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Amber Greenwood. Vice President – Resource Development Greater Waco TX Chamber of Commerce. Retention Strategies. Monday, September 15, 2008. Membership RetentionTruths. Retention starts immediately after the member joins Retention is more work than joining a member

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Amber Greenwood

  • Vice President – Resource Development

  • Greater Waco TX Chamber of Commerce


Retention Strategies

Monday, September 15, 2008


Membership RetentionTruths

  • Retention starts immediately after the member joins

  • Retention is more work than joining a member

  • Retention leads to more members


You must have a Retention Plan!

  • REVENUE is at stake! Both membership and non-dues.

  • For every member lost, you must replace and add.

  • Here is reality, every chamber drops members each year, but a retention plan will help you control the loss.


Where to Start…………….

  • Assess your membership

  • What is your retention rate

    • One Retention Formula

      • Total # of member accounts for prior year – total # of cancelled accounts for current year / total # of member accounts for prior year = Retention Rate

      • Example: 1,100 – 300 / 1,100 = 73%

  • Set Future Retention Goals

  • Create a Member Retention/Contact Plan


Retention Program


Elements of a Successful Plan

  • Communication

  • Engagement

  • Return of Investment


Retention Program

  • Immediately

    • All new members receive a hand written thank you note from account executive.

  • Months 1-2

    • Listed in a local publication Waco Today, distribution of 40,000, high quality magazine

    • Hand written note, from a “Chamber Partner”, a Chamber Partner is a group of volunteers, which meet monthly reviews the list of new members, each member is given to a Partner for them to write a note, encouraging them to attend an upcoming chamber event…to engage the volunteer


Retention Program

  • 3 Month Anniversary

    • New member has been invited and personally called to attend the monthly New Member Lunch event.

    • New member receives a thank you note for attending the luncheon and inviting them to an upcoming chamber event from a New Member Lunch committee member.

    • Listed in the next Waco Chamber & Business Quarterly Magazine, distribution 5,000.


Retention Program

  • 6 Month Anniversary

    • Member receives a call from a Chamber Partner, a member volunteer, checking in and encouraging involvement.

  • 12 Month Anniversary

    • Ribbon Cutting during 1st year, write-up and picture is printed in the Waco Chamber Quarterly. Member also receives a custom frame of the event which is delivered by the custom framer and a Chamber staff person.


Retention is not Collection

  • Collection is where your retention plan went wrong.

  • Collection is an opportunity to learn from your members and to tweak your retention program.

  • Collection is membership re-sell


Renewal Timeline


Renewal Timeline

  • Along with the letters, we make personal calls and drop-ins.

  • All members are dropped at 120 days.

  • Remember, you must drop members, it is unfair to your paying members to keep extremely past due members. A member can always renew at a later date.


Sales, Retention, Renewals….

  • It is all about communication…..

  • Successful communication means you must adapt your style and delivery to the person on the other end.


Driver – fast pace, goal/task oriented, opinionated

Expressive – relationship oriented, story teller, focuses on feelings

Amiable – avoids conflict, loyal, doesn’t speak up

Analytical – methodical, precise, takes their time, facts

Communication Styles


Be clear, specific, brief and to the point

Come prepared with requirements, objectives and support materials in an organized package

Present facts logically and concisely

Provide alternatives for making their own decision

Provide fasts and figures about the probability of success and effectiveness of options

Provide a win/win opportunity

After talking business depart graciously

Communicating With a Driver


Communicating with an Expressive:

  • Allow time for relating and socializing

  • Talk about their goals

  • Ask for their opinions

  • Provide testimonials from people they see as important or prominent

  • Don’t deal with extensive details – give it to them in writing


Communicating with an Amiable

  • Start briefly, break the ice

  • Show sincere interest in them and find common ground

  • Patiently draw out goals; listen and be responsive

  • Present case smoothly, non-threateningly, ask “how” questions to get their feedback

  • Provide personal assurances and guarantees

  • If a decision is required, give them time to think


Communicating with an Analytical

  • Prepare your information in advance

  • Approach in a straight-forward, business way

  • Support their logical, methodical approach; build credibility by listing pros and cons.

  • Present specifics and do what you say you will do

  • Action plans with dates and milestones

  • Disagree, prove it with facts and data or testimonials

  • Need information and time for making decisions


Driver – Brochures, Return on Investment Fact Sheet, A list of Chamber accomplishments in the past year

Expressive – Testimonials, Engage – invite them to a Chamber event, focus on relationship building/committee programs, Networking

Amiable – Timeline of what to expect from the Chamber, Explain how the Chamber works for them regardless of their participation

Analytical – Timeline of what to expect from the Chamber, Return on Investment Fact Sheet, Details of # of referrals, clicks and exposure

Tools in Communication


Ideas for the Future

  • Implementing, Coffee At the Chamber, a program inviting anyone not just new members to learn more about the Chamber.

  • Creating a New Member logo brand to use in all Chamber communications

  • Carry out at 6 -9 months, Expectations Survey

  • Re-activating an Exit Survey

  • Design a “Happy Birthday” card sent to all members, 2 weeks prior to their month anniversary.

  • Membership form, create a check list of products/expectations that the Chamber can deliver, for the member to rate importance.


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