MAKING MEMBERSHP MATTER
We've all heard the expression, "The best advertising is word of mouth." In our attractions world, I would add that our members and annual pass holders are absolutely the best and most cost-effective tool for getting the word out. Many institutions and attractions have mastered this strategy, first by developing the initial relationship and then by nurturing long-term loyalty. Over time and through continued engagement with our members and pass holders, we are free to explore even deeper relationships with these individuals--donor-level memberships, volunteerism, community outreach, and even paid employment. At many institutions and attractions, success can be directly attributed to their membership and pass holder base.
Whenever I teach my BLOOM Growth Formula course to ticket sellers, I share with them my own passionate assertion--everyone who lives in the area or visits frequently enough needs to be a member. The trouble is that if you don't know where they live, you won't know who to focus your value statement toward. Here is a little of the strategy that I use:
Ask the Right Questions at the Right Time. Your ticket sellers (we call them Concierge Sales Agents) should be asking two simple questions:
Where are you visiting from?
Have you been here before?
Timing is critical too. You need to know this information right up front. Waiting until the end of the transaction to get this information does absolutely no good. Knowing whether the guest in front of you is local (or not) and comes often (or not).
Make an Effective Offer. Teach your team not to squander the information they've received in step one. The offer they make needs to be SMART--Specific, Meaningful, Actionable, Reasonable, and Timely. It does no good to offer the wrong product when you've got the right information.
Deliver with Passion. Great offers are delivered with enthusiastically and always balanced with honesty and full-transparency. An effective offer presents information in a way that demonstrates value, touts savings, and paints of picture of the guest's enjoyment of the product. Most importantly, the best offers are delivered from the heart and never sound canned--they are focused like a laser on satisfying the needs of the specific guest in front of them.
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.