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The Magic Words

by Kevin Flower, Area Governor 1999-2000

Mention has been made of how difficult it is to retain members. Get a CTM ... leave. Itís just a statistic.

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

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 doesnít 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 membersí time. All it costs to retain more than half of the members that leave is common courtesy: simple respect and appreciation.

Itís so easy - and profitable - to improve member retention in any Club.

We donít need expensive gifts or complicated member appreciation plans. A simple, sincere, personal "thank you" is all it takes.

Itís like magic.

Kevin Flower CL

Area B2 Governor, 1999-2000


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