HELP! RAC needs you

Thanks to the hard work of Doug Frame, VE3JDF, the Ontario South – Niagara RAC Assistant Director, we signed up or renewed 25 new members for Radio Amateurs of Canada at Saturday’s Ontario Hamfest 2010 which takes place in Milton, Ontario. RAC also needs to thank the Burlington Amateur Radio Club for so generously offering to refund the ticket price to anyone who took out a new membership in RAC.

There are lots of big hamfests scheduled across Canada and helping out the assistant directors by staffing RAC membership booths is the number one volunteering opportunity RAC can offer. Staffing the booth is easy, fun and it gets you into the hamfest early :) Some areas, like southern Ontario, are chronically understaffed by volunteers. If we agree that growing a strong national organization is in our personal best interest then we need tog get involved in RAC.

In photo: That’s me on the left with Doug, VE3JDF and a couple of the hundreds of hams who dropped by the RAC booth to say hello.

So what do you need to get involved?

One your membership needs to be current. If you’ve allowed your membership to lapse or if you’re not a member yet here’s the online link to the membership form.

Now as to the booth itself. If your team doesn’t have a table top display have a look at the blog posting I did on how to create one for under $25 (or so) here. One lesson I learned on Saturday is next time I’ll bring about $60 in change (and I’ll make sure I take $60 home with me) as the membership in Ontario is $56.50 (including HST) and you’ll be constantly making change for new members with $60 in $20 bills.

The easiest way to sign up new members is ask everyone who passes by the booth if they are a member. If they say yes thank them for their support. If they say no or they’ve let their membership lapse tell them if they sign up today you’ll handle the mailing for them. Tell them you can take cash, a cheque or a credit card (the credit card information is just handwritten onto the form). That’s it. No hard sell but you’ve got to make the “ask.” Any of you in sales will be familiar with this asking concept. And it’s important to make the ask while you’re standing up behind or in front of your booth. Sitting at a booth where you are selling by talking to people passing by you must be standing. We use chairs behind the booth in Milton.

Another tip is to have four people staffing the booth so you can have two people on and two people off (likely checking out the fleamarket) and don’t fall into the bad habit of talking to your booth mates as potential new members are walking in front of you. This takes some awareness to do but it pays off in increased membership sales.

Finally if you can get the event organizers to announce the location of the RAC booth or if they are willing to refund the entrance fee for memberships these are great encouragements to get a few more memberships.

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