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All Posts By

Kevin Cahalane

Introducing the Membership Growth Toolkit – Grow your membership and revenue

By | Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News | No Comments

Every association, community organisation, sporting/leisure club and educational institution worldwide – needs to grow their membership and their member revenue. Membership Growth in conjunction with Syneka Marketing, has just launched the most powerful member building program ever produced.

THE MEMBERSHIP GROWTH TOOLKIT –the only membership program you will ever need!

Membership Growth Together

The ideas, guidelines, templates and exercises in The Membership Growth Toolkit (complete with worksheets, case studies and practical examples) will give you the most dynamic, step-by-step plan to dramatically increase your membership this year and for the future. It is a program that you can tailor to your unique membership building requirements – it is simple to use and will allow you to achieve your membership goals effectively, efficiently and with ease.

The Membership Growth Toolkit is divided into nine chapters – each one detailing ways to increase your membership. After a solid overview, with tips and hints to get the most from your program (chapter 1) we move into marketing strategies for recruitment and retention (chapter 2) followed by a complete guide to member recruitment in chapter 3. Once you have solid recruitment plans in place, we move to chapter 4 – member retention – and cover first year member management, how to communicate and engage with your members and how to give and receive quality member feedback.

Chapter 5 covers the vital areas of developing your renewals campaign as well as key ways to win back lost or late paying members. We then move to chapter 6 on building your member revenue – through diverse ways to sell membership upgrades, products, services (such as professional development) and using your member data base to gain more revenue, more often from your members. Chapter 7 will take you through a number of key methods to ensure that you will stabilise your membership and continue to recruit new members, even when times get tough. Never mind what the market is doing, it is what you are doing that counts, in order to ensure future sustainability.

The membership growth tookit is a comprehensive membership resource

The Membership Growth Tookit is a comprehensive membership resource

First impressions matter, and in Chapter 8 you will discover ways to develop and implement creative concepts and materials to ensure members and prospects alike are fully aware of your organisation and your brand. The final chapter 9 will assist you in getting the absolute best with your on-line strategies including your website, social media and other internet tools to build member relationships and loyalty.
The Membership Growth Toolkit is easy to order, is packed with value adding extras and is the only resource you will ever need to build your membership and your membership revenue.

View the Membership Growth Toolkit at www.membershipgrowthtoolkit.com.au

Loyalty stages – moving members forward

By | Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities | No Comments

Members become (and remain) loyal one step at a time. Here are the key loyalty stages you will need to understand as you ‘move’ your members forward and build that loyalty … and trust.

  1. Who are your suspects, where are they, how will you approach them?
  2. What do you do to qualify suspects and turn them into genuine prospects – what value and benefits do they see? How innovative are you in attracting …
  3. First time members. How do you treat them? New member value package? New member event? Mentoring plan for new members? Or – do you count their membership fees and smile? If you don’t plan to build new member loyalty, you won’t be smiling for long.
  4. Members. This is the person who belongs to your organisation, pays their fees, attends meetings, attends games, contributes something to your organisation. They spend a fair and reasonable amount of their money (and their time) with you.
  5. Valued Members. These people tend to spend more, and more often. They are loyal and generally enjoy being a member of your organisation. This is not to imply that the (d) Member is not of value – simply, an (e) Member contributes more in terms of revenue, time and effort to your organisation.
  6. Advocates. These Members are your volunteers, leaders in the recruitment of new members, ‘cheerleaders’ at every event and major revenue contributors. They take their turn on the board, serve on committees and are generous and selfless with their time (and their money).

Do you know who your members are and in which classification they belong? The ideal situation is to move first year members to ongoing members, then to valued members. Ensure that your
Strategies
incorporate moving your members forward.

Member Renewals: Make it Clear… and Interesting

By | Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities | No Comments

Achieving a high rate of membership renewals should be a goal for any membership organisation. Membership renewal letters should be considered a key marketing tool and not just a tax invoice.

