Association Sales for the Non-Salesperson

By Kaitlin Borowiak

I recently sat down with American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives CEO Addy Kujawa, CAE, about sales and what she has learned from her ten years of selling for AAOE and taking their conference sponsorships from $30,000 to over $300,000 each year. Here are her top 5 tips to selling for your organization.

  1. Make it a win-win-win situation. Are the vendors winning in this pitch? The association? The members? Everyone needs to win to make this a situation that will be valuable and successful to all of those involved. If it’s not a win situation, how can you make it one? Think about what makes your pitch unique and how it can offer value.

  2. Build a relationship. The more you know your vendor base, the more successful you will be in selling to them. Keep in mind: you are helping them reach members and stay within their budget and this opportunity needs to be beneficial for both parties. The better you know your vendors, the better you will be able to fit them with opportunities that suit their preferences. If you don’t know, ask!

  3. Always Customize. Customization takes time and getting to know your vendors. What does the company excel in? What can they offer your member? How do they want to interact with the members of your organization? Offer them multiple ways to engage with members. If you can cater a sales pitch toward these common goals, it will be a situation that everyone is excited about.

  4. Offer multiple price points. If you are pitching to a new vendor, or an organization with a smaller budget, it is important to offer a low entry point for them to enter your market. And always have something they can do for no monetary investment. For example, can you offer them the opportunity to write an educational article in your newsletter? This gives them exposure to your membership, provides value to your membership, and they didn’t have to pay to place the article and you didn’t have to pay someone to write content.

  5. It’s all about attitude. Not everyone likes sales, and that’s ok.  I learned I needed to be able to hear someone say ‘no’ ten times for every ‘yes’ I heard. Don’t let the ‘no’ get you down! Think, that’s one step closer to my next ‘yes’!  Smile while you’re on the phone, act confidently, stand up while you’re talking, and truly listen to your vendors. Finally, always remember to say thank you- even for that no. 
Share this post:

Comments on "Association Sales for the Non-Salesperson"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment