I recently participated in a webinar on the title of this blog post conducted by JP Moery of The Moery Company.
While he talked about a number of things you can do to re-engage that prospect that went dark, here's what I took away from the webinar.
First, are they really a good prospect or just a name of a business on a sheet of paper?
Not all businesses will be interested in the work of the local chamber. The key is to find the ones who are. And oh by the way, it's ok if some businesses don't want to be members.
The key I've always said in past blog posts is getting the right members to engage with your chamber.
He also talked about having a formal sales pipeline for prospects and the ability to track your interactions? Are you tracking your communications with your prospective members in some way? Some organizations are using salesforce or another customer management system (CMS) tools to track, keep notes and plan their outreach?
Another tip from JP, in addition to tracking your interactions, it's important to have a list of answers to the most common responses on why they are objecting to become members.
To that end, develop a set of talking points for common objections. We've all heard them before, right?
- Too expensive - you can't afford not to be a member - show value - you have different price points to get them involved, it all depends on what level (think tiered dues) they want to engage and sell that membership.
- Too much time - don't give them too much information and overwhelm them - focus on what they want or what they would value and laser focus on that specific issue. It's about what they need and not what you want to sell.
- Send me the information - are they just using this as a way to get you off the phone or off their premises. Your response, I only want to send you information that you need to solve a specific problem or help you generate business. Ask them what that might be and tell them you’ll send it right away.
Another tip mentioned as an ongoing way to stay connected to your prospects is to send teasers to your prospects - a webinar announcement, a white paper, an action item to keep your chamber on their radar screen as a potential member. Or an invite, as a guest, to an upcoming program is another tact you can use.
As a side bar, I recently ran across an app (Slydial) that allows you to automatically leave a phone message on a prospects cell phone with membership information and ask them to call you back if interested.
Why is this exciting?
You can tailor your pitch on a specific issue that they may be interested in and it allows them to respond to you on their timetable. And, if they call you back, you know they're interested, or as we like to say, a hot lead!
And by the way, this is not a robo call, it's an individually left message by your membership sales staff.
A final thought - membership recruitment is an ongoing process and the more touch points you have with a prospect will only help you build a relationship that will hopefully end in a membership, if not now, in the future!