If your chamber has ambassadors or a membership committee that helps with recruiting, or you have a member referral program, one of the best things you can do to make their recruiting jobs easier is to help them understand two things — your ideal member and trigger words, phrases, or problems the chamber helps solve for them.
Many ambassadors, or referrers either wait for their friends to ask about the chamber or they try the hard sell of a direct ask. While many people may feel obligated, based on their friendship to check the chamber out, they ultimately won’t sign on the membership line if that’s not really what they’re looking for.
Make Your Recruitment Efforts More Effective
The most effective way to recruit people through others is either word-of-mouth marketing or helping members recognize what draws people in. In marketing we refer to these as trigger words.
Very few people will come up to a friend and say “I need to join the chamber.” If they thought that they wouldn’t be calling a friend, they’d be calling the chamber. Often people know their problem but don’t know how to solve it. That’s why Google searches frequently take the form of questions.
Brainstorm with your staff involved with membership sales and come up with a number of conversations or problems people would bring up with their friends, or professional acquaintances, that are sure intros to chamber membership.
These might include:
- My business has really been struggling.
- I just can’t keep up with all the changes in social media. (Perfect if your chamber offers lunch and learn sessions on these topics.)
- I’m really concerned about the proposed tax on small business this year.
- I just don’t know enough people in town.
Henry Ford once said if he had asked people what they wanted they would’ve said faster horses. People don’t always know what’s out there so they can’t ask for it by name. If they knew the solution to their problem they would seek it out. Since they don’t know, they describe their problem instead. By teaching your staff and ambassadors to recognize certain trigger words that membership can help with, you can improve your recruitment efforts.