Membership Recruiting and Retention Guide

W B C C I

REGION 5

RECRUITING

AND

RETENTION

GUIDE

Effective date:  July 26, 2009

Supersedes all previous editions.

CONTENTS

Section – I  General                                                               Section – II  Overview                                                            Section – III  Responsibilities                                                 Unit Membership Chairman                                                Unit Membership Recruiting Specialist                               Unit Membership Retention Specialist                               Section – IV  Awards                                                             Individual                                                                            Unit                                                                                     Section – V Conclusion                                                         

REGION FIVE – WBCCI

MEMBERSHIP RECRUITING AND RETENTION GUIDE

(MRRG)

SECTION I – GENERAL

This is the first time a Membership Recruiting and Retention Guide (MRRG) has been published to provide guidance to units in the organization and functioning of a Membership Team consisting of three members.The Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI) membership has, over the course of the past ten years, undergone a dramatic decline. This decline has, in turn, heightened the awareness membership and leadership of the organization to the need for more effective recruiting and retention. While one can speculate on the reasons for this drop in membership, it is clear staying on our current path will ultimately see an even further decline in numbers. Therefore, we approach this unique point in time as an opportunity and subsequent call for action.This guide is furnished for our Region Five units who, working as a team, should implement its directives as soon as practical.  It is hoped that units will receive this R&R Guide in the spirit that is has been prepared. That is: making a great organization even better. Our membership committees are compromised of dedicated hard working volunteers however on occasion their great efforts must be refocused and energized.Remember, effective membership is not a matter of doing exceptional things, but doing things exceptionally well.Some units are leading the way in maintaining a healthy membership with new and exciting rallies. Members regularly accept nominations to fill unit leadership positions year after year and speak positively about their unit to others. Recruiting committee members should make a point of sharing their success stories (activities and events) with allied units.Some of our units appear to be in survival mode, with only a few families holding the unit together year after year. Those families are to be congratulated and challenged to adopt this guide. Taking an “If it ain’t broke – Don’t fix it” approach is not proving to be successful. Make a special effort to ask inactive members to join in this challenging and exciting time for the club.As you know, the accounting year will now be the 12 month period July through June to blend with the WBCCI International year.Urge unit members to step forward and accept an appointment in the unit as Membership Chairman, Membership Retention Specialist, Membership Recruiter Specialist and the other positions of leadership. This plan reduces the work load of a unit Membership Chairman in many respects and provides them additional persons to help them recruit new members and retain current members. This also will call for a commitment of those additional people to stay active in WBCCI. The appointment of additional people to focus primarily on retention of members and another to focus on recruiting new members can only add to the effectiveness of the Membership Chairman’s office. While it may be possible for one person to do the job, it is essential for many to be involved and sharing the commitment to the club. Please remember, this is not “work” but an organization dedicated to having fun together. Give the membership, in the form of large committees, plenty of opportunities to network with each other and have fun.The Board of Directors is the rudder of the (unit) ship with the President as the Captain. The success or failure of a unit can, in many cases, be directly attributed to the interest shown in the unit by this group. Their guidance, planning and support of the Unit Membership Team is essential for the program to produce the needed results.

SECTION II – OVERVIEW

A Unit Member accepts the nomination to become the Unit Membership Chairman.A Unit Member accepts the nomination to become the Membership Recruiting SpecialistA Unit Member accepts the nomination to become the Membership Retention Specialist.This officially forms a three person team with the Membership Chairman, Recruiting Specialist and Retention Specialist leading the unit in retaining current members and recruiting new members. Following are some suggested responsibilities to help a new member of this team to become more knowledgeable of the office they have accepted.

