Wait! Don’t we just advertise to everyone and see who shows up for the meeting? Isn’t it supposed to appeal to a broad audience?
Let’s look at the automobile industry. There should be just a few choices
- 7-8 passenger
- Highway transportation
- Off-road transportation
- Hauling capacity
- Towing capability
Now, look at the wide variety of vehicles. Of course, we have the choice of size and usage. We have the choice of the purpose: to transport people or bricks. We also determine if it is too heavily used or mainly driveway decoration. But that’s not all! (Doesn’t that sound like a soap commercial?!)
We also have a choice of the type of transmission, the mileage, the size of the engine, and the availability of links with your phone. We also have services such as GPS location devices, access to emergency services, extra cup holders (!), and convertibility to allow for more storage capacity. In addition, you can get your vehicle in any of a multitude of color combinations including a color change that is blue coming at you and red going away. You can even have your car horn customized to the theme song of your favorite team.
Henry Ford was making 260,000 cars per year and his slogan was that you could have any color you wanted as long as it was black. Can you imagine the police’s dilemma? “Yes, officer, I saw the get-away car. It was a Ford, and it was black, I believe. No, I didn’t get the license number.” It was priced below most of the other cars on the market, less than a year’s wages. They sold a lot of cars. But black Fords didn’t light everyone’s candle. Otherwise, he would have stopped at one model, one color, one design. He didn’t, and neither did the other manufacturers. That’s why there are 14 major global corporations that control more than 60 major automotive brands across the globe, and that doesn’t even count the little local companies in various countries around the world. Each brand, each model in that brand, and each additional customization of the models attracts a specific type of customer.
Ford’s Model T was a basic car to service people that just needed to get from point A to point B in a shorter amount of time than walking or horseback. Is that what your club provides? Just the basics? To get from fainting behind the lectern to giving the introduction to the mayor at the rally? No? You say it’s much bigger than that! Our club allows people to try different approaches to speaking from toasts at a wedding to keynote speeches at graduation. This club provides opportunities to get better at our event management from leading a Table Topics discussion to preparing the church for a sanctuary expansion. As members, we encourage growth in corporate, community, and volunteer organizational service. All at once. If I came to you with such a claim, would you believe it?
Take a look at the membership of your home club. What things do they have in common? What do they do in their spare time? What is the education level of the members? What is the age range? Why does it matter? If you want people to be comfortable in your club, you can’t attract people that would find that the meetings make them uncomfortable. You don’t want them intimidated. You don’t want them face-palming because they feel superior to the other members of the group. You don’t want a new member to be referred to as “the kid” in the group and neither do you want someone that feels he’s out of place due being twice as old as the other members.
You do not attract the members you want, you attract more of what you have. Just like you feel better with a team of peers, you don’t attract who you want, but who you are.