Membership Building and Retention
We have shared several articles on membership building and retention. We think we can talk more about it. With all the tips that you have seen and read, there is one thing in common. It is the focus on WIIFM – What’s in it for them (or me in the guests’ viewpoint)? Let us take a few of those tips starting with these below:
- Welcome guests warmly
- Schedule educational speeches
Welcome guests warmly
We know we need to do this; however, we have seen clubs busy talking to each other before the meeting and forget to acknowledge and give attention to the guests. Sometimes we let some members talk at length during that period and somehow turn off guests. It is the first WIIFM gauge that guests typically scrutinize. It may not be happening in your club, but we feel this is an excellent reminder. I have seen work well is having a greeter where the primary goal is to make sure they greet the guests when they join the meeting. Dynamically Speaking club has done this very well and it made all guests feel they were given enough attention and felt very welcome.
Schedule educational speeches
We have seen that most clubs are sometimes missing a prepared speech and hence focus only on Table Topics. Some clubs, dedicated to Pathways, schedule prepared speeches, which is excellent, and guests and members get a better experience. However, some expect to get more for their bucks. What can they learn aside from practicing their impromptu speaking or hearing feedback? Most of them are looking for more. We find that educational speeches are what attract more people. From the basics like “How to write a speech”, to “Where to get ideas to write a speech”, or “How to write a conclusion” – much like from TI’s former “Better Speaker Series” speeches-to more advanced topics such as “How to resolve conflicts”, “How to handle criticism”, “How to improve in small talk”, and “How to prepare for an interview”, these type of speeches will keep guests and members interested and engaged. In our experience, you get the highest WIIFM points by scheduling educational speeches like this at least once a month. I have applied this in my home club myself and I have seen how our members appreciated it.
Borrowing from Mark Twain, his quote, “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.” Tweaking or adjusting a notch in our ways can make a huge difference. But, being open to that adjustment is the first step and can be the most praiseworthy transition we need, the most meritorious shift we deserve, and the most commendable transformation the club requires to gain that much-needed WIIFM points.
District 42 Club Growth Director