The following advice led to an organisation being able to increase its membership renewals to 98%:

  • An attention grabbing headline stating a clear benefit for renewing now.
  • An opening paragraph which instilled a sense of urgency and interest in renewing.
  • A series of benefit statements, listed in bullet point format, that gave compelling reasons why the member should renew.
  • An offer for early renewal (not a huge offer, but something of value to ‘early birds’). This was in the form of a ‘PS’ at the bottom of the page.
  • A call to action at the end of the letter, making it easy for the person to renew.
  • A brochure outlining a member-get-member program, and a reward for introducing a new member (leverage word of mouth marketing and encourage members to recruit their peers)

The result? The organisation gained more renewals before their deadline than ever before. They gained a huge number of new member applications.

Creating a Successful Sales Team – seven things every sales person needs to know

By | Advice for Businesses | No Comments

Generating sales is essential for any business and it is important to have the right approach with prospective customers and clients.  We’ve compiled seven tips that we believe are essential for anyone involved in generating sales for your business.

  1. Successful sales people put their customers/prospects at ease by conversing in a relaxed style, asking quality questions and genuinely listening to what the other person says.
  2. Successful sales people appreciate that customers would rather talk about their needs (and not the need of the salesperson). They do not interrupt nor do they overwhelm customers/prospects with a load of verbose waffle.
  3. Successful sales people actually have a PURPOSE for being there! Customers/prospects appreciate that the call is well planned and well structured, thus saving them time and effort.
  4. Successful sales people are skilled at identifying NEEDS, creating SOLUTIONS to satisfy those needs and wrapping VALUE around the solution.
  5. Successful sales people possess flexibility as opposed to rigidity. They work within a structure and do the right thing for their customer and their company.
  6. Successful sales people work with their customer’s favorite buying strategy, rather than their favorite selling strategy. They adapt their sales style to the person’s buying style.
  7. Successful sales people seek OPPORTUNITIES every single time they visit a customer – internal and external opportunities to grow their customer’s business and the business of their company.

Sales is an interactive, two-way process. Sales is about understanding the needs of your customers and identifying the right solutions that solve these requirements through delivering tangible value.

 

Effective time management can open up many opportunities

Utilising Your Time Profitably

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, News | No Comments

Time is one of the most precious resources you can possess – and it’s free!  Yet we tend to undervalue our time, wasting this precious resource.

Some examples of misuse of this valuable resource are:

  • Lack of communication clarity.  You are unsure of your objectives, direction and focus within your organisation.  It is essential that everyone is heading in the same direction.
  • Lack of thoroughness.  Procrastination.  Inability to ‘follow through’ on a campaign or other member related matters.
  • Endeavouring to do too many things at once.  Performing mainly the interesting job tasks and leaving the more mundane ones.
  • Confusing activity with results and motion with accomplishment.
  • Bad record keeping and filing.  Not utilising a data base to capture and retain vital member information.
  • Unnecessary interruptions, where other workers ‘steal’ time from you (or you from them).

What time wasting ‘sins’ are you guilty of? The above represents the negative aspects of time management.

Below, we will concentrate on positive ways to gain extra time during our working day:

  • Ensure that you have clearly stated objectives, goals and plans.  Everyone within your organisation should be part of this!
  • Write down the 5-6 most important things you need to accomplish each day.  Prioritise them and complete them, one at a time, in order.
  • Plan your activities daily, weekly, monthly.
  • Learn to distinguish between what is urgent (must be completed now) and what is important.  Do not lose sight of long term goals by only completing urgent tasks.
  • Keep records up-to-date.  Use your data base to capture and store vital member information.
  • Learn how to say ‘NO’ to irrelevant questions, time wasters etc without feeling guilty.
  • Do not mistake movement for achievement.  Being busy does not necessarily mean you have accomplished anything.
  • Remember, the more time spent planning, the more successful you will be in member recruitment and retention.

Do you have advice you want a share?  Leave a comment and let us know your time management tips!

Membership Growth

Ten Ideas for Welcoming New Members to Your Organisation

By | Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Resources | 3 Comments

You have put in the time and effort, spent the money, promoted your organisation far and wide … now you are reaping the reward of a growing membership base.

Yet in so many not-for-profit organisations, more members leave after the first year than at any other time. I have conducted surveys in this area and the reasons are numerous and complex – financial and changed circumstances are a couple of reasons; however, other responses relate to things such as a lack of benefits, poor service, lack of opportunity, poor facilities … in other words there is something deeper, particularly with first year members.

