The Secret to Selling Association Advocacy…

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03/16/2016

IStock/Credit:mj0007


Selling advocacy is essential to the growth of your association, but your scripting might need an overhaul. Here’s the old sales pitch: “We are the voice of your industry so you should join our association.” I’m here to tell you, this line just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Today, selling advocacy requires a more focused and strategic approach. For example, your members have specific problems. It’s a regulation recently issued in California they don’t understand nor the long-term implications for their company. Another member has a problem with a piece of legislation, which will increase their cost of doing business. For example, for some organizations, it’s the prospect of a higher minimum wage being passed. Whether the perceived impact is real – as an association, you need to sell those members on the fact you have the data to back their concerns and effectively influence on their behalf.
If I have a member who believes increasing the minimum wage is going to put them out of business, I believe them because they know more about their business than I do – or, the lawmakers. So, listen to your members and advocate based on your belief that they KNOW what’s right for their business.
The companies seeking representation today are those that have a problem and don’t have the bandwidth, understanding, awareness – nor the expertise to combat a pending piece of legislation, which could force their products off the shelves. They desperately need specialists to help interpret what is happening for them.
So, when that member presents with an advocacy challenge – pledge to fix it with great government relations and communicate the specific impact on their business. That’s how you discuss ROI and sell government relations expertise.

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