copy-of-susan_headshot4 Today’s blog continues my earlier look at Toastmasters International—a 501(c)(3) volunteer-driven membership organization from the perspective of Bruce Temkins’ Six Laws of Customer Experience — The Fundamental Truths that Define How Organizations Treat Customers.  I start from the self-evident premise that Toastmasters International must sell memberships around the globe. Memberships sales occur one at a time when a volunteer recruits another and when a current member renews her or his dues. Membership sales occur twenty-plus-at-a-time when a volunteer gathers together enough prospective members to form a new club.

Temkin’s Six Laws are here and below:

1) Every interaction creates a personal reaction.
2) People are instinctively self-centered.
3) Customer familiarity breeds alignment.
4) Unengaged employees don’t create engaged customers.
5) Employees do what is measured, incented, and celebrated.
6) You can’t fake it.


Temkin points out that everyone has their own frame of reference, which heavily influences what they do and how they do it.

In a Toastmasters marketing situation, prospective members, for instance, care intensely about their own needs and desires but they don’t generally know or care as much about how Toastmasters clubs are organized. Current members have their individual frames of reference that prospects do not.

Consequences of this law in the Toastmasters context include the following:

You know more about the program than your prospective members. You can’t eliminate your biases, but it helps to acknowledge them. Recognize that prospective members may not understand things like our multiple acronyms and service chart.  Simplify your language and cut the Toastmasters lingo!

Don’t sell memberships twice a year when “dues are due.” Instead, help current and prospective members buy them. What value do your current and prospective members believe will come with membership—new OR renewing?

Don’t let the Toastmasters service chart drive all experiences. Just because we have several layers of our organization from club to Board of Directors, that does not permit you to make prospective members jump through organizational hoops to participate as she or he wants to.

The bottom line is: Shift from self-centeredness to member centeredness — both potential and current. You will grow, and so will your membership.