Discover and Propose Ways to Get Qualified Potential Members to Join Your Club

Discover and Propose Ways to Get Qualified Potential Members to Join Your Club
 
Many clubs find it challenging to recruit new members. It no doubt is a challenge but what it comes down to is the power of persuasion and to a certain degree, selling. You might not realize it but the fact is that every day you unconsciously persuade people to do certain things, generally by showing them what's in it for them.
 
In fact, if you use these same persuasion principles and techniques to try and recruit new members, you’ll be well on your way to successfully increasing your clubs membership levels.

Be prepared 
You never know where you might meet a qualified prospective member, so it’s a good idea to always be prepared on how you want to promote Rotary to others. One of the most effective ‘sales pitches’ you can have is to be prepared with a brand positioning statement which defines what exactly your club does in one or two short sentences. Short elevator speeches, a guest invitation card, club brochures, information about Rotary events are all great essentials to be prepared with when you find yourself with someone genuinely interested and requesting more information.

 
Reflect on the primary reason you first joined
A personal story is generally very compelling. If you get a chance to communicate the value of membership to someone that connects with your story, it becomes easier to share the benefits of joining Rotary. Reflect on why you continue to remain a member of your club, what you like about being part of Rotary, how it has influenced you and how it has helped you grow as an individual. When you are able to effectively share your story with true passion, it will become easier for you to generate interest among prospective members. 
 
Listen to the prospective members
The best way to make a sale is to listen to the needs and wants of the other person and show them how you can help. Similarly, the best way to try to attract new members to your club is to listen to them and uncover their objections or concerns. If you are constantly facing objections, you have to look at what the reasons are and whether there is something that can be done to overcome these barriers. You might just hear reasons such as “I don’t have the money” or “I don’t have the time”. Instead of dismissing these as excuses, provide more information and counter the reasons given with information about the different types of member status (honorary) or with the attendance statistics required. The point is not to pester the prospective member and negate their excuses/reasons but it is to educate them more and then give them a chance to further think about the idea of joining. 
 
Learn from the objections
The best way to attract new members is to learn from the reasons why people aren’t joining and then address those concerns. If you find that the majority of people are unable to attend meetings at a certain time or at a certain location, try to see if your club can address those concerns. If you find that high membership costs are a trending reason for potential members not joining, think of solutions to address that. By showing prospective members that their concerns are taken seriously, you portray your club to be welcoming and caring – something that the prospective member will feel proud to be a part of. 
 
Follow up with prospective members
Following up with prospective members will make them feel desired and important and will give you an opportunity to remind them of their interest in the club. Generally you have to reinforce and reiterate the benefits of joining the club at least once to keep the idea of joining Rotary fresh in people’s minds. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of recruitment, but the first year is crucial to cementing the member into the club and getting them involved, so that they stay for the long-term.
  
Adapted from the Asme Unit Leadership Resource Center
 
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