August 2022 Leader Letter
New club members are within reach if you know how to maximize prospect communication and conversion.
In an ideal Toastmasters world, enthusiastic new leaders beget enthusiastic new members. Ready to step up and turn that into reality?
This year, a primary goal of the organization is to increase the conversion of prospects to members, and as a newly elected leader, you are an important part of the equation. You can help increase membership, starting with the Find A Club (FAC) tool, a key factor in prospect conversion because it directly connects people who are interested in Toastmasters with local clubs.
Consider the findings of some recent FAC research:
- A little over one in 10 people (13.44%) using FAC end up joining a club at some point.
- After putting in an FAC request, the average lag time for a member to join is approximately three months.
The potential to improve these percentages lies with leaders who make the FAC page of the Toastmasters website a club priority. Some clubs forget about this resource when transitioning to new leadership, so when prospective members use the information in FAC to reach out, their inquiries go to an unmonitored inbox or to an out-of-date webpage. Don't let this happen to your club or clubs in your District!
First and foremost, clubs should make sure their information is up to date in FAC. At a minimum, this includes confirming/updating a contact name and email address, club venue information, and a current meeting schedule. The Club President, Vice President of Membership, and Secretary should all access and check this page.
At the start of their terms, leaders should review their club's/clubs' FAC and ensure that the linked accounts and information go to accounts that club leaders have access to and actively monitor. Missing a prospect's communication attempt won't only be a loss for a club, it may leave the prospect with a bad first (and last) impression of Toastmasters.
Outgoing officers should dedicate time in their transition meeting to review FAC with their successor and share all club-specific account information.
Responding to a prospect quickly is the next order of conversion business, whether it be through email, phone, in person, or even a combination of these. Prompt communication shows the prospect that you care to help them and that your club is organized. Personal attention goes a long way here. It affords the club an avenue to highlight what differentiates it from other clubs; it also allows for “give and take” communication, which is at the core of club meetings.
Next, it's important to have a follow-up process in place so that the conversion can be nurtured. This includes weekly check-ins, as well as invitations to club events. It's also important to note that not every prospect is ready to join right away, so don't give up quickly. Persistence will pay off, just as it does with club practice.
For more important tips and templates to convert leads into members, as well as specific instructions on how to access and update the FAC, read the new Toastmasters guide, “Prospective Member Conversion Guide: Five Steps to Grow Your Club Today!”