The membership sales process is the process of actually converting a prospect into a member. It includes when a salesperson makes outbound calls into the prospect pool, or when a prospect has called into the association for more information or in response to a direct mail offer.
When this contact is made the leads should enter a formal follow up (sales) process which will generally involve regular contact being maintained with the prospect until they have either joined or deferred joining. If they defer joining for a set period, they should be flagged for follow-up at the end of that period.
If the salesperson cannot convert the lead into a membership then that prospect should go into your prospect relationship management process with the view that, through further building of that relationship, the prospect will join later.
With a good prospect relationship management process in place your membership salesperson will always have a pool of warm leads to draw from for membership campaigns.
Associations who perform best in recruiting new members tend to combine the following:
Passive member recruitment - Long term initiatives put in place to generate an ongoing baseline of membership. Eg: you may place brochures in locations where there is a lot of foot traffic from prospective members – and keep then regularly replenished.
Active member recruitment - Active member recruitment are short, medium and long term programs where you actively encourage people to join. Eg: you may undertake a marketing campaign to a lapsed member database to reactivate those members who may wish to rejoin.