Why Share the Wealth through Membership Recruitment?

This past weekend, I was in Chicago doing some membership presentations and spoke with members of one group who asked, “Why should I recruit members for the organization? Aren’t I just helping my competition?”

I appreciated the honest question. Here is how I answer the question, but please feel to share your perspective.

I can think of at least six reasons to invite others to be members.

1. A competitor’s ability to find out about membership and the products and services behind them is only a click away on their computer. It is not as secret as one might think.

2. A competitor having membership information is much less important than that competitor’s ability to execution on what they have learned. Win on your ability to execute not on simply knowing something.

3. No matter how sophisticated or unsophisticated a fellow member, there is still something to learn from them through interaction as members. Ultimately, you will learn and grow from the interaction.

4. A bigger and better membership organization benefits everyone since it enables the funding and development of more services and resources for all members.

5. A bigger and better organization helps heighten the image and awareness for the entire industry.

6. Helping a competitor by sharing membership may result in an acquisition, new employee, or referral in the future for you.

Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section.


Scott Oser said...

Hi Tony,

I always look at the topic of "helping" competitors a little differently than most. My feeling is that if you are confident that you are doing everything you can to be unique and provide great value to your customers, members, etc. then you should not have to worry about having your competitors in the same room as you. If you are a smart company that understands your strengths and your markets and provides value to "customers" that they cannot easily find elsewhere you should not feel threatened by having your competitors in the same places your are. In many ways you should be happy that they are there, too, since it will point out their weaknesses and highlight your strengths.

Talk to you soon.


Tony Rossell said...

Scott -- Very helpful comment. I agree with you. However, with the group that I spoke to last month, this seemed to be a real challenge in getting member companies involved in recruiting other new member companies. Tony