Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Give Them a Taste

For several years, our membership committee has hosted “recruiting lunches” to introduce prospective members to the benefits of membership in the Virginia Council of CEOs. I knew we were not converting these prospects at a very high rate, and we needed to to something differently.

I called on one of the smartest people I know, Steve Kimball of Tuscan Advisors. Steve is an expert on growth strategy, and he did not disappoint. Steve said, “they need to taste the ‘secret sauce’!” The secret sauce in VACEOs is of course, the CEO Roundtable. It is why CEOs join, and it how they make meaningful connections with peers, find trusted advisors and learn from one another.

So, instead of our next recruiting lunch (blah, blah, blah), we invited prospects to a “Live Roundtable Experience.” I gave them four minutes of overview on the Council and we dove into an abbreviated Roundtable session. Everyone there gave an update/introduction and we chose one issue to present. The CEO presented his issue and everyone present shared their experiences around the issue. Powerful.

Two immediate indications of the success of giving them a taste:
1. Half of the prospects present applied for membership.
2. People connected. No one left in a hurry when the meeting adjourned and there was lots of telephone and email traffic among the participants following the meeting.

No doubt we will continue to “give them a taste” instead of the old blah, blah, blah!

How can you give prospects a taste of your “secret sauce”?

Posted by Scot McRoberts at 3:40 pm

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