Your board of directors can be a tremendous help to your member recruitment and retention. The board members have good reputations in the community. They run successful businesses and are not directly associated with your sales team. When they approach someone, it’s as a business person talking to another business person not a membership sales attempt. That’s what makes them incredibly effective at delivering the chamber’s message, but only if you put forth the effort at mobilizing the chamber board.
But how do you organize their efforts in helping out with membership? If you don’t give them assignments of some sort, it’s not likely to get done. For as effective as they may be in their businesses and on your board, member recruitment is not necessarily their strong suit. But with a little help, thy can become very effective recruiters.
Tips for Mobilizing the Chamber Board
Many chambers of commerce in the Chamber Professionals Group on Facebook have just begun instituting programs to get their boards more directly involved with recruiting and retention. While their ideas may yet to have stood the test of time, they’re off to a good start. Here’s what they’re doing:
Organizing Committees. The Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce just started a Membership Committee with an Ambassador Committee. These groups were formed to help organize the board and get them involved past mere presenting of the numbers.
Using the Meetings and Talking Numbers. Mindi Terrell just started a program at her chamber to get board members more involved. She’s dedicating 10-15 minutes of every board meeting to talking about specific prospects in the pipeline. She then inquires about who might have the connection to approach them. Each board member will eventually be tasked with a specific number of new members. Their goal is to get them in the door and signed up. The critical part of this is ensuring the board understands their membership number responsibilities. This keeps them accountable.
Starting Early. At the Elk River Chamber of Commerce, Debbi Rydberg and her board plan to “…survey 25% of members annually to identify their satisfaction with the ROI & ROV of their Membership. The tactics include Board Members making personal calls to thank members for their membership and discuss any concerns. We bring index cards to each meeting for members renewing in 3-4 months and they get passed around until they are all claimed.” This is a strong idea because it allows those board members with existing relationships to renewing members to exercise that connection.
Ongoing board development is so important to an effective board. If you’re wondering how your chamber can do more of it, download our free resource: 10 Key Components of Ongoing Board Development today.
By Christina R. Green