Associations & Societies Deliver Value But They Do Not Know How Much Ed Rigsbee says, “Most trade associations and professional societies deliver quite a bit of value to their members but few actually have any idea just how much value they do deliver.” Today’s members are demanding a return on their membership investment dollars, they want member ROI. Ed Rigsbee, CSP, CAE, helps associations and societies to determine the yearly sustainable, real-dollar value that they deliver to their membership, allowing an actual ROI number to be determined.

Member recruitment is not what it once was. Guilt is not much of a motivator in today’s world. In this new order of things, you the association or society executive must embrace the idea that member recruitment is no longer the exclusive responsibility of your membership department. Today, membership is everybody’s business. Yes, it is the business of all your staff, volunteer leaders and members at large. Everyone must pitch in.

Value! Everybody buys looking at price, quality, and surface. Back when I got into selling in 1974 I was told; price, quality, service—pick any two. Today people say price, quality, service…I’ll take all three, thank you. And, if you can’t give me all three, somebody else will.
The value of membership in your organization is the value that must be delivered. To you, I guess we can even see the reason here to pay the price. You’ve got to get the quality and the service. I would say that probably everybody that is attended this conference would say, “No sweat we get plenty of quality and service it’s worth the price.” You’re here, you’ve experienced it.

You know the value, but what about those, that aren’t here. What about the people that have never experienced this event? They don’t understand the quality and the service for the price. They don’t understand the value—that’s where we mentally need to go when you leave. What are you going to talk about when you go back? What are you going to tell people that you learned here in Nashville? You’re going to talk breaking through barriers, how to push it up and how to implement ideas.

What I teach is relationships; I try to teach people how to get along. I teach strategic alliances. If we are going to have a strategic alliance here this morning, we’re going to deal with member value…and when we’re done, we don’t need the strategic alliance anymore. We can move on but I need to get you close to having some kind of a relationship with me where you’re willing to work with me when I do my upcoming programs on outrageously successful relationships. I give four tips but today, I’m only going to give you one important tip…it’s a lot more important to focus on getting things done than to obsess on being right.

Pretty soon you’re going to understand what I’m talking about. Now what I need you to do is just think for a moment of the last time you had an argument with somebody could have been at home could have been at work could have been an employer, employee, spouse, sibling, or parent— see that person in your mind’s eye. See that person with their behavior in this argument, you see it? Yeah!

Back in the 80s there’s a husband and wife team doctors Jordan Margaret Paul who wrote a book about relationships now when I tell you the title of the book I got to promise me you will not close down. The title of the book was, “Do I have to Give up Me to be Loved by You?”

The crux of this book for me was, in times of conflict we operate from one of two places we operate from excuse me, I’m right…or we operate from, I don’t understand this person but I’m trying to learn. What I’d like you to do for me is tell me, and we’re all going to do this in unison so nobody’s embarrassed…I want you to tell me, in that argument that you were just thinking about…were you operating from, “Excuse me I’m right” or were you operating from, “I’m trying to learn?” On the count of three, so nobody’s embarrassed, you’re going to say “I’m right” or “trying to learn.” Most of you said, “I’m right” and for the one or two of you that said “I’m trying to learn.” I humbly submit to you: if you are trying to learn how could you have had that argument?

Today, I’m looking for everybody to be in the “I’m trying to learn” place because what we’re going to be doing in just a bit is a little difficult it.

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