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You’ve Recruited, now what?
by Joelle Gamble
Friday, October 12, 2012
Check out these tips on turning recruits into members and strengthening your chapter!
How do I keep members I've recruited?
• Retention is an art, not a science. It's important that you and your leadership are motivated by the vision of your chapter. If you are having fun and doing things that are worth your time, others will see the value in what you're doing. That said, you DO have some direct control over retention and can set yourself up for success if you are intentional.
• Your potential member's participation is based on relationships - the person's relationship to the group's mission, to its leaders, and to other members. How can you use spaces to build those relationships with each of your newcomers?
• Peoples' first meeting/event is important! It is the best time to connect with them and deepen their connection to your chapter
Interactions that build investment
1. Thank them for coming to your meeting. Thank them for their time. Thank them for their contributions. Thank them again.~This reinforces the fact that you truly value their participation in your organization.
2. Follow up with a personal call, Facebook post, etc...after the first time they show.~This is a critical step in building a relationship between you and your new member. You've opened an avenue for communiation with them and demonstrated your investment in them.
3. Get a commitment in person for the next time they will engage with the org. This reduces flake rate significantly.
4. Remind them and confirm they'll come! A two-way exchange (such as a phone call) is better than an email, because you know they've received the message and can get a yes or no response. It's not about judgement, it's about clarity.
5. Call when they don't show. One of your leaders can call through no-shows about 20 minutes into the event, so that they know there's actually someone there who wants them to come. If you cannot call during the event, call within the 24-hour period afterward. This lets them know that you sincerely care about their particpation.
6. Debrief with them. Let them let you know what's working and not working. get a better sense of what would keep them coming back. Don't shy away from criticisms. By giving your new member a space to help better your group, you also give them a reason to be more invested.
7. Do they have something to do? Even if your intent is mainly to educate them, is it clear why that's what you want from the engagement? What can they do with that education? Is there something they can contribute before, during, or after, from snacks to ideas to action?
8. Keep asking until they say no. This can be a hard thing to do, but if your mission is important enough then it's worth the ask. If they can't do it, they'll tell you, otherwise they may just need extra reminders and other opportunities to plug in. They're also likely to respect you for your dedication to what you're doing
9. Before asking them to come, ask yourself, "why IS it important that your member shows up to this?" If you're confident in your answer, you'll be more convincing.
10. Thank them again. :)
If you have more questions or ideas about how to build a stronger membership, contact a member of your regional team! We're here to help.