“OVERCOMING THE REAL OBSTACLES TO MEMBERSHIP GROWTH” by PDG Russ O’MalleyDistrict 9600 Membership Chairman 2008/09
Obstacle1.Our Club, Club spirit and Club environmentDo we have a strong Club?
A ‘LOOK IN THE MIRROR’ EXERCISEQuestions to ask ourselves • Am I enjoying Rotary? Why? If not, why not? • Am I proud to be a member of my Club? • How pleased am I that someone introduced me to Rotary? • Is my Club delivering to me what I want as a member?
▪ Does my Club ever ask me what I want?▪ How appealing is my Club to guests, visitors and prospective members? What sort of impression do they get? ▪ Is my Club a respected moving force in the community, or is it just a Club that meets and eats?▪ Are weekly meetings significant?▪ Do we enjoy good fellowship?▪ Do we get things done and have fun doing them?
▪ Is my Club one that prospective members would want to join? If not, why not?▪ Has my Club lost new members early? Why did this happen?▪Do we adequately involve new members in Club activities and genuinely make them feel welcome?▪ How much does our community know of our Club and the work we do?
“ Membership comes down to one simple statement. Strong Clubs lead to a strong Rotary. Without strong Clubs, no amount of recruitment and retention efforts will help Rotary grow.With strong Clubs, Rotary will flourish and provide another 100 years of service to the community”.Bill Boyd, President Rotary International 2006-07
Obstacle 2(a).Getting our ASK into gearOvercoming ‘Call Reluctance’
CALL RELUCTANCE • Why are we reluctant to get our ASK into gear? • Why don’t we ASK prospective members along to a meeting? • What do we say when a prospective member says: “What’s Rotary? “Why should I join Rotary?” “What’s in it for me?”
What’s Rotary?RI official definition since 1976“Rotary is an organisation of business and professional persons united worldwide who provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world”.
What’s Rotary?(My favourites)“Rotary is a global organisation of enthusiastic members in community clubs with extraordinary humanitarian programs that really make a difference”“Rotary is having fun while serving our communities and the world”“Rotary is where members enjoy fun, friendship and serve the local & international communities”
Why should I join Rotary?THE BENEFITS OF ROTARY MEMBERSHIP ▪ Friendship and Fellowship ▪ Business Development / Networking ▪ Personal Growth & Development ▪ Opportunity to serve ▪ Fun ▪ Leadership Development ▪ Continuing Education ▪ Assistance when traveling ▪ Citizenship in the world ▪ Citizenship in the community
FURTHER BENEFITS OF ROTARY MEMBERSHIP ▪ Public speaking skills ▪ Absence of an ‘official creed’ ▪ Development of social skills ▪ Vocational skills ▪ Development of Ethics ▪ Cultural Awareness ▪ Prestige ▪ Entertainment ▪ Family Programs ▪ Nice People
THE MOST POWERFUL MARKETING TOOL –TESTIMONIALS • In Rotary, we have many of them – each of us has a story to tell.
Obstacle 2(b).Getting our ASK into gearOvercoming the fear of rejection
OBJECTIONS“I would love to join but I’m too busy”“I can’t make the commitment every week”“I cannot afford the cost of being in Rotary”Ask enough people and be surprised that someone will say:“Oh yes, I’d love to, I wonder why no one asked me before…..”
Obstacle 3.RECRUITING NEW MEMBERSIs it a ‘sales process’ or simply ‘sharing a gift’?
THE ‘SALES’ PROCESS • Sound prospectingtechniques producing qualified prospects. • Well prepared, face-to-face, personal approaches to those prospects. • ‘Hot button’ selling of the benefits of joining Rotary. • Closing the sale by good follow-through to induction continuing to maintain interest; and by making the induction special and memorable. • Goodafter-sales service through comprehensive orientation, mentoring and keeping the new member informed and involved.
‘SHARING THE GIFT OF ROTARY’Perhaps you feel ‘uncomfortable’ approaching other people and ‘selling’ Rotary to them.HOW ABOUT A CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE▪ Think about how you were introduced to Rotary. Who invited you to join your club?▪ Now think about all the great people you’ve met, important projects you have contributed to, interesting places you’ve been, and the people you have helped throughout your time in Rotary.
▪ When we consider all that we have gained through our Rotary membership, we really do appreciate the person who invited us to join.▪ Perhaps then, if we focus on all of the benefits of Rotary and think of Rotary membership as a gift to be shared instead of a product to be sold, we will be more inspired to invite others to join Rotary”THE SURVIVAL OF OUR CLUBS DEPENDS ON EACH OF USSHARING THE GIFT OF ROTARYWITH OTHERS
Obstacle 4.“Do they know you’re there and that you care?”INCREASING THE VISIBILITY OF OUR ROTARY CLUBS IN OUR COMMUNITIES • Displays – taking Rotary to the community • Signage of projects – current & completed • Advertising, use of Club brochures, special guest speakers • Regular articles in local papers, etc.
Obstacle 5.Our fear of change.Our reluctance to accept change.▪ Change is progress – we can’t progress without it▪ New ideas help us to change and evolve▪ As long as Rotarians can change, the Rotary world can change.▪ And change we must because … “If we keep on doing what we have always done, we will keep on getting what we have always got”
1. From the Building Strong Clubs Initiative in 2002/03:“A caring, fun-loving, hardworking, committed Rotary Club never has any problems attracting and keeping capable quality members”.
2. From J.F. Kennedy:“There are risks and costs to any program of action, but these are far less than those of a program of comfortable inaction”.
3. From Sarah Henderson (Author):“Don’t wait for a light to appear at the end of the tunnel – stride down there and light the bloody thing yourself”.