There are as many ways to answer this question as there are Rotarians. The approaches I believe work best are when you speak ‘heart to heart’.
ME: I would like to share with you, one of the VERY best decisions in my life. To become a Rotarian!
Friend: What’s Rotary?
ME: Rotary is a group of men and women that join together to make a difference in our community.
- What type of service projects interest you?
- How would you like to serve our community?
Friend: I think it is important that we help our young people become successful.
ME: That’s GREAT!
My Rotary Club’s strategic plan actually includes several projects that help youth, of all ages. One example is that we support a one-on-one Reading Buddy program in an elementary school. Another example is that we mentor high school students that are members of an Interact Club, which is ‘Rotary’ for kids 12-18. Those are just two examples, but there are more!
Why don’t you join me at our next meeting on Tuesday at 5:30 at the Library, so you can learn more. I’ll pick you up at your office at 5:00, if you like, and we can ride together.
Friend: I’m not sure I have time.
ME: Neither am I! But why don’t you join us to learn more, and then you can decide if Rotary is right for you.
Friend: How much does it cost? Are there secret handshakes or ceremonies?
ME: No! We don’t have any special codes or handshakes. We are just a group of caring professional people that are interested in making a difference in our town. And importantly to you, many of our service projects directly support youth.
Our dues are less than $1/day; $75/quarter, so they fit into just about any budget.
You don’t need to make a decision until you have seen us in action. Won’t you join us next Tuesday, so you can see if Rotary is the best way for you to make a difference in the world?
What you’ll notice from this exchange is that I really haven’t explained much about Rotary! I’ve identified what my friend cares about, ‘youth’, and then showed him how Rotary can address that interest. It is a ‘soft sell’, because my call to action is simply, ‘see for yourself; make your own decision if Rotary is right’.
The critical piece of this exchange is that it focuses more on the friend than me, and begins to answer these questions from the friend’s perspective: ‘Why?’ ‘What’s in it for me?’, ‘How can I make a difference through Rotary?’, ‘Will I like these people?’,
There are many other pieces to recruiting and integrating a new member, but a conversation like this will get it started. I’ll share other ideas in upcoming posts. How do YOU get the Rotary conversation started?
Learn more about my Rotary Club: Kerr Tar Rotary