Members of Exclusive Private Clubs revealed their dissatisfaction with their Exclusive Private Clubs in a recent survey commissioned by RS Management, General Managers of the soon to be launched - Richman's International Millionaire's Clubs.
We asked successful international corporations and businessmen around the world the question "What is your ONE most important reason for belonging to an exclusive private club?" 98.3% sighted "the ability to improve business through networking with other club members internationally" as their ONE most important reason to join an Exclusive Private Club". 88.9% sited "the ability to use affiliate club facilities at international, non-home clubs" as an additional important reason to belong to an Exclusive Private Club. We then asked if the clubs, they had joined, satisfied their two requirements stated above. What a shock we had when everyone said "NO." Now, that's either a disaster waiting to happen or it's a great opportunity? We pushed further and asked for a few real live examples of their experiences...
One major international corporation said "After we joined the club, our nominees were not introduced to other members in any formal way and our CEO had to hang around the club's restaurants introducing himself. It seemed like we were cold calling potential customers. Frankly, we felt pretty cheap. Not at all what we expected."
Another major corporation from Asia said "We asked if we could sponsor one of the club's upcoming Golfing events and were told that all sponsorship rights had been awarded to an independent sports marketing agency, who wasn't even a club member, and that the agency had their own sponsors lined up for the event. What a sham!"
A major corporation's CEO, who was the company's nominee at the club, said, "I was traveling to the USA on business and learned that our company's home club had affiliate arrangements with certain prestigious clubs in New York. I thought it may be a good idea to impress some of the potential clients by taking them to lunch at one of these prestigious clubs. Boy, was I disappointed! The New York club treated me like I was some kind of a crook. When I phoned in, they accepted my reservation for lunch with three of my important guests. But when we arrived, I was asked to produce a letter of introduction from our home club. Of course, as nobody told me about this letter, I didn't have it. To add to my embarrassment one of my guests who happened to be a member of the club ended up hosting and paying for the lunch."
Several CEO's from other corporations had similar stories to tell. Almost all were surprised to learn that they were not allowed to sign bills for meals or facilities at their home club's affiliates in other countries or cities. They had to use their credit cards like any outsider. One prominent international businessman from the Middle East put it quite bluntly... "If after paying several million dollars for a membership, I need to still produce a %+$%# letter of introduction each time I visit an affiliate club overseas and then have to use my own credit card to settle bills, I may as well just entertain at any hotel down the road. What's the point of belonging to a so called Exclusive Private Club that claims affiliations and reciprocal facilities around the world, when I'm treated like a troublesome outsider at these so called affiliate clubs? The whole thing is a bloody waste of money. In my opinion there's no such thing as a truly international club. I wish there was..."
Finally, something positive from the survey. Those corporations and business people who had purchased transferable club memberships before or at the official launch of the clubs were happy to note that the open market value of their memberships had increased substantially.. in some cases more than ten times what they paid.
Dr A S Johan, Corporate Adviser and Interim CEO of Richman's International Millionaire's Clubs says..."whatever your reason for joining a private club, make sure you get what you're paying for."