I often hear from Chambers of Commerce and member-based associations that they’ve set common goals of increasing new members and member engagement. To accomplish these goals, success begins with the very first interaction. That first conversation is key to opening the door, moving away from general conversation to specific discovery.
What do I mean by specific discovery?
Any interaction with members, specifically with new recruits, needs to be geared toward fact finding. Moving away from general questions to more targeted, specific discovery, will help you collect the information you need to better engage and assist this member. It’s also important to document any information collected in member profiles. Through data management, you can follow up and talk specifics. Consider including primary reasons for investing and what value points are provided by your organization.
This second approach allows you to offer a solution that adds value to your prospect/member. In this example, the leader kept the conversation going, allowing the opportunity to offer solutions and support.
Members/prospects need to hear themselves say they have a need. That way you can offer a solution. You may see clearly what they need, but it’s important that people own their need.
A simple example to drive this point home:
Recently, I was conducting a three-hour member sales program and at a break, the chamber staff came in to ask how everything was going. I replied simply with “Great.” The staff then asked me about the temperature in the room. And I answered, “It’s very hot in here.’’
I had just told them that everything was great, probably because it was a reflex to do so. In reality, we needed assistance with the air conditioning.
Ask a general question, receive a general answer. Ask a specific question, receive a specific answer, allowing you to customize solutions.
When you really think about it, don’t you find that members often don’t know what they don’t know? That’s why it’s so important we guide them through a discovery session for reciprocal learning.
Once we understand our new member and current member value points, and show them we are interested in helping them, then it is much easier to create relevant and impactful engagement opportunities.
Tips to help with specific discovery:
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Discovery questions uncover what is important to your member based on your organization’s benefits. Make sure your list of discovery questions has enough depth to determine the true needs of your prospect/member.
- Create a list of value-based solutions with benefit statements, to share with your members or prospects.
Feel free to email Shari for a sample discovery worksheet.