The Secrets to Selling to National Associations

One of the best opportunities in the speaking business can be presenting at national associations. They can be challenging to obtain as well as frustrating, but worth the work.

Everyone in the audience may be a prospect for your presentation, products, and ancillary services. If your target market, association business can add real momentum to your sales and marketing.

You can always Google and find associations in your target, you can even buy into lists. Note: you don’t have to buy into an association list to find prospects. In fact, I suggest you save your money and search online.

I call my approach to selling to associations the “Backdoor Method”. Here’s my process. Ask each private corporate client or business what associations they belong to. You’ll be amazed. Most belong to several associations. If you’re a fit for your client, you’ll be a fit for their association. Here’s how to do the “Backdoor Method”.

  • After every program, ask your client what associations they belong to.
  • Ask if your contact if they would be willing to be an advocate for you and email information directly to the association program committee. By information, I mean the information that you would send to a committee. Typically this would be a great one sheet, bio, high-resolution photo and a link to some video of you speaking.
  • Ask your advocate to share that you recently worked with them and did a great job and would like the committee to consider giving you a slot at their annual meeting.
  • See if there is anyone you should follow up with. Note: typically there isn’t. This is why this market can be frustrating. If they’re interested or need more information, they’ll let you know. If they aren’t interested you’ll hear nothing. Further, if you want to be considered the following year you need to do this exercise all over again since they get rid of information each year.

Of course, there are other ways to approach national associations. See my blog post, “Let’s Play the Association Game”. 

I hope you’ll give the Backdoor Method a try. Let me know how it works for you!

Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and fully monetize their intellectual property! She can be reached in the following ways:

Twitter: @loiscreamer
Phone: 314-374-4007
For more information on Lois’ business check out as well as!
Sign up so you don’t miss a blog post at