To grow your association business you would be wise to spend 30 minutes a day on LinkedIn connecting with association executives and staff. Sometimes a LinkedIn direct message is the only way to get through. It is really quite easy if you are connected to someone that has a large association LinkedIn network like me.
When I present at chapter meetings of the National Speakers Association and when I host my two-day “Selling to Associations Intensives,” I always tell the attendees to connect with me on LinkedIn which will give them second degree access to thousands of association executives and staff. This is truly a no-brainer!
If you pay for the Premium version of LinkedIn and have access the number of second degree connections, that being connected to me gives you, you can grow your association executive connections exponentially. This makes selling to these executives much easier. The paid Premium version of LinkedIn simply allows a greater number (per-month) of searches which is necessary.
I use the “all filters” mechanism to do my searches. Put in the industry “non-profit” and put in the job title “CEO” or “Executive Director” and you’ll be amazed how many association executives appears in the search that you will be second degree connection. To connect to even more association staff like director of communications and others, simply fill the executive director’s or CEO’s association name into the standard (top left) LinkedIn search box. Then when the company’s page (not group) comes up, click on it. When at that page, click on the “company employees” and you’ll see how many you are already second degree to and connect with them—using your pre-written standard request to connect.
I have a standard request to connect (for second degree connections) in a Word Doc that I simply cut and paste. I always type their first name in to personalize it:
I’d appreciate connecting with you. I’m the CEO of a small non-profit & the author of several books including “The ROI of Membership” & “Developing Strategic Alliances”. Growing our connections, I believe, will be mutually beneficial. Thanks, Ed Rigsbee, CAE
After the association person connects with me I follow up with:
Thanks so much for the connection. If I can ever be a resource, please let me know what I can do for you.
If you are interested, and/or would like to share access with your board… articles adapted from my book, “The ROI of Membership” are available at http://rigsbee.com/articles/association-growth/ and articles from my several books on developing strategic alliances are available at https://rigsbee.com/articles/strategic-alliance-success/
Please feel free to help yourself for personal use or publication.
And, if you ever need a speaker on the topics…please keep me in mind. All the best, Ed Rigsbee, CAE
The key is to notice that I’m not directly selling but rather making relationship bank deposits and the very last line above is a soft-sell letting them know I’m a speaker. From this point on, I have several different strategies based on a number of factors. However, this method should give you a jump-start and is to be used in conjunction with my telephone calling strategy—not in replacement of calling.