May 7, 2011

Throw a party every day

Direct relationships. According to Mitch Joel from the Six Pixels of Separation blog, businesses and brands need direct relationships in order to survive. Katya Andresen of Katya's Non-profit Marketing Blog picked up his story and related the words to nonprofit organizations. She said, "People usually support a cause because of a deep, personal, emotional connection with it or the person who asked them to help the cause."

Does this sound familiar? Have you heard it all before when recruiting new members to your Optimist Club? Do you cover the same ground when you try to keep those members coming back year after year? 

Developing relationships is not a new concept. Churches thrive on the model, as do communities, chambers of commerce, businesses and yes, service clubs. The question is, why do some do it better than others? 

According to Joel and Andresen, some do it better because they have the tools. I say some do it better because they have the personality. 

Direct relationships require engagement. Constant engagement. For service clubs and churches, that means the leader has to provide a reason for their members to show up regularly. For businesses and organizations, it means the same thing. 

Consider this: your club, business or organization is a constant party, and you are the host. A good host makes sure her guests feel welcome; she gives them a great experience and something to look forward to on their return. It's hard work, and being sociable is only part of the equation. She also painstakingly crafts her guest list, menu, decorations and entertainment to make it appropriate and enjoyable for her participants. You have to do the same thing every time you open your doors for a meeting or for business. 

Make it an event and  your guests will tell others and invite them to come along. 
Make it personal and you will find your guests, friends and their followers will do more than just show up; they will pay to have the experience over and over again. 
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