May 2017 -- In late November of 2013 the Public Relations Committee, co-chaired by Jeff Hawes and Joe Roediger, brought to the Membership Committee, which I chair, an idea for a program that would promote new memberships and reward current members. They named the program AIM, which represents Admire, Invite and Mentor. They asked if it would be possible for both committees to work together to implement this.
After many months of brainstorming and research, the two committees presented the program before our membership late in 2014.
The idea was to give our current members an incentive to recruit and encourage non-USPTA pros (who have never been members) to join our association. For every successful new professional applicant enrolled, they would be rewarded $50 in USPTA Pro Shop credit or deduct $50 from their next year’s membership dues. Professional-level members are eligible to recruit up to two new members per year.
The recruiting member is issued the credit once the new member has applied for membership and paid their application fee and dues. The applicant must put the member’s name on the application form or they won’t be entitled to the $50 credit. No exceptions!
If you participate in this program, please remember the mentoring part. As the recruiting pro, you have the responsibility of helping that individual through the application and testing processes whenever possible. This is where you are going to earn your $50 credit. You need to be available to answer questions or obtain information for them to help make the application process as seamless as possible. The idea is make the applicant feel comfortable while going through the process. Recruiting pros are encouraged to make phone calls and send emails to the applicants to discuss how they are doing and ask if they need any assistance throughout the process.
In 2016 we had 354 members take advantage of the AIM program, far ahead of our expectations, making the AIM initiative one of the most successful programs we have ever designed. But with that being said, as I visit division conferences across the country and mention the AIM program as part of my national board update, I am surprised how many members have never heard of it. This indicates that we need to do a better job of marketing this program. If we successfully reached more than 350 USPTA pros with the current limited exposure through fliers and word-of-mouth advertising, think of how successful this program could be if we get all of the 17 USPTA divisions to promote it through email messages and advertising in their division newsletters.
The AIM program is a great way for USPTA pros to help increase our membership while earning cash credit in the USPTA pro shop or reducing their next year’s dues. So give some thought to recruiting a fellow pro who doesn’t already belong to our association!