Association Vendors: How to Win More Business.

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09/14/2012

a-flag-2Recently, I have had the opportunity to respond to an RFP and have watched association suppliers do the same.  If you want to conduct business with associations, here are a few tips to help you win.
1. Have the execution team with you.  Too many firms show up to pitch business and don’t bring the person responsible for executing the project.  A big part of the process is getting familiar with your team.  Bring project managers or technicians with you.  And, if you’re afraid to do so…well, you might need some new people.
2. Represent sound methodology, accompanied by a creative component.  Associations have not been the hotbed for innovation and risk.  However, more than ever before, these organizations are looking for ideas out of the box.  Bring something new that leverages your expertise.  Differentiate.
3. Tell stories.  Associations have a great appetite for learning about how you helped similar organizations.  Describe the results, not just the project.  Be careful mixing professional societies and trade association examples.  Your prospective clients likely see them as totally different businesses.
4. Bring energy to the game.  For cryin’ out loud, get excited about the prospects of your partnership.  I’m surprised how often the presentation of proposal just drones on.  Let’s add some fun and surprise to your presentation!
Finally, consider getting advice from specialists who have sold and worked for associations.  The perspective from this type of pro could make a difference.

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