SECTION III – RESPONSIBILITIES

UNIT MEMBERSHIP CHAIRMAN

  • …Understands some of the resulting problems when a WBCCI unit fails to maintain a sufficient number of families in the unit. Member will lose interest in attending unit rallies; volunteering for unit officers leadership positions; and ultimately will stop renewing their membership in the unit.
  • …Possess and demonstrate a can-do attitude and willingness to help turn problems into challenges by enlisting the help of every member of your unit to work towards that goal. When all members are working together every unit rally will be a more fun-filled event and a pleasure to attend. You will know it is working when unit members start getting excited and asking what is planned for the next unit rally.
  • First timers as well as regular members will want to attend every scheduled rally when they feel welcomed refreshed and that their time was well spent. They will tell friends, co-workers, neighbors and others about the outing with their Airstream friends. Ask each of your unit members to join you in causing this to happen.
  • Appendix 14, in the WBCCI Blue Book (BB) is entitled “Membership Manual” and furnishes an excellent guide to recruiting new members and retention of current members. Your knowledge of this manual can be passed on to the other two members of your unit’s membership team to help them learn more about their unit officer position. Contact your Region Membership Chairman if you do not have access to a copy of this reference in the WBCCI Blue Book. It is very easy to read and understand – I believe you will like it.
  • Assist your Unit Membership Retention and Recruiting Specialist’s secure and organize the necessary reference materials contained in the WBCCI Blue Book, Unit Idea Book, the Region Membership Recruiting and Retention Guide and your Unit references. This will help lessen the uncertainty associated with assuming their new positions and help them accept the challenge with a “can do” attitude. Knowledge is strength.
  • Learning the long list of benefits of being a member of a WBCCI unit is necessary for the Membership Team to be highly successful. When a prospect says no, they could mean “tell me more of the benefits of belonging to WBCCI”. Make a point of overcoming concerns about the organizations old image and be sensitive to the time and lifestyle needs of new Airstreamers.
  • Insure copies of the letters mailed by Jackson Center to new Airstreams buyers (prospects) get into the hands of the Unit Recruiter on a timely basis. You can easily accomplish this and maintain a log of those you pass on to the unit recruiter for a later
  • Follow up contact if they do not become a member during the initial contact. Applications for membership along with their check, cash or money order should be given to your unit Treasurer for forwarding to National Headquarters.
  • Page 3, Appendix 14 addresses the WBCCI Founders Award in detail. This is an award to a unit member that has sponsored a minimum of 15 new members. This award would be presented to the individual during the International Rally.
  • Assist your unit recruiter in establishing a Prospect File. A column to enter the prospect’s name, address, telephone number, email address, date/method of contact and results. This will provide useful information for future contact. Make a point of following up on that list on a regular basis

Unit members and officers alike will respect your enthusiastic and positive approach when you ask them to refer names of Airstream owners in their neighborhood that do not belong to a unit of WBCCI.They will want to support you and become a part of your winning team.

  • To continue to build this winning team in your unit, furnish progress reports to the Unit President, Executive Board, Membership Recruiting and Retention Specialist and Unit Members regularly. Monthly unit newspaper, emails, phone calls, and small signs posted on the bulletin board at each unit rally are just some of the tools available to you…
  • These and other ideas would help the unit membership to stay focused on recruiting and retention in their unit throughout the year. Remember the old saying, “If you accomplish an act 21 times it becomes a habit.”
  • The WBCCI Unit Idea Book contains “ideas” that are not difficult to plan and administer. Do you have access to this important reference? Contact your Region Membership Chairman if you need a copy. The WBCCI Idea Book suggests asking all of the members to furnish at least one fun thing they would like to see accomplished at a rally. This alone will provide a wonderful array of relevant activities!
  • Perhaps you have friends in your unit that would enjoy working with you as the unit Recruiter or Retention Specialist. Ask them one at a time to help you form this team. Friends helping friends – That is how WBCCI grew so rapidly in the early years.
  • Your leadership as Unit Membership Chairman could easily cause every unit member to understand the seriousness of shrinking membership in WBCCI. Kind word skills and solid leadership will cause many to see the need for them to help in this program. Most all members want to help their unit be an enjoyable experience for everyone at rallies. Ask for their help in your work.

UNIT MEMBERSHIP RECRUITING SPECIALIST

You are asked to wear your “MEMBERSHIP CHAIRMAN” ribbon tab proudly on your ID badge that all may become aware of your position in the unit. You will receive names and addresses of people that want someone from the unit to contact them about joining unit. Your Unit Membership Recruiting and Retention Specialist are there to help you make these contacts. They are part of your team.

  • Good luck in your unit membership activities. Your Region Membership Chairman is available to help in any way. Call on them when a need arises.
  • Should understand the importance of Airstream owners becoming a member of a WBCCI unit and how it will affect the existence of the club.
  • The Membership Recruiting Specialist is primarily focused toward assisting the Unit Membership Chairman in recruiting new members into their unit. Recruiting new members is essential in maintaining the acceptable number of members needed to maintain the unit charter. We mentioned earlier that Region 5 lost two units this past Fiscal Year alone.
  • A positive mental attitude coupled with an enthusiastic approach on recruiting new members will create a win-win situation. Your experience in caravans, rallies and other adventures with your airstream places you in a most enviable position to be a success in your new unit recruiting position.
  • Asking your unit members to give you a name of someone they know that owns an airstream and is not a member of WBCCI is an effective way to establish your Centers of Influence (CI). They will provide you a good solid base for locating and talking to prospect for membership in your unit. This is the multiplier effect; each CI you ask to furnish a lead will increase your presence in the community. It really works! A proven sales technique in the world of selling products or services. Be sure to let that CI know the status of their lead – They will not continue to give you leads if they never learn the results of their effort.
  • Appendix 14, the WBCCI Blue Book, pages one (1) through seven (7) is entitled “Membership Manual”, the WBCCI Idea Book and the Region Membership Recruiting and Retention Guide, and your own Unit reference materials will make your recruiting tasks easier. Secure your own copies, place them in a three ring binder for ready reference as you commence your new recruiting job. Ask your Unit Membership Chairman for help in securing these reference copies.
  • Maintaining a log of prospects for unit membership from all sources will furnish you a ready contact list. A column heading for date received/logged, last name, first name, spouse and children (if any) phone number, address and name of the CI that gave you the prospect lead. You may want to add some of your own information topics to the log for clarity.
  • Invite the new prospects to a unit rally. Ask a unit member to be their host for that first visit. Most of all make them feel welcome and wanted. They just may join.
  • Working with the Unit Retention Specialist, identify those members that do not intend to renew their annual membership. Make every effort to recruit a new family to at least replace those anticipated losses. This will give you and the unit members an idea of the number of new members needed to prevent the unit from showing a loss for the year. Be a goal and objective setter – Be a winner.
  • Become knowledgeable of the many benefits of being a member of WBCCI. Share this information with your unit members conducting a short seminar at a rally. They too will be better equipped to answer questions asked by prospective members. You have become a valuable member of your unit membership team and will need answers to questions posed from time to time. Be ready.
  • Good luck in your recruiting efforts. Wear your “RECRUITING SPECIALIST” tab proudly on your ID Badge. The tab readily identifies you as a specialist in your unit recruiting activities.

UNIT MEMBERSHIP RETENTION SPECIALIST

  • …should be goal oriented. Try to retain 100% of your unit members each year. Statistics show us that may not happen every year but that does not prevent you from establishing that as one of your goals for the year. Actually, after polling your unit membership, each one individually, you may likely discover that all of them plan to renew, or a worst case scenario could be that only one or two families are undecided if they will stay or not. That is where the unit Retention Specialist steps in to the picture.
  • The unit Membership Retention Specialist is primarily focused on assisting the Unit Membership Chairman in retention of current unit members. Retaining current unit members is the key to unit membership. The more members retained means fewer new members have to be recruited to maintain an acceptable membership level.
  • National pollsters questionnaires mailed to individuals that discontinued their membership in various organizations indicated the need for a Membership Retention Specialist. The response “I was never asked to stay” could mean they may have remained a member of a unit had they only been asked to renew their membership. A good habit to develop is to ask each individual member in your unit to renew their membership each year.
  • This is a personal request, one-on-one if you will, that may change entirely the concept some members have of that small white renewal envelope that they receive in the mail notifying them it is time to renew. Let them know that you and your unit want them to remain a member of your unit.
  • Appendix 14, the WBCCI Blue Book, page One (1) through Seven (7), entitled “Membership Manual”, Region Five R&R Guide and your own unit R&R materials will help guide you toward a successfully year of retaining your unit members.
  • I challenge you to secure copies, organize them for easy reference, study each one and implement their suggestions and strategies as soon as possible. It is much easier to talk to an individual if you are knowledgeable about your product or service.
  • Using the Google search engine on your computer, or ask someone to do it for you, type in words similar to “Games and activities for all age groups at a gathering”. The key to retention is involving members in activities that are considered suitable for their ages and are fun and interesting to participate in.
  • Most mature Americans enjoy a bit of competition in games. Activities for different age groups for just a couple of hours on a Saturday morning during a unit rally works wonders. Try it, cause them to smile, laugh and be glad they came to the rally.
  • Read the referenced material, commit it to memory and accept the challenge to help your unit President, Membership Chairman, Rally Hosts and Members in general create a happy environment at your unit rallies. That will play a large part in retaining unit members in your unit. Retention is the name of the game for you.
  • A personal, hand written, invitation by you would make the renewal process more personal and acceptable.
  • Ideally, during a unit rally would be a good time to recognize those that intend to renew their membership. Ask them to stand for a round applause – Adding the “personal and caring touch” to renewal of membership in the unit lets them know you and your unit care.
  • Urge unit members to spend some quality time with first timers. Many times we tend to omit them from our circle of friendship around the campfire, at dinners and evening entertainment seating. A temporary badge with their names and a “First Timer” ribbon attached lets unit members know they are attending their first unit rally and the need to make them feel welcome.
  • You will be one of the most respected members in your unit once the word gets around that you are working in retention activities for your unit. Your personal involvement in rally activities could provide the Unit President another set of eyes to help evaluate why members may or may not choose to attend rallies on a regular basis. Sometimes a smile, a friendly hello or perhaps a handshake changes a person’s entire perspective of a rally. Your encouragement to unit members will be favorably received when done regularly and with sincerity.
  • Your approach to the position of Membership Retention Specialist will be noticed by every member in your unit. Smile, shake hands and be sincere in all of your dealings with your unit members. You will earn their respect.
  • Good luck in your retention activities. Wear your “RETENTION SPECIALIST” tab proudly on your ID badge. The tab identifies you as a specialist in retention activities in your WBCCI unit.

SECTON IV – AWARDS

INDIVIDUAL

  • The WBCCI Badge is our method of introducing ourselves to other members of our club and people in public places that we come into contact with in our travels.
  • Attaching the various ribbons to the bottom of a badge further identifies those events in which a person chooses to participate, e.g., International rallies are advertised with a ribbon a year in advance; a committee volunteer worker has a small tab reading “volunteer” or the activity they are volunteering to help with at that rally. We now accept that as the norm.
  • Along that tradition, why not add a WBCCI blue background color tab with gold colored lettering denoting the position of each of the three Unit Membership” persons such as: Unit Membership Chairman, Unit Retention and Unit Recruiter Specialist.
  • Each member of the region unit achieving the highest number of net gains for the year will be presented a tab of the same color only with the inscription, e.g., “WE DID IT IN 2009”. This is to be worn until awards are presented to the winning unit the following year.
  • A unit winning the region award for the second consecutive year would attach the new award to the bottom of the tab received the previous year and would then have two tabs attached to their badges. No more than two tabs would be worn as attachments to the badge regardless of the number of years a unit wins the award.

UNIT

  • The awards year would be July through June of each year. This would allow an almost seamless year of transition as it relates to the annual WBCCI International rally and Region 5 September rally dates each year.
  • WBCCI Headquarters would furnish the membership numbers for each unit at the start of the year (July 1st), number of new accessions (Gains), number of non-renewals (Losses) and the unit membership numbers as of June 30th to close out the year. This information and would be used to declare a winner of the annual unit award.
  • The region unit with the highest number of net gains for the year would be declared the unit award for that year. For instance if a unit had 50 members as of July 1st at the beginning of the new year; had 5 non-renewals and 10 new accessions at the end of the year, as of June 30th they would have a net gain of 5 members for the year. Net gain would be the first criteria.
  • In case of a tie or ties the second criteria would be the number of new accessions for the year. The unit with the highest number of new accession would be the winner.
  • If units are still tied with the same number of net gains and the same number of new accessions at the end of the year, the third criteria would be the unit with the highest number of renewals for that year.
  • Should a tie still exist between two or more units, all units would receive the Region 5 Membership Recruiting and Retention Award for that year.

SECTION V – CONCLUSION

  • Written suggestions for improving the Region Five Recruiting and Retention Guide will be welcomed and discussed with the writer.
  • To those Unit Officers and Members that voluntarily started the Region R&R Program the first year are to be commended in addressing the common problem of losing our region status unit by unit and member by member. Having lost two region units this past year is a chilling reminder of what can happen without a concerted effort by all of the unit members.
  • We urge the Unit Officers and Members of units that have not started the Region R&R Program to join together in one big effort for the remainder of this year and reverse the continuing loss of membership in your unit. All we need is a little extra effort for the next 12 months to turn it around.
  • The old adage “When the going gets tough – The tough get going”.
  • Good luck and feel free to discuss this program with me at any time. Call any of the Region Officers for assistance for we too are volunteers.

   Bob Gregory                                        Telephone:  270-847-0215

   PO Box 1175                                       Email:  bobgreg734@aol.com

   Russellville, KY  42276                        Motto:  “See you at the top”

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