If you are a prospective member who expects to get mega business or an immediate return as soon as you join, you might be a little disappointed. Like most worthwhile things in life, it doesn't just happen overnight. Shaping your own career took time and nurturing; so did developing your client base. The rules don't change at the builders association: it still takes an investment of time and patience to reap the rewards of membership. However, you can maximize the return on your dues investment and achieve your business goals through the association, if you follow a few steps for success:
1. Clearly define your goals. What is it that you want from your membership? Increased sales, an enhanced image, greater credibility and visibility? Clarifying what you want will help you achieve your goals.
2. Identify your potential customers. Which specific types of businesses should you target? Are there builder and associate members who may need your product and/or services?
3. Develop a list of your customers' biggest concerns. Consider what keeps them awake at 2:00 am. Focus on building long-term business relationships.
4. Determine your role in supporting the needs of your potential customers. Compare your goals to your customer's needs to determine how you can meet their needs. Look for common bonds.
5. Identify association activities for involvement. Which areas will give you the most exposure to your target customers? Where can you work side-by-side with your potential clients to develop a trusting relationship?
6. Identify your level of commitment. How much time or what kind of service can you afford to give your association and potential customers? Decide what you can commit to, then keep your commitments. Demonstrating your ability to follow-through is important when working with potential customers.
7. Get involved! Volunteer your time, talent, or expertise to an association project. Join a committee or sponsor an event. Attend general membership meetings and/or special events regularly. Build your business by building relationships.
8. Mind your manners. Be subtle in your approach to your fellow members at meetings. Attend and participate, but don't try too hard to sell anyone.
9. Stay on top of industry news, techniques and trends. Read your local, state and national newsletters and publications and share the information with your potential clients. They'll appreciate the time and cost saving updates.
10. Refer other members to a new client. Everyone loves new business!