“Ask Max” is a regular feature of C+RB’s monthly Membership + Marketing column, where Max Passino Deboer, Director of Marketing & Membership for The Club at Mediterra in Naples, Fla., answers questions sent in by readers.
The Club at Mediterra is a Distinguished Elite, Platinum Club inside the community of Mediterra, which has been named Community of the Year in Naples 12 times in 16 years.
Max is a veteran hospitality leader with a 15-year hotel career followed by an almost 20-year club career, the last 13 at Mediterra. Max is a proud member of the Membership Directors Association of Southwest Florida, whose program for exchanging ideas and information is unmatched.
Max’s passion is being helpful, so… let’s “Ask Max”!
I am always looking for hacks to make my job easier. Do you have any to share?
I am with you! I love tips that make me more efficient. Here are eight of my favorites:
1. www.wordclouds.com – Free word cloud generator.
2. www.doodle.com – Free poll creator for
determining the best meeting dates/times among a group of people
3. www.myfreelogomaker.com – Great for branding departments or member groups.
4. www.grammarly.com – There is a free and a paid version, great tool for better writing.
5. www.canva.com – Free and paid version for making great flyers and much more.
6. If you are already a Microsoft 365 account holder, there are a couple services they offer for free about which you might not know. www.sway.office.com/my – nice, cloud-based online presentations; and www.web.microsoftstream.com — easy video creation for engagement, i.e., “How tos.”
7. OneNote – Are you familiar with all this little app can do? You can dictate to it, you can write notes on your iPad (need a special pen but you do not need the expensive Apple version) and convert it to text, and more.
8. Here is one for Apple people … Shortcuts – In case you have never stopped to figure this one out, it is great. You can create automations like, when your alarm goes off, it starts playing a podcast.
P.S. If anyone has any hacks to share, please pass them along to share with others!
How can I stand out as a true hospitality professional?
The best advice for being a great hospitality professional is still the oldest advice … make it personal. “It’s not personal, it’s strictly business” might make sense for the Godfather, but in real life, especially in our line or work, everything is personal. The more personal we make it, the more connected we are and the more impact we have on one another.
Like the great George Eliot said, “What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?”
My boss likes to say, ‘high impact, low cost’ and making it personal is the greatest high impact, low-cost endeavor there is. Here are seven of my favorite ways to keep things personal:
1. Keep a database of members and their personal information: favorite color, where they went to college, how many children they have, favorite wine, etc. the more details the better. Continue to add to the database as you learn more. Then when that member calls or you have a meeting with them, you can ask relevant questions.
2. Send handwritten notes – such a personal touch. I like to send them after a member’s orientation is complete.
3. Send members birthday messages asking them to come to the club to toast! (This can be automated.)
4. If you have the capability, take advantage of autoresponders to help you communicate more effectively. Effective communication in this day and age of information overload is even more precious.
5. Answer your e-mails/phone calls – do not keep people waiting.
6. Reach out, just because – send an e-mail or text and just check in.
7. Create opt-in mailing lists by topics so you can send specific e-mails to only those who want that information whether it is by amenity, if they have children, etc.