5 Tips for Building Strong Relationships With Members & Prospects

Taking the time to form strong relationships in every area of life is an essential component to success. The relationships you’ve formed with various types of people in many different areas of your life can serve as a foundation for creating strong ties with members.

It’s always worthwhile, though, to reflect on what truly makes a relationship last.

Forging solid member relationships seems simple on the surface, but these ties require time, effort and tact. Developing and maintaining these connections can sometimes feel draining and even burdensome, with the hundreds of members we interact with, but the rewards can be significant. A personal connection, whether developed over weeks, months or years, can lead to positive word-of-mouth, increased sales, additional connections, job security and satisfaction.

Keep the following tips in mind and strengthen the most important aspect of your club: the relationships you have with your members:

1. Treat your members the way you want to be treated. This classic lesson seems like the simplest of tasks: Yet it is often the one forgotten. Nothing is more bothersome than bringing a guest to play golf or have lunch and no one is there to great them by name or bother to come over and check on them. When engaging in business with a member, put yourselves in their shoes and provide the same level of service and respect that you would want.

2. Remember that your members are people, not numbers. After a first conversation with a new member or prospect, remember not only their name but something about them, as a person. Remembering a fact about the member will prompt you to recall how an event or promotion that can suit the person’s needs. And these little details can have a big impact on building the relationship.

3. Honesty is key. Stretching the truth about your amenities or services in any way can seriously hinder your reputation. If you can be honest and realistic about any services that your club cannot provide at a first-class level, members will appreciate this and a foundation for a lasting relationship can develop.

4. Keep things lighthearted. Nothing is more upsetting than asking for something and having someone on staff be rude. We are in the “Yes” business, so if something isn’t on the menu or offered as a service think twice about saying no, and take a minute to check and see how you can make it a “YES”!

5. Watch your body language. People can tell, consciously and subconsciously, how you feel about being around them. Keeping your arms and legs uncrossed, smiling and making eye contact are great ways to ensure that a member remembers interacting with you. Remember that just one member is worth five introductions.

Each connection is unique and should be treated as such. Often the best tactic is to just be yourself and not overthink things. Take a genuine interest in a relationship and the rest will take care of itself.

While meaningful relationships, professional or otherwise, require significant time and effort to build, they often fall apart much more quickly. Take a relationship for granted, expect too much or appear apathetic, and rapport will deteriorate in a hurry.

Forming long-lasting, meaningful relationships is vital to any organization’s success. So avoid these pitfalls to instead reap the rewards of positive, mutually beneficial business relationships throughout your career.