Finding the Right Words to Sell Your Membership

Mar 23, 2021

One of the things that can make membership challenging to “sell” is the fact that you literally have to sell it over-and-over-and over, every time someone renews – unlike when someone makes a one-time purchase.

Oh sure, with the one-time purchase, the seller absolutely has to convince the buyer that the purchase holds value and the seller may certainly want to see repeat business come from that purchase.  However, it’s still fundamentally different from creating an experiential membership relationship that requires ongoing tending and evolution over time.

That’s why the words that we use to describe what we’re providing to members are so very important.

I really liked the exercise that Alyson Lex suggested during this week’s podcast interview where you keep asking a series of “why” questions in order to get to the central core of what members *really* want.

Another really quick test that I often use when I’m looking at a client’s site is the “so that” frame.  When an organization lists their member benefits, is the “so that” obvious?

For example…

  • We provide 12 networking meetings per year… SO THAT…
  • We offer 30 continuing education units… SO THAT…
  • We host the largest conference in the industry… SO THAT…
  • We advocate for legislative change… SO THAT…

If the “so that” part isn’t obvious, then you’re missing a great opportunity to frame up the value in what you do.

Now, I’m not saying that you literally have to say “SO THAT” after every benefit, but it’s a good test to see if any value statements are coming through to someone who is reading your brochure or browsing your website.

You can catch my interview with Alyson Lex here.

A New Resource for You

Do you know what makes the difference between a member who stays and a member who goes?

It’s all the little things that happen along the way as they are on their journey with you!  

In a brand new resource that I’ve created just for you, I’ve taken the 8 stages of member experience that I’m always talking about and have broken that down even further into 25 specific touchpoints where WHAT you do and HOW you do it actually matters.

These 25 touchpoints give you a way of weaving value into the member’s experience with your organization. The really awesome part is that you don’t HAVE to do all 25. Even bumping up your approach on one or two can make a noticeable difference.

Want to get this new list?  Just go to to instantly download.  It’s totally free.

Hey there.  I’m Joy Duling, Founder and CEO of The Joy of Membership.

Clients hire me to help them design and deliver exceptional member experiences. If you lead an association, trade group, or membership-based nonprofit, you can find FREE resources to help you run and grow your membership organization by visiting here:

I look forward to connecting with you there.