AutoInc. Magazine
 
 
MAGAZINE
Home
Current Issue
Ad Index
AutoInc. Archive
How to Contribute
Reprint Permission
RSS
READER SERVICES
Subscription Info
Letters to the Editor
ANNUAL FEATURES
Top 10 Web Sites
Software Guide
NACE Online Daily News
How's Your Business?
ADVERTISING
Ad Opporunities
Media Planner
ABOUT AUTOINC.
AutoInc. Mission
Meet Our Staff
  Guest Editorial

Strong Infrastructure Helps Attract New Members

Posted 5/1/2008
By Daniel “Danny” Guido, AAM

Current Chairman’s Club winner shares his winning strategies for growing ASA.

One of my goals when I became chairman of the ASA-Arizona affiliate was to increase our membership.

I soon discovered that the first question prospective members ask is, “What’s in it for me and my employees?”

We studied our existing membership and realized that our members in the outlying areas have different needs than those in the inner city. Among differences between members in the city versus those in the outlying areas was training. Towns like Prescott, Payson, Yuma and Sedona were not getting their share of classes. ASA-Arizona was able to offer classes and times to fit the needs of these members and vendors.

Next, we evaluated the list of member benefits and realized that we needed to increase the number of choices to our members. We negotiated the best programs for our members that not only guaranteed savings, but good customer service, follow-up and local representation. We developed a partnership program with vendors such as credit card processors, uniform companies, insurance carriers and parts suppliers and used their marketing investment to promote the association.

The strategy that seemed to produce the most new members was personal visits by Luz Rubio, our executive director, and myself. During those visits, we talked briefly about benefits, but we were more interested in the state of their businesses and how we could make a difference. Many new members talked about their parts supplier support, or a problem with their uniform vendor. Several members wanted to talk politics. Within days, if not hours, we had that part company or under-performing vendor at their door solving the issue. The political items were addressed either by phone call from Bob Redding, ASA’s Washington, D.C., representative, or a member of the national operations committee.

We believe key to any expansion is a strong infrastructure. Our board worked diligently to shore up all the weaknesses we found by having strategic planning sessions with new and old members as well as long- and short-term vendors. Our annual Sunrise Convention was made more enjoyable and affordable. Quarterly meetings turned into social gatherings, where both members and vendors talked more freely. We found that making each vendor accountable to the board with monthly activity reports improved communication and response time.

New members do not want to join a struggling association with no income sources, no succession plan for leadership, no long-term planning and no media connections. With these changes in place, months of meetings and interest from groups like the Collision Crafters Association paid off. They couldn’t help but take notice when vendors, members and lobbyists inquired as to why they wanted to unite with ASA-Arizona. The expansion has been great. The key is to keep listening to new members’ concerns and address them proactively.

Our next goal is to retain our membership. All current members need to be involved. New members need to be mentored, and to feel part of something. We realize a new member will not survive that first year without some assistance and attention. This is a perfect opportunity to show how important they are to the association, and in return they will do the same when they recruit a new member to the association. All people learn by example and this, too, will be passed on from member to member.

Kevin LeibyDaniel “Danny” Guido, AAM, owns Tony’s Service Center in Phoenix. He is a general director on ASA’s national board of directors and is affiliate director of ASA-Arizona. He won the Chairman’s Club award in 2007 for recruiting the most members in a given period. For more details on the Chairman’s Club, please visit the Members Only section of the ASA Web site at www.ASAshop.org.


MOST ACCESSED ARTICLES

  • Fuel Injection Service, Not Just Cleaning
  • The Art of Extraction
  • EGR Systems: Operation and Diagnosis
  • Proactive Target Marketing:_Rethinking Your Business Strategy
  • Engine Performance: HO2S Diagnostics
  • MOST E-MAILED ARTICLES

  • Developing Employee Potential
  • How Critical Thinking Can Help Your Business
  • How to Diagnose the Ford Glow Plug
  • What to Look for When Shopping for the Right Shop Management Software
  • Putting a Price Tag on Complaints
  • AutoInc. Web Site | ASA Web Site | EPA Tightens Smog Standard | Collision Division Gets Answers on State Farm Select Service Parts Test | The Little Engine That Could | Being 'Cream of the Crop' Takes One Extra Degree | Guest Editorial | Tech to Tech | Tech Tips | Around ASA | Shop Profile | Net Worth | Stat Corner | Members' Advantage | Chairman's Message

     
    Copyright (c) 1996-2011. Automotive Service Association®. All rights reserved.
    XML Add RSS headlines.