Anything worth doing takes time and effort. It isn’t learned on the first try, whether it is a new language, playing the piano, or learning to skateboard! So, why is it that Rotarians think that if they ask their friends to join them at a Rotary meeting, that they’ll get a ‘yes’, the first or second time they ask? According to the LinkedIn Sales Solution Blog, only 2% of sales are made on the first contact and 80% of sales are made between the fifth and 12th time the prospect was asked. As Rotarians, when we are trying to grow our club membership, are we asking the wrong people? Not asking the right questions? Not being persistent? Or ALL THREE?
Who are the ‘right’ people? At a minimum, a potential Rotarian is:
- At least 18 years of age
- Of good reputation, with high ethical standards
- Interested in giving back to the community and has some time to dedicate to service
This description includes most of the adults that you know, your neighbors, friends at church, colleagues and service providers: insurance agent, accountant, lawyer, etc.
What are the ‘right’ questions?
- Asked in many different ways, it is ‘what is your passion?’ An example might be:
‘Rotary is a community service organization. If you had no limits on your resources, how would you like to make a difference in the community?’
- Follow up question after a club visit:
Now that you know a little bit about Rotary and have seen us in action, what types of service activities interest you most, and what benefits do you expect from Rotary in return?
You’ve identified someone that is of high ethical standards and is interested in giving back to the community, now what? Share the value of membership!
- We meet 2-3 times per month, and offer many different meeting styles, including In Meeting Projects (IMP). There is bound to be something that you find fascinating. What topics are you interested in learning more about?
- When you become involved in Rotary, you will enhance business skills such as public speaking, fundraising, leadership, project management, among others. What skills would be most valuable for you to develop further?
- Through membership in Rotary, you naturally expand your network of contacts, which over time will support your business and become a valuable source of personal support. How could expanding your professional network benefit you?
- We serve our local community and you will have the satisfaction of making a difference right here at home. Which of our projects interests you most?
Once you know what the potential member cares about, ask them to participate with you in projects and meetings that are in alignment with their interests. And ask again, and again, and again. Expect that for most people, you will need to invite them to join you at a meeting more than 4 times before they agree. Be persistent, it will pay off!