Say Please and Thank You Edit

by Kevin Flower, Area Governor 1999-2000
Mention has been made of how difficult it is to retain members. Get a CTM ... leave (and some don't make that!). It’s just a statistic.

And then there is the "Reasons Why" statistics for people leaving Toastmasters:

  • 1% die
  • 3% leave the locality and are not recaptured in their new location
  • 5% move to another Club
  • 9% find an alternative supplier to meet their needs
  • 14% were dissatisfied with the product offered
  • 68% felt an attitude of neglect or indifference

Astute readers may notice that this list, while having similar numbers, has differing excuses to the usual Toastmasters model.
I have copied the above from a 1980 survey performed for an American restaurant chain. I substituted Club for restaurant.
The point is that it actually doesn’t matter what you are selling ... the numbers are pretty much the same. Imagine what it would be like to halve the biggest percentage above.
Would it be worthwhile to retain a third of the people who were going to leave anyway?
All right smarty. How do we do it then?
The major reason why people leave any organisation is always the same: they feel taken for granted. The easiest way to reverse this drain is ridiculously simple: remember the magic words. Remember to say please and thank you.
So much effort is put into gaining new members at so much cost. Business studies around the world show that it costs seven to ten times as much to gather one new customer as it costs to keep one you already have. New members need to be advertised for, and that costs money. A Speechcraft course needs materials and educators, and that costs money and members’ time. All it costs to retain more than half of the members that leave is common courtesy: simple respect and appreciation.
It’s so easy - and profitable - to improve member retention in any Club.
We don’t need expensive gifts or complicated member appreciation plans. A simple, sincere, personal "thank you" is all it takes.
It’s like magic.

Kevin Flower CL

Area B2 Governor, 1999-2000

More tips Edit

by Robyn Murphy, DTM, Past District 72 Governor

Experienced members have drive, dedication and experience - all attributes that are needed to maintain strong, healthy, vibrant and growing Clubs. When we have quality meetings that provide what our members want, we have a far better chance to keep our treasured members with us.

Quality Meetings Edit

  • Make EVERY meeting a showcase
  • Be professional, yet encourage enthusiastic, fun and friendly meetings
  • Plan and publish 6-8 week schedules
  • Provide effective Club management and visionary leadership
  • Ensure experienced members and Club officers are visible in Club operations
  • Always strive to improve your Club’s atmosphere (run The Moments of Truth regularly)
  • Consider weekly meetings or run special meetings to provide more opportunities for assignments
  • Run meaningful and fun theme meetings
  • Have well-rounded meetings
  • Present useful and well-presented educationals

Plan! Edit

Quality Communication with Members Edit

  • Help members set long term goals (use the Personal Plan for Success outlined in the September 1999 District 72 Newsline)
  • Get members to complete a member survey - and USE the info from it!
  • Use experienced members as positive and involved mentors, and not just to help with speeches (remember new members need help with all areas, particularly evaluations and as Toastmaster for the first time)
  • Recognise members for their achievements and involvement
  • Make follow-up calls to absent members
  • Send thank you notes to show your appreciation
  • Use a noticeboard at each meeting
  • Print a Club newsletter and mail to absent members
  • Invite absent (and past) members to special events
  • If a member leaves before completing their CTM - ASK WHY!

Get your members involved Edit

  • Encourage members to take up leadership roles within the Club and the District
  • Quality Communication within the Community
  • Visit other Clubs and run inter-club activities
  • Promote attendance at Area, Division and District events
  • Promote Club events in the local papers, including photos as well as giving public recognition for members’ achievements and involvement
  • Participate in community events - provide a speaker or judge
  • Run Speechcraft, Youth Leadership or Success Leadership modules
  • Complete the High Performance Leadership module

"Our focus must always be on supporting the Club in its mission to deliver the Toastmasters product of education and empowerment to the individual Toastmaster. If we truly live quality, we will live it at the Club level" - Tim Keck DTM, International President

By Robyn Murphy DTM Past District 72 Governor

Show members the Scope of Toastmasters Edit

  • Use a Member Progress board to show the range of experience members at your club have - and that new members can readily attain.
  • Run an Annual Educational at New Year using District 18's Achievement Record Goalcard to highlight the learning opportunities in Toastmasters.
  • Promote Area, Division and District events, and car pool with developing members to support their attendance.

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