Wednesday, November 29
A Growing Global Community

The Value of Association Membership

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By Michelle Blair, RFCmichelle-blair-color

To many people, belonging to an Association like the IARFC, is a door opener in a conversation with a prospect or a new acquaintance.  Whether they are familiar with the group or not, just knowing that you are part of something bigger than yourself, gives them a stronger sense of confidence in you.  Most people are members of more than one organization, association or professional group.

The value of these groups needs to be part of your presentation and your membership signage should be proudly displayed.  When you walk into a doctor’s office — what is the first thing you do?  You look on the wall and read the diplomas and certifications!  Representing yourself as a true professional by participating in local, national and international Associations will further cement your expertise to your prospect or client.

Every RFC has a beautiful certification to hang on their wall to demonstrate their acceptance in a well-respected and International Association.  The recent introduction of the MRFC exam gives you the opportunity to further express your expertise. When the MRFC designation becomes accredited, each MRFC will receive a Master Registered Financial Consultant certificate.  Once it is framed and displayed in your meeting room, the value of your IARFC membership will be further enhanced.

If a possible client wants to “check you out”, they will go to your company website, LinkedIn and/or Google for information.  Why not list your memberships on those sites as well as on your business card? Be proud of the strides that you have made and view your memberships as the way you can express to your clients the new and innovative things you are learning about the industry.  Most Associations offer educational literature designed to assist you in better approaching your possible target market.  This allows you to explain your qualifications verbally, but gives them something to take home and read over.  At the IARFC, they have professionally laid out literature designed to be distributed for consumer use.  The style of writing generates a feel of professionalism for you and the Association that stands behind you.  Brochures listing The Code of Ethics, The Requirements to be an IARFC member, and clear explanations of why a person would need a Professional Financial Advisor are available for you through IARFC.

Today everyone runs to the Internet to do their research prior to making the decision as to whether to become your client or not.  Make sure that your profile is accurate and up to date.  Old company information or email addresses show that you are not actively maintaining your online image.  I have learned from the organizations that I belong to that it is critical to become the go to person when someone is looking for information.

If you don’t have the answer, and many times you won’t, being a member of those respected Associations, gives you the opportunity to recommend someone with confidence because you have built a relationship with them.  Use your memberships to actively promote your networking and become a resource to your client or prospect.  They will appreciate your referral and you will feel comfortable in giving it.

The bottom line is to take advantage of your connections within an Association and participate in the variety of opportunities they offer to their membership.


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