consulting and project management

Membership Planning and Retention isn’t as easy as Choosing your Favorite Drink!

Don’t you wish membership recruiting and retention were as easy choosing your favorite drink? It isn’t easy competing with all the other service providers and the unlimited options available.  So I wanted to give you some membership tips they don’t teach you in sales training.

My background is a rainbow quilt of different programs over the years, so I have worked with pre-K, through career service learning and all the way to the aging population. Heck, I even had a short stint in the funeral industry. A story for another day!

What did they all have in common? People. It’s the people who equal members to a nonprofit and who equal customers to a business. How do you get them in your door and how do you get them to want to stay?

I have always hated sales and being sold. No one likes being sold. It makes you feel like a fool. No one wants to feel like a fool. I am sorry if you are in sales. Some people are good at sales and love it. Like products, services are fulfilling people’s needs. If you haven’t done a community needs assessment, now might be a good time to do that especially if your organization is struggling.  So to respect your busy life, I have made a short and sweet list of simple tips to beef up your membership and have them keep coming back.

  1. Make sure your services are actually needed in the community.
  2. If you have a competitor who seems to be doing it right, walk over and take a look at what is working for them.
  3. A good training program for your wo-man power or human capital is priceless. Don’t have one? Get one!
  4. Ask your members/clients what they need and why they choose you.
  5. Word of mouth and generating buzz helps keep curiosity about your program. Keep things fresh!
  6. Smile, it really does make people wonder what you’ve been up too.)
  7. Head, heart and hands: Appeal to the necessity of your services, develop genuine relationships, and get them involved! Members aren’t just clients. Helping them to understand that you enjoy their visits, generates positivity. People gravitate to positivity.

*Note: Marketing, running a good con, and trickery can work too; by getting people in the door. However, if they learn it is a ploy, they most likely will not return.

How do you know if you’re doing it right? Kids (and people) vote with their feet and keep coming back. Then they tell all their friends.



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