|Calgary West President Tony Knight Welcomes Lori Farley|
Written by Robyn T. Braley
New members are the lifeblood of Rotary. They add passion, energy, and a renewed sense of vision. They remind long-time members of the reasons why we do what we do.After you become a Rotarian, the story of Rotary becomes part of your personal brand. Changing lives and building communities is as exciting as it is motivational. You discover new passions as you find how easy it can be to make a remarkable difference in people's lives.
Shifting the FocusFinding new members requires time, dedication and a sense of purpose. Champion sales professional shift the focus from the product to the customer. They take time to identify the needs of their customers. If there is a need, the discussion naturally leads back to the product and how it solve a problem.
People become Rotarians for different reasons. While club membership is driven by the collective passion to do great things across the street and around the world, it is still a very personal experience.
So, what do prospects look for? Which needs does your club fulfill?
• Respect, acceptance, affirmation
• Personal and professional growth
• Mentoring, networking
Service is Alive and Well
The good news is that the ideal of service is very much alive in District 5360. In 2013 Alberta’s flood recovery efforts demonstrated that millenials – those 24-40 - care deeply about their communities.
Rotary was on the frontline in Canmore, High River, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and other centres. Many of us worked side by side with volunteers who, by their actions, are prequalified Rotarians.
Three days after that black Friday in June, I stood at McMahon Stadium with 2,500 volunteers who responded within hours to the first call for help. Most were millenials with few grey heads like mine.
All were ready to serve, but noone knew what to expect. Were there health or safety risks? Would we distribute food and water? Would we rescue survivors? Or, recover victims?
The organizers became overwhelmed by the numbers. That was when Calgary’s Mayor Nenshi challenged us to just go help neighbors. With thousands of others, that is what we did.
Selling the Power of Rotary
Finally, there are Rotary benefits we forget to talk about. I had received bad news that required tough decisions. I didn’t want to go out of my office much less to Rotary. But, I went.
Noone at my table knew my feelings of frustration. The conversation was typical Rotary; collegial and engaging. For me it was comforting. Then, someone made an unrelated comment that caused me to view my circumstance with fresh eyes. They had no idea how much they had helped me. I had experienced the power of Rotary.
Creating a Persona
A good place to start recruiting is to brainstorm a list of potential Rotarians. The next step is to build a persona by answering some basic question. In former days, we called this a customer profile.
- Who are they?
- What do they do?
- Where do they live and play? Is there a geographic connection?
- What are their biggest concerns, needs or interests?
- How can you connect – through personal, business, or community networks?
- Can they be reached by new or traditional media?
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