How to Quickly increase Your YMCA Member Sales

This week is YMCA week.  We spend a great deal of time with YMCA’s and yesterday we spoke about member retention and today we are going to speak to the importance of Recovery.  Member Recovery is the about having processes in place to, reach back out to past members and get them to re-join.

The great part about Member Recovery is that this target market has already been a member.  There are strategies we implement to drive them back.  If your YMCA has 9,000 Members and your retention rate is 50% then you lose 4,500 members per yer.  First that is way too low and you should also be working on retention strategies, but recovery plans are equally important.

With Member Recovery, you have customer information like: Name, Address, Phone, Email, Type of Membership in the Past, etc.  All your efforts to Recovering members will be a 2 part strategy:  Direct Marketing and Direct Sales.

Direct Marketing:  Stay in communication via email and mailer.  Send you past members a survey and find out why they left.  You may be doing things wrong and not know it and that is why members are leaving.  Never assume you know.  Keep you past members updated with what is happening at the YMCA.  Find out the type of membership they had in the past and send them a mailer with a discounted offer with call to action to help increase your probability of hitting their “sweet spots”.  Email us for more strategies:

Direct Sales:  You can not image how dirty of a word sales is at YMCA’s.  It is Dirty.  But Direct Sales is more effective than Direct Mail, so why are you not doing it?  Assign your most likely sales person to make phone calls one day out of the week.  Print your past member database and let one of your staff hit the phones.  Go over  a script, talking points and action items.  The start of the script should be to determine again, why they left your YMCA.  Ask them what is needed to get them back as a valued member.  Take action with trying to close them on another membership over the phone or schedule a meeting at the Y to discuss coming back.  It is best to try to close the membership over the phone.

Member Recovery is a very important step in your strategy and should not be underestimated.  Member Acquisition, Retention and Recovery Strategies are all vital to having maximum impact on member growth.  Email us to discuss more YMCA strategies:


The 1st Step in Increasing YMCA Member Retention

Many YMCA’s suffer from low member retention rates.  This is due to many reasons: poor customer service, bad procedures, competition, and lack of understand of how retention is calculated.  Many Y’s use Daxko or Trinexum software as their point of sale and CRM software and the retention rates are all calculated on an annual basis.

YMCA CEO’s have to report member retention numbers to the board of directors and many of these numbers are wrong.  These Y’s should be using their CRM software to compute the member retention by comparing apples-to-apples, but what is happening is that they are comparing apples-to-oranges.

If the software computes member retention on a 13 month basis and all memberships are used in the calculation such as 3 month, 6 month and month-to-month memberships, then apples are being compared to oranges.

For example:  If a member signs up for a membership at their local YMCA the softwares will compute if that person is still a member at the beginning of the 13th month.  The applications will track all the members on an annual basis to see how many are still members after a year.  So what about those memberships that are under one year mixed in the calculations?

A 3 month, 6 month and other customer short term memberships will have a 0% retention rate measured on an annual basis.  If the members sign up 2-4 times you may capture a 5-10% retention rate on short-term memberships, but it will not be much higher than that.

So if your YMCA is measuring retention on an annual basis then you can only compare it to annual memberships.  If you include any memberships on a time frame less than that then you are not using the same units of measurement in a mathematical formula.   For example:  5 Inches +4 Centimeters = What type of unit?  You need to convert the units to one single unit of measurement before solving.

Before you assume you have a low or high retention rate, make sure you and your YMCA are comparing apples to apples!  Contact us for the 10 steps any YMCA can take to increase member retention:

How Important is Teamwork?

Do you think and individual can do it better and faster than a great team?  Fostering teamwork can increase the performance of your company significantly.   The foundation of a team is trust and experience.  When everyone does there job you get results like this:

Next fall, when you see Geese heading south for the Winter….

Flying along in V formation… you might consider what Science has discovered as to why they fly that way.

As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in V formation the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on it’s own.

People who share a common direction and goal will get where they are going more quickly and easily traveling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone… and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in information with those who are headed the same way we are when the goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.

It is sensible taking turns doing demanding jobs or changing point with the people on your team Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up there speed.  What do we say when we honk from behind?

