While most people in business see discounting service as a means to devaluing it, is there ever a reason to discount chamber membership?
The question was asked by a member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook:
Just curious…do any of you offer a discount if members pay for multiple years of membership fees in advance? Had a member ask about it……
There are a few reasons businesses offer discounts. Some fit the chamber model, some do not, such as discounting as a means to:
- Make the sale happen quickly (businesses use this tactic to meet quarter-end quotas)
- Pass along cost savings (as in the case of a member’s early renewal meaning less administrative tasks for you so you pass along the money/time they saved you in the form of a discount)
- Drive a desired action (or demographic to action as in student discounts)
- Entice multiples (as in signing up multiple businesses, etc.)
Is Offering a Discount on Chamber Dues Worth It?
If a chamber member offers to pay two years of dues at once, he is offering a few things to your chamber:
You receive the dues up front
This has the obvious benefit of giving you the money a year before it is due and it’s a renewal on your books for the following year.
Administrative expenses on next year’s renewal are saved
It also means an extra year you don’t need to send reminders. No postage, no administrative time dedicated to those efforts, no membership time working on retention.
If a member pays ahead of time, you can assume that person is either a big fan of your chamber or he has scads of money laying around and is looking to spend it. Since the latter is generally not the case, you may assume this member needs less attention.
However, while engagement is related to renewal, engagement is not done for dues’ sake. Make sure to reach out to this member as you would any other through out the year (minus sending renewal notices, of course).
Ultimately in deciding whether to offer a discount or not, you have to decide what this prepayment is worth to your chamber.
- Is this something you’d like others to do as well?
- Do you want to incentivize this behavior?
- Does it save you anything in time and energy?
- Will it make a difference in the initial membership sale?
If the prepayment does something for you and you want to pass that along to your member, fine. Otherwise…
Sometimes people ask about discounts because it’s something they’ve been conditioned to do and not something that affects the membership sale one way or the other.
Guest post by Christina Green
Image via Flickr by Tax Credits