When selling membership, the fee you charge is not the most important factor. Instead it is the value the membership fee represents and how effectively that value is communicated.
Many associations struggle to articulate the true value of membership because it is generally intangible and therefore somewhat challenging to explain. So people default to speaking about the tangible aspects of the membership. Unfortunately, these are generally just features of membership (E.g. websites, magazines, events) which aren’t very compelling without being put into the context of a value proposition.
A prospective member is not making a donation to the organisation. They are making an investment. To get them to join you need to start the conversation by articulating how the member will realise a successful return on their investment. Some broad examples of how you might begin include:
For a business owner seeking to join an industry or professional association – When you join our association you are making an investment into the success of your business. By joining us you will increase your opportunities to generate new business, reduce your expenses, raise your profile, and gain a competitive advantage over those who aren’t members.
For an individual joining a professional association – When you join our association you are making an investment into the success of your career. We will provide you with the tools, skills and networks to help fast track your way up the career and salary ladder. As a member you can access opportunities to raise your profile, reduce your outgoings and advance your career that simply aren’t readily available to non-members.
The most compelling value statements are highly targeted towards the specific member segment you are communicating with. For example, a student entering into a new career may be focused on ensuring they get the information and support to get the best possible start in their career. However, someone nearing retirement may be more interested in legacy building and succession planning.