You’ve heard it before: “We’re all in sales now.” And to an extent, that’s true - especially for associations. There are a lot of things competing for your members’ and prospects’ time (and not to mention, money), so every touchpoint they have with your association (and every person they come in contact with) is an opportunity to sell - or not.
That said, are all of your staff members equipped to “sell” your association’s member benefits? Are you all on the same page with what those are and how they should be positioned? If not, here are a few tips for making every staff member a master salesperson:
Simplify your messaging
First and foremost, if you want every person on your staff to be able to truly sell your association’s member benefits, you need to make your messaging simple. That means having a quick, clean elevator pitch AND knowing your top two or three member benefits.
Note: You may have a LOT of member benefits. In fact, you probably do. But it’s crucial that you narrow those down to two or three primary benefits. And more importantly, that everyone’s on the same page with what those two or three primary benefits are. (I bet if you went around and asked everyone on your staff and board that question - what your top two or three member benefits are - every list would look a little different. Consistency is key!)
What does a good, simple elevator pitch look like? Check out our post, How to Nail Your Association’s Elevator Pitch.
Make this a part of the onboarding process
It’s never too late to train your staff, but if you can, start this process early. Include member benefits training in the new hire onboarding process. You may even want to consider putting together a one-page fact sheet with your association’s elevator pitch and primary benefits - listed simply so new hires can absorb - and repeat - that information.
Offer occasional training sessions
Everyone could use a refresher from time to time, and just as you offer training classes to your members, consider offering training classes to your staff. Once a quarter or twice a year (depending on how much you hire), consider organizing a refresher on your organization’s key messaging. This will ensure both old and new employees haven’t forgotten, and more importantly, are on the same page when it comes to really selling your association’s membership.
Now again, a big part of this should happen during the new hire onboarding process. For more tips on training new hires and getting them up to speed, check out our free guide, Best Practices for Onboarding New Staff!