Finally… and this is important… when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshots, and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies:

only then do they launch out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their own group.

If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other and watch each others back.

Is there a better way to get the point across about teamwork and its importance?

How important is Marketing Research???

Managers need information in order to introduce products and services that create value in the mind of the customer. But the perception of value is a subjective one, and what customers value this year may be quite different from what they value next year. As such, the attributes that create value cannot simply be deduced from common knowledge. Rather, data must be collected and analyzed. The goal of marketing research is to provide the facts and direction that managers need to make their more important marketing decisions.

To maximize the benefit of marketing research, those who use it need to understand the research process and its limitations.

Marketing Research vs. Market Research

These terms often are used interchangeably, but technically there is a difference.

Market research deals specifically with the gathering of information about a market’s size and trends. Marketing research covers a wider range of activities. While it may involve market research, marketing research is a more general systematic process that can be applied to a variety of marketing problems.

The Value of Information

Information can be useful, but what determines its real value to the organization? In general, the value of information is determined by:

  • The ability and willingness to act on the information.
  • The accuracy of the information.
  • The level of indecisiveness that would exist without the information.
  • The amount of variation in the possible results.
  • The level of risk aversion.
  • The reaction of competitors to any decision improved by the information.
  • The cost of the information in terms of time and money.

The Marketing Research Process

Once the need for marketing research has been established, most marketing research projects involve these steps:

  1. Define the problem
  2. Determine research design
  3. Identify data types and sources
  4. Design data collection forms and questionnaires
  5. Determine sample plan and size
  6. Collect the data
  7. Analyze and interpret the data
  8. Prepare the research report

Sometimes They Just Don’t Get It!

Many times marketing firms and advertising agencies do not listen, pay attention or care about your success.  With these types of firms you become a number and the relationship goes away.  We do not want to see your business hire a marketing firm that will not provide you with the experience and results you deserve.  Our firm, The Octopus Solution, is not a fit for all businesses and organizations, but the ones we do work with achieve high levels of success and break through barriers.  That is what we are dedicated too.

Enjoy the video and remember that all great relationships take time to develop and earn trust.  Contact us to talk shop about the marketing needs of your company and we will tell you if we can help:

Leaders and Managers Need to DO Less!

Don’t show up to your office and tell them that you are not working anymore and still expect to get paid after reading our title!  In today’s business world our managers are more hands on than ever.  They are not managing and leading others to maximize production.

Here is our list on how to maximize staff production through Delegation and Inspection:

  • Trust your team – You must have the trust in your teams capabilities and that they will fulfill assignments and tasks
  • Strengths and weaknesses analysis – knowing who works for you and what they are great at will allow you to manage to their strengths and never to their weaknesses
  • Issue orders, assignments or to-dos to your team and let them run with it.  Do not control them…remember trust
  • Inspect your staff along the way to make sure they are on schedule, not in need of help, and moving forward
  • When things go right and your team is successful, it is because of your team!  When things go wrong and projects blow up, it is your fault as the manager or leader.
  • Becoming a better leader or manager starts with you, not your team.  If you do not have your act together you can not expect your team to.
  • Did you give your team your Best?  Can you leave the office everyday answering Yes to this question?

Here is an example:  We spent some time with a client who runs a small office of 6 employees.  The owner had a big vision to grow into multiple locations by using his existing business model as an example for operations.  He had the success, processes and systems in place to grow, but their was one thing limiting his ability to break through into a second location.  That one thing was Him!  He wanted to stay in place as an operational part of the company.  He is the president and needed to lead the business and not get bogged down in an employee position.  He was not ready to trust his team and trust the systems he built.  So we coached him out of the barriers in his head, dragged him away from the office and put inspection systems in place to manage his staff from a distance.  He has now positioned himself to spend more time with his family and prepare for opening multiple locations.  All because of proper delegation and inspection.

Businesses are in need of “Our Best”.  Leadership in business needs to be more black and white with high standards.

Welcome back to work from the long weekend!

Memorial Day – Thank You

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”

— General George S. Patton