To me, it’s like asking how to get someone to fall in love with you. There are a lot of snake oil salesman who are willing to give you a quick fix but building a relationship with your members takes time and dedication. It takes a mentality of placing them first and a commitment to understand what they want and how they want to be appreciated. Plus it also takes a bit of chemistry. There’s no way to make a member fall in love with you, if the member and your association aren’t a good fit.
Because salvaging a member relationship doesn’t work as they’re backing down the driveway with their car packed full of tokens of your time together.
Just as in a relationship, when it’s new, everyone is excited. As it becomes a daily part of their lives, things become less enchanting. Annoyances crop up. Thoughts of wishing you’d do things another way filter into their consciousness and just like in relationships, we can only hope the members will tell us. But if they don’t we have to be prepared to read them through body language and data.
Serving what your audience wants is crucial to maintaining one
I went to a baby shower a while back. All of the dishes served had some form of nuts in them – almond string beans, peanut-encrusted chicken, carrot cake (with walnuts). You would’ve thought the momma-to-be loved nuts. Actually, she hated them but the hostess thought everything was better with nuts and people liked them.
The hostess, in this example, is an old-school marketer. She is serving up what she wants to serve, what she thinks should be served. She’s mistaking general popularity with what her guests want, when in reality, the guest of honor doesn’t even want it.
I finally listened to all the people who were telling me to visit Oregon. It was an amazing trip — beautiful weather, friendly people and way too short.
On my return flight, a red-eye, from Portland to Houston, I sat next to a woman who was feverishly playing a handheld blackjack game (circa 1986, with digitized sounds and cards that looked pixelated). I couldn’t even suggest headphones or ear buds because this gizmo wouldn’t have had a jack for them. I closed my eyes and tried to rest.
“Is that sound normal?”, she asked.
I opened my eyes and tuned into what she was asking about. I nodded. She nodded.