A member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook recently asked:
For Chambers with Ambassador groups: Do you have Chairs/Vice-Chair, if so, how do you choose them? Do you take nominations or just pick someone?
The conversation that ensued then addressed the topic of whether ambassadors should be trained. If so, is role-playing an effective way of doing that, particularly for that dreaded question – “What is the Chamber doing for me?”
The Danger of Scripting
The beauty of an ambassadors program is that it is authentic. It’s members recruiting future members. If you make their responses too scripted, they become like Stepford Members, and are not believable or convincing in their member experience.
But, What If They Said _____
This argument is the same one used by many employers when asked if they allow all employees to be active on their social media channels. The fear that drives this answer, belittles the employee and speaks poorly of management’s hiring and coaching practices. If employees understand the end goal of social media and they are reasonably intelligent people, there should be very few problems. Problems crop up when there’s no clear communication and the employees are not using their best judgement on behalf of the customer. The same rings true for your ambassadors.
Your chamber ambassadors should be your most dedicated, enthusiastic members. They shouldn’t need to be coaxed on what to say because they should be able to use their own experience as a guide. “What is the Chamber Doing for Me?” could easily be turned around to “I’m so glad you asked. Let me tell you what my experience has been.”
Empower Your Ambassadors to Tell Their Story
We’ve talked about the effectiveness of storytelling. It’s time you empowered your ambassadors to tell their stories. They can use the following prompts to help:
- What made you join the chamber?
- What is the single best thing you’ve experienced as a business person in this community because of the efforts of the chamber?
- What problem did the chamber help you solve in your own business?
- What have you learned from chamber membership that you applied to your professional life?
- What aspect/part of the community are you must grateful for?
These questions lead to sharing and a much more congenial, believable conversation between the ambassador and the future member. Ditch the scripts and help them tell their story.
Guest post by Christina Green
Image via Flickr by therickbrooks