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News: Associations News

How to make money in 2018

05 January 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Katie Spackman
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Leading an Association is challenging and will continue to be so going into 2018. However, there is a way to make it more fun. And that is by making money. Before you stop reading, let me be clear. It's not making money itself that's fun. What makes it fun is how you go about it. And what you can do with it as a result. The money is just the transport. However, as Trainer and Coach John Scarrott explains, there is a way to make it more fun. And that is by making money. 

If you're still with me I want to introduce Gregoire Pavillon, Executive Director and Governing Board Member at European Association for Study of the Liver. Gregoire shared his experience with me of how he grew his Association's bank account from 9m to 24m Euros. What he achieved and how he did it is available to anyone. I believe that if you follow his simple (but not easy) path, you will raise your chances of being more successful at making money. And open up major doors for your Association in 2018.

Listening to Gregoire, there seemed to be three key steps to his success: 

1. Remembering what you believe in, will make you money
Do you know what you believe in? When was the last time you said it? Explained it aloud? Or are you trapped in spreadsheet, meeting and email hell? Some people believe sales is either in your DNA or not. I don't believe this. Gregoire is a great sales person for his cause but he couldn't sell cars. He is a great sales person because in his heart, he believes in what he is doing. And he knows why he is doing it. And he has connected to that deeply and consciously. And when you do that, it doesn't feel like selling. But a sale is what you get. 

2. Free yourself from money assumptions 
Many associations start with a belief that 'it's hard to get money'. This is true. It's what they do next that is crucial.  Some say 'so we'll give up.' They then nail that down with 'they don't want to hear from us.' Not Gregoire. He said: 'It just appears to be hard. We'll go to see them. We'll increase our effort and energy.' And it turned out they did want to hear from him. And they returned his time and effort and a conversation evolved.   

3. Be a person speaking with another person 
Getting money is not a science. It's about a willingness to make a one to one connection. Gregoire's mood drives him to do this. 'It is one of feeling responsible for members and to enhance collaboration.'  And 'being brave enough to share and be transparent.' He explained that on one occasion he worked with a client for 7 hours. At the end of the meeting he left with a sizable grant for his Association. And the company had given this unrestricted grant. They were not hoping for anything in return. It wasn't linked to anything. Through their interaction together, they created a belief they could work hand in hand with each other. 

If you like the sound of this, 'making money for your Association without feeling like you're selling your soul' idea. Here are three ways to get you moving in Gregoire's direction. 

1. Find your purpose
Search for it actively. Examine it and share it. This allows you to take it deep inside you. Gregoire is not a scientist. He does not know anyone who has liver disease. It does not matter what your background is as long as you know your purpose. We are more flexible than we think. 

2. Reconnect your people with their why 
It's easy to forget why we do what we do. Why do your people come into work? When was the last time you asked them and listened to their reply? Help them to reconnect and to stay connected to what's important for them, personally about what they do. 

3. Find and explore your stories 
What stories are you telling yourself as an Association? What assumptions are you making? Look at the behaviour within your Association. What does it say about you? How are your stories serving you and what are you missing out on because of them? How could you change them, just a little and what would that open up? 

The Associations that find their own way to their answers are a very rare and special breed. Sometimes it takes them a long time. Sometimes asking yourself the right questions can speed you along. Once it's out of your head and into the world it becomes reality. And even better, you could employ a coach to ask you, listen and play back to your answers. The ultimate mirror! Find your answers to these questions and start on the road to making 2018 your most successful yet.

Thanks to Gregoire Pavillon for sharing his experience and inspiring this article.

This article was contributed by John Scarrott, former Membership Director for the Design Business Association.

John is a Trainer and Coach working in partnership with Associations in the areas of sales, speaking and presenting and networking. He is the Presentation skills trainer for the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. If you would like to arrange an open discussion with John, drop him an email to
“John has been an excellent speaker and workshop tutor, with a lot of care to delivering ROI for delegates, and the best scores of all the speakers. His diligence and ideas are much appreciated by our delegates.” Damian Hutt Executive Director Association of Association Executives.


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