Membership 101: Lead Generation

Vulcans making first contact

Where does the membership relationship start?

It begins with lead generation.

People who might want to become members of your association have to find out that you exist.

Lead generation is first contact (and please tell me that somebody gets the reference in the photo accompanying this post so that I’m not the only nerd out here all by myself).

You are going to have to connect with a bunch of different people in order to find the ones who are the right match. Not everyone is a good candidate for membership.

It’s a lot like dating. To be more precise, online dating.

You need to throw a LOT of winks out there to produce several good online chats to produce a handful of great phone conversations to produce a few amazing dates to find someone you might want to spend a few months – or the rest of your life – with.

If you think of membership merely as a transaction, X dollars for Y services, then yes, you’ll probably have a lot of Mr. Rights. But those relationships will be shallow, without much commitment on either side, and thus easy to walk away from if the situation changes, for instance, if his employer stops paying his dues. “Eh, it was nice to have when it didn’t require anything of me, but now that I have to invest something, forget it.” Churn is the membership association equivalent of a booty call.

I’m urging you to think of membership as a real, deep, two-way, equal relationship. Just because someone is in or aligned with your profession or industry does not automatically mean she’s a good prospect for that type of membership relationship.

She might not be ready for or capable of that level of commitment. He might be looking for solutions to problems that you can’t reasonably provide. She might not really be into you, leading to a relationship that requires more investment of resources to maintain than it’s worth. He might have goals that contradict your mission.

Hold out for Mr. or Ms. Right. You do not want to be a booty call.

How do you do that? That will be the topic of the next post.

Image found here.

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