Below are ten ideas and suggestions which, if combined properly and worked well, can reverse the ‘first year member drop-out’ syndrome.

Ten Ideas for Welcoming NEW Members to Your Organisation

  1. Send them a ‘Membership Road Map’ – a total package that contains some free ‘goodies’ for them and, more important, a road map that takes them on a tour (virtual if on a PC or in the form of a printed brochure) of your organisation – location(s), people, how to contact, who to contact, events, meetings and all relevant information/timeframes.
  2. Invite them to a new member orientation night. Make it a fun and memorable event (avoid a sleep inducing ‘welcome’ from someone lacking genuine skills in this area) ensure they are made welcome and to feel at home.
  3. Move from free to fee – they get the goodies in the ‘Membership Road Map’ package (it can be a calendar, key ring, personalised membership card, boxer shorts … BOXER SHORTS?!? Hey, no one does boxer shorts, right? Be different!). Also, offer them a discount on an item of merchandise or memorabilia, kind of a ‘new member’s special offer’. It works! However, you should not offer discounts to new members at the expense of your current members – ensure the new members special offer is available to current members also, perhaps under a different promotional banner such as a ‘member loyalty’ offer.
  4. Contact them within 30 days of joining, by telephone if possible, and…
    • welcome them;
    • ask them if they have any specific questions regarding their membership;
    • update them on any events, seminars, functions that are about to happen;
    • ensure they are happy and utilising their membership benefits.
  5. Membership Benefits? Well, why did this new member actually join your organisation? If you don’t know – find out (refer back to #2 or #4, you can ask the question/record the response at either of these early interactions). You see, this person joined the organisation for their reason, not yours. If you know why they joined, you need to focus on that reason in future dealings with the member.Record all feedback on your database.Did they join to gain new friends, save time and effort in studies, improve their social position, build a network, get closer to their team or …? Once you know the reason … you can personalise offers and target them for events and functions that they are interested in.Perhaps they will volunteer their time for a cause that interests them, or utilise their skills to help the organisation or …?This is where a good ‘relational’ data base becomes invaluable.
  6. Appoint a mentor or buddy, which is a good idea for smaller organisations but can be utilised by larger organisations as well. There are people within most organisations who are willing to reach out and help others. Sometimes they will take on more than one person. If your organisation has educational/professional development requirements it would be an excellent idea to appoint your new members with a mentor, who can guide them over the initial hurdles. Retired members are a great recruiting source for this task.
  7. Call them a ‘New Member’ for the first full year of membership. It is absolutely vital that you develop a 12 month retention plan – first year members are your biggest defectors.Ensure you make quality contact (phone, email, social media, post) – yes, post. 37% of members of an organisation prefer their contact via the mail. Who says this? Why, Australia Post, at planned intervals, e.g. seasonal, cyclical or prior to major events, throughout the year.
  8. Commence the Member Renewals process early. Segment first year members within your database and target them. Although you should be trying to renew all of your members early – first year members need to be tracked and monitored.A phone call just before renewals time … a planned contact … won’t hurt either!
  9. Everyone, and I mean everyone, who has contact with members – and here we are talking about that new member – should be trained in delivering superior member service. Your people should be absolutely the best in telephone response, first time contact when a member visits, managing their complaints and concerns and simply making them feel that they are #1 at that point of interaction.An old US corporate study identified that 65% of people did not return to an organisation because of ‘an indifferent attitude from an employee’. Some boffins refer to Service Excellence as a ‘soft skill’. Well … it isn’t  It is an absolute necessity to give your people the skills and knowledge to be the best at what they do.
  10. Your Bonus. You have given the new member a lot of benefits and value throughout the year, now it is your turn to gain some value back, for your organisation:
    • Promote ‘Member-get-Member’. If they are happy with you, do you seriously think they won’t tell others? Well, prompt them!
    • Conduct a new member survey – what did they like, dislike and what changes would they
      recommend from the experiences they had in their first 12 months.
    • Say ‘thank you’ … that will gain you a ton of value!

Kevin Cahalane and Alex Makin will be presenting at Membership Mastery for Professionals on Thursday 14th of March.  The full-day workshop is available for just $595 (GST inclusive).  Visit membershipgrowth.com.au/membership-mastery-for-professionals-2013 for details.