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News: Associations News

What personal qualities sell an Association?

09 May 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Olivia Palmer
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If I asked you to name the top 10 qualities required to sell your Association, what would you say?

Last week, at the Associations World Congress in Vienna I worked with a group of twenty Association professionals to discuss this question.

I gave them 20 qualities and asked them to come up with their top 10 and then rank them.

Which four came out on top?

Here were the four that all 20 agreed were their top qualities*:

Listener, Confidence, Passion and Clarity

What do you see when you look at these? What thoughts come to mind, about you, about your team and your Association?

Here are three ideas that came up for me about these qualities:

Associations are well placed to listen:
The above qualities seem very suited to make the best of the inherent qualities built into an Association. There’s a balance of energy and considerateness to them. The best sales people listen well. And they listen before they speak. And then they speak well and clearly. Associations are in a good position to listen because they are at the centre of their sector.

It takes confidence to stay quiet: It takes more confidence to listen than it does to speak. Why might this be? Well, in sales we may assume the speaker is the one in control. So if we’re not speaking, we feel we’re not in control. But in truth, it takes more confidence to ask a question and be genuinely interested in the response. Giving someone ‘a good listening to’ is tougher than we think. It takes control to pause and really take in what the other person is saying. It takes confidence to ignore that little voice that might be saying ‘you need to be talking.’

Passion and clarity go hand in hand:
Passion and clarity work together in listening and speaking. When it comes to listening, you can find someone else’s passion and ask them what it means to them. Thus you help them get clear on what they believe and value. When it’s your turn to speak, clarity brings focus to your passion. And passion without clarity does not work, it’s a mess. And neither does clarity without passion, it’s too cold and logical.

All of these qualities can be developed and learned. If you have a little of them in your Association to begin with, this is a great foundation to work on and develop. What more can you do to develop, encourage and harness these qualities and the energy that exists within your Association to create more of what you want?

John Scarrott is a Trainer and Coach. He works with Associations and their members in areas of interpersonal communication that include selling and negotiating, meetings and presentations, speaking and thought leadership and networking. Find him at *The full list in order of priority for the group: Listener, Confidence, Passion, Clarity, Curiousity, People person, Flexibility, Imaginative, Money motivated, Rapport builder, Openness and Empathy 

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