Posted on October 29, 2012 by Mike Means

NAHB trainer Jared Mathis, center, covers techniques
for growing membership at the fall board leadership
training session in Tulsa.

By Carol Hartzog, For the OSHBA

Do you know what this means, "Making the ask and overcoming the no'" in business?"

Our industry leaders do now after they gathered this week for Leadership Training during the annual fallOklahoma State Home Builders Association board meeting in Tulsa.

We asked participants what they thought of the half-day training. Here are the best tips they want toshare:

On member recruitment, "Mine the membership categories. Do we have movers, maid service orbox supply companies, and go on out to get them," said Roger Gose, Stillwater, of the best advice heheard. "Just get the national application and go down the list of classifications. Figure out what we don'thave.

"Find everyone who has pulled building permits and go out and find them and ask them about being amember," said Gose, a builder.

Builder Tony Foust of Norman offered the greatest drawback to recruitment is "we fail to share with themember the dollar-value they're receiving. We are at the state Capitol, we are there fighting for theirrights and, more importantly, the rights of the people we serve."

Public awareness is key in Foust's mind; spread the word about what it means to do business withsomeone who is a member, dedicated to service.

Approximately 45 people learned how to recruit association members and retain them, about their rolesand responsibilities, and the relevance of collaborative learning. Each participant worked with a partnerto come up with solutions to posed challenges.

Jared Mathis, a top trainer with NAHB, scolded the group. "Your membership committee is where theassociates go. That's a tragic mistake." Very few builders generally serve in this capacity and associationsare not giving the importance of that committee proper attention.

Builders should pitch association membership offers awareness of political behind-the-scenes activitywhich impacts a company's bottom line, positively or negatively, said Builder Richard Hand of Shawnee.

Associate member Laurie Matthews of Oklahoma City chimed in. "Be a part of your industry that feedsyou. If you don't have this, you don't have your business."

OSHBA Vice President Todd Booze of Norman appreciated learning a "system around how we need toapproach membership recruitment." Vice President Jeff Click's approach to membership is to take theprospect to lunch, pick up the tab, and close the conversation with a pre-filled out builder application.

And what about the argument that membership costs too much?

"It's less than a latte a day from Starbucks," offered Foust. "And we have a payment program." Clickadded many of the best investments are often lots of money.

Builder Jeff Smith of Tulsa has used the Touch program of membership recruitment by NAHB. Smithtakes it one step further with the Touch-plus program, using the NAHB template to hit prospects up tosix times with event info and its importance.

Click, of Edmond, summed up the importance of association membership with a quote from formerPresident Theodore Roosevelt.

"Everyone owes a part of his time and money to the business and industry in which he is engaged. Noman has a moral right to withhold his support from an occupation that is striving to improve conditions."

OSHBA leadership trained at a recent half-day session,
with much of it interacting with your counterpart
across the table.



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