Welcoming People To Your Club

You only get one chance to make a first impression

New Members

No club can grow without new members, so it is vitally important that you are sending out the right message to prospective new arrivals.

New visitors to clubs can often feel a little awkward when they walk through the door – they may be unsure of how to dress or act and may not know anybody at the club.

Therefore, it is very important to develop and maintain a culture where everybody talks to each other, whether they are a long-standing member or a new face coming through the door for the first time.

You do need to think about people as customers with differing needs and place greater emphasis on practising great customer service.

There are plenty of good examples of great clubs that are growing because they listen to people, speak their language and provide them with a service and experience they enjoy.

Club Welcome Packs

Do you hand out a Welcome Pack to potential new members to showcase the best of what your club has to offer?

That extra piece of information provided in this pack could be the difference as to whether the applicant decides to sign on at your club or walk away.

A Welcome Pack also helps them to find their way around and feel at home more quickly. It makes them feel valued and will help them to stay at the club.

A Welcome Pack could include:

  • A welcome letter from the Chairperson, signed personally
  • The club handbook or list of rules and advice
  • Details of club training and matches, with dates, times and locations
  • Information on special offers or discount vouchers from sponsors (if applicable)
  • Voucher for a drink at the bar (if applicable to club and applicant)

Through the eyes of the applicant

You may be so familiar with your club if you have been involved within the setup for a number of years but take a minute to think about what a new member may not know about the club.

Use the following steps to consider what a potential member might be thinking before deciding to join your club and how you can overcome these barriers to help them join.

Helping people hear about your club

  • Is your website up-to-date with correct contact details and are they in an easy place to find?
  • Can a potential new member easily find out when and where their age group trains?
  • Is your club active on social media and does it have a regularly updated presence on Facebook and Twitter?
  • Do these social media streams have positive postings from friendly members, telling stories and uploading photos of great experiences at your club?
  • Social media is a huge shop window for potential members and is often the first point of contact with younger players who may be looking to get into Rugby League

Removing barriers for new members

  • Ask new arrivals at your club about what their biggest concerns were when first joining the club
  • Do they not know all of the rules, do they not have all of the correct kit, do they have any concerns of not knowing anyone or are they struggling for transport to get to training and matches?

First impressions – The Three Twos

  • The first two seconds: First impressions are crucial – what do people first see when they come into your club? Do they see a broken lawn-mower standing outside the entrance or is the whole club well-kept and looking really tidy?
  • The first two minutes: Is the potential new member standing there, not really knowing what to do? You must have a culture in your club where everybody feels it is natural to go and say hello to anyone who looks a bit lost or unsure
  • The first two hours: The potential new member has now experienced their first training session but did they feel part of the team and did the coach pay particular attention to them?

Keeping in touch

  • Have a simple form ready where people can leave their contact details: their name, a mobile number and email address, then a designated person can follow up and encourage them to return for a second session
  • It is very important that one person within your club is responsible for maintaining an up-to-date database
  • You could assign a buddy or mentor by getting an appropriate member of your current team to keep in touch with the new player. This is a great point of contact for the new member and they can ask any “silly” questions