Monday, March 18, 2013

Association executives and member recruiters can benefit from the Quiet Art of the Ask

In today’s world of telemarketing, unsolicited sales emails and other interruptions, it is sometimes nice to be engaged with a more subtle approach.Associations can benefit from these examples when recruiting or renewing members.
The other day, we received a simple letter from our chiropractor.

It opens:
  • “Spring is almost here! Warmer weather brings golf, gardening and home projects. Please take caution with your weekend warrior activities and remember the tips and stretches we discussed at your most receive appointment.”

It continued:

  • “If you or a friend strain a muscle or joint, don’t fret. The proper use of ice (pain), moist heat (stiff/sore), along with stretching can usually prevent a trip to our office.”
It closed with s subtle ask:
  • “Should the pain linger for more than a couple of days, or if the pain in that shoulder, knee or back is getting worse, I suggest a call to our office.”
Think about this subtle approach in terms of your association members or prospects:

  • Notice the chiropractor timed this letter with the advent of more exercise and likelihood of more injuries.
  • When do you time your recruitment and retention appeals? Do you work it to fit your schedule? Or, find a timing that “hooks” with your members/prospects?
  • Notice how the chiropractor first gives you tips to “prevent a trip to our office.”
  • Can your association offer tips or suggestions that the prospect can implement without joining? 
Quiet Ask:
  • Again, the chiropractor gives suggestions to avoid an office visit but closes with the ask to visit the office if your pain continues.
And, does your association go for a quiet ask that alerts non-renewing members or prospects and when they should call to join?

The same day that this letter arrived, Social Fish’s Maddie Grant tweeted this video on the quiet ask.  

Maddie’s note: “Watch this brilliant TED talk by musician Amanda Palmer. Her experience as a musician, building fleeting yet deep connections with thousands of people through her music, which she then replicates online, will blow your mind – and show how all of us in our own way can do the same if we think about the “ask” in the right way.”A couple of key messages I heard from Amanda:

  • “I didn’t make them, I asked them.”
  • “Twitter offers unbelievable magic ... I can ask anything and get it.”
  • “Reaching out is not about risk it’s about trust”
Perhaps it’s time for you to review the timing and character of your membership recruitment and retention materials. Be sure they are written and timed with your prospects in mind.

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