new organizations just to buy things. They are looking for strategic partners who help position and drive their industry‘s business and professional outcomes.
Change the Conversation
Member engagement begins with changing the conversation from your Association’s “outputs” to your member’s “outcomes.” This requires that you have keen insights into the external factors and operational challenges and opportunities that your members face. Only then can you have the strategic conversations with your board on how the Association can help the industry breakthrough some of its most difficult challenges.
It’s essential to understand how your association is currently impacting member objectives. This requires securing actionable data about member perceptions of their environmental and operational challenges. It’s best to avoid traditional satisfaction surveys as they will not provide sufficient information on how your Association is helping your members or their industry. Impact surveys are forward looking and will help you better measure your organization’s effectiveness on member outcomes.
Engagement as a Sales Strategy?
What does success look like? It starts with surfacing actionable, market based data. Then creating discussions about your member’s business outcomes to align your Association with their business outcomes.Engagement isn’t a sales strategy, it’s an alignment strategy. Associations who move in this direction are demonstrating how this alignment leads to long term growth.