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District 60, Sandra Wolfe, ATM-G, #17 in the World
Sadan Mankikar was our LGM last year. This year our challenges are we are a huge district geographically, especially in the north. Our Toronto area downtown clubs are experiencing a lot of downsizing. For marketing, the District created a large, 11x17 color poster about Toastmasters. We're doing great in education. We created a tracking chart and "focus and achieve" stickers to encourage members with a "key to success"
as they complete an educational. We're promoting a limited edition for TI's 75th anniversary with a red sticker for CTMs and blue diamond sticker for CLs, DTMs, or ATMs.

District 27, Karen Booker, DTM, #18 in the World
The LGM is the new kid on the block. I had great help from District Governor Marianne Meadows. The DG mentored me through it, especially that first term. It impressed upon me that a DG has to help the LGM. The hardest thing is trying to keep from losing clubs. It's constant communication. Keep on plugging!

District 64, Scott Murray, DTM, #19 in the World
Focus on WIIFM (What's in it for me) when dealing with members and clubs. We never talked about achieving Distinguished with them until late April when they could feel like they owned the outcome. Prior to that we nudged them along membership-wise by selling the benefits of having a larger club, training them on how to find guests and close the sale, etc. We made every effort to make sure that the message we were sending to them was: we want YOU to experience success - rather than need to achieve our numbers for US.
THE KEY IS TO DEFINE HOW CLUBS MEASURE THEIR SUCCESS -
it's membership and educationals, not who wins the area speech contest or hosts the best contest.

KNOW YOUR REPORTS (if you don't like numbers, find someone that does to do the work for you). Related to knowing your numbers, project your per capita results (based on Ken Tanner's worksheet (PID-D42) and past performance averages) and use it as a management tool. Use the results from successful years as a benchmark as to whether or not you are achieving success at any point in time.

For example, in March, when our monthly per capita unexplainably were way below our average experience for March, we took action immediately: we asked past DGs and other key players to visit key clubs with a message to achieve 20+ members before June 30th, asked Past International President Jack Gillespie to give a motivational message to our April District Council meeting, established a spring membership building contest, etc. If we hadn't been following the numbers closely we wouldn't have recognized the urgency of acting sooner rather than later. BELIEVE that you will achieve Distinguished, even if the numbers look discouraging. By the same token, don't believe the numbers if they look too promising. Only the June 30th numbers count - your actions can change the numbers any time before that - positively or negatively! Keep key players informed of progress so that they can also respond - keep it positive and motivational.

District 64, Scott Murray, DTM, #19 in the World (continued)

Watch the deadlines carefully - we focused on three clubs in March that had potential to charter in time for double per capita. We actively encouraged and assisted to make sure the paperwork went in on time. We would have been happy with one or two at double per caps - as a result of our focus and action we got all three! That gave us 74 extra per caps - we finished the year with only 60+ extra. The focused effort at the right time made the difference.

Identify early on which clubs are not going to make it and be willing to let them go - but make sure you have others lined up to replace them. You don't want to pin your hopes June 25th on a historically low member club that hasn't sent in semi-annual dues yet.

Identify lots of prospects for new clubs and start early. Some will pan out and some won't. Have lots of clubs on the go and then towards the end of the year you are in a position to make strategic decisions. Traditionally, we have waited for prospects to come to us. You can actively encourage them to charter by June 30th or set up the next year by waiting for them to charter over the summer or in September. In June, we needed two clubs - we had two clubs unpaid that still had some hope and we had four or five clubs at 12+ members.

Consider taking the long-term view of sustainable growth that allows you to be distinguished every year rather than wild swings in performance. An extraordinary year this year may only set the district up for failure in following years, resulting in gains that are not sustainable. We achieved President's Distinguished four years ago and don't have any more clubs or members in our district today than we did prior to that year.

1. Make sure all your committee chairs understand the meaning and requirements of being distinguished. Make sure your committee chairs are not working at cross-purposes.

District 7, Beryl Anderson, DTM, #20 in the World
We had great success with new clubs. I was lucky to have an Extension Chair
that built 15 new clubs. Don't try to do it by yourself. We get so much smarter after our year is over. The emphasis from TI is on new clubs. If we didn't lose so many clubs, we wouldn't have to start so many. The emphasis needs to be on making the clubs we already have stronger. This year the LGET and LGM, together with input from the PDGs, are going to develop a marketing plan and have it in place for the new LGM to get started. When you work on a plan, it's not what it says, it's the process you went through together. Meet routinely as a Top 3, in person, not just by phone. For example, pick the 1st Wednesday of the month, make a commitment and keep it. It's too easy to let it slide.

Marketing Excellence Compiled by Pam Keyzer, DTM

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