Do your association members consider you a vendor or a partner?

Posted by Kelly Sutter on Feb 14, 2012 7:50:00 PM

Consider these two definitions:

Vendor- one that sells

Partner- a person who shares in a mutually beneficial relationship

So, do your members consider you a partner? Would it have a positive impact on your chamber of commerce or association if more of your members thought of you as a partner? If you invested more in your members’ success, would your association become more successful?  

If your goal is just to increase membership or bring in more revenue for your association, you might find some successes initially. Setting goals is often half the battle. But, if you really want to create more member value, retain more of your members, and attract more new members to your association in the long term, a partnered relationship is essential.

Here are a few tips for establishing a partnered approach:

·         Ask questions. Understand the goals of your members. Then make recommendations based on what you’ve learned.

·         Set expectations. When associations and their members have mutual, agreed upon, goals and expectations, both are happier.

·         Open communication. Be honest and available. Listen, learn, and improve. Communicate in the method they prefer.

·         Personal relationships. Get to know your members on a deeper level. And make sure you connect often, not just when you need something or membership dues are up for renewal.


At WebLink, we are always working to enhance our association membership software, along with relationships and partnerships with our clients. We also help facilitate our clients' partnered relationships - through our member management software.

We love hearing from our clients about what is working for them. View the video below and hear directly from some of our clients about how our association software and partnered approach has worked for their chamber of commerce.

Topics: Association Marketing Strategy