This is the information James Taris shared with LETS groups all over the world on his international LETS tours between 2002-2004.
by James Taris
the James Taris European LETS Tour - August to October 2002)
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Think of LETS points as `favours' rather than `money'. This will help build a community-minded spirit within the group, and place a friendlier tone on each trade.
Only offer 3 kinds of goods and services:
you love doing.
So whenever you get a call from a member you'll try your hardest to help them out. There's nothing more frustrating than contacting members who don't want to (or can't) provide the goods and services they've listed on their List of Offerings.
Divide your wants into 2 categories:
a-NECESSITIES - these are your basic living needs such as mortgage/rent, phone, gas, electricity, petrol, food, clothes, and so forth. Determine to keep any income you earn for your necessities, and see if any of them (such as food and clothing) can be obtained through LETS.
b-LUXURIES - these are the extras you can live without (or usually end up doing yourself), but would improve your living conditions if you had them (or could get someone else to do them for you). Things like lawn mowing, gardening, painting, house repairs, car repairs, massage, computer tuition, musical instrument lessons, gifts, books, etc.
Use LETS to get as many of these luxuries as possible and boost your LIFESTYLE!
Go through your LETS Directory and check off all the goods and services which:
i/ you'd like to have, but don't, because you either can't afford them or can't justify spending your cash on them.
ii/ you currently do yourself, but don't enjoy doing (this can also free up your time to help other members by doing things you really enjoy).
There's 3 things to keep in mind when it comes to trading.
a-Help new members make their first trade. Preferably the minute they join! Or as soon as possible afterwards. New members find it hard to contact members for trades because they're often afraid of being rejected. You can help them overcome this hurdle by bringing them in contact with a member you know will help them out. After that, they'll usually be fine on their own.
b-Identify new members as `givers' or `receivers'. Some members need to get something from the group before they're confident that the system works. Others need to earn credits before they get the same confidence. Either trade is fine, but the new member will feel happier trading in the role he's currently most comfortable with.
c-Meet as many members as possible � as soon as possible. You'll find members more willing to do favours for people they know, rather than for strangers. And the best way to meet group members is by attending the monthly LETS Events.
There are 3 types of LETS Events:
i/-LETS Get Togethers - This is purely a social event, where members and their families meet for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
ii/-LETS Trading Days - Members can exchange goods and socialise as well. But it's not compulsory to bring anything. As with any trading, you need buyers as well as sellers.
iii/-LETS Project Days - These are 'working bees' which are organized for a specific task. This can either be for the benefit of your LETS group or a LETS member, and all participants earn LETS points for their time.
5-Helping With LETS Group Administration
Ask to help your LETS Group with a role you're interested in. They're always in need of help, and will treat you like royalty. This is an excellent way to:
your account into credit by earning LETS points.
6-Getting Your LETS Group Remotivated
Sometimes your LETS Group might experience a slump in trade and membership. This is often an indication that confidence in your LETS group has waned, and should be treated as a warning signal rather than the death knell.
I've found that the best solution for such a situation is to rebuild confidence in the group by "helping them get what they want"! Get your most excited or persuasive member to ring every member left in the group and (if it's you):
a-introduce yourself, then explain that you want to do whatever you can to help them get whatever they want through the LETS group.
b-confirm that they're still willing to offer the items on their List of Offerings (help them add to this list if you feel it necessary)
c-make a long list of goods and services (I used 200 items in my first list) then ask them which items they could use now or sometime in the future. Your goal is to show them you'd like to attract new members into the group who will be able to provide these things for them.
d-use your knowledge of what's being offered and what's being requested to arrange trades between your members.
This doesn't take as long as you may think. Depending on the size of your group, this may only take 1, 2 or 3 days to achieve. Which isn't long when you consider that it most probably will be saving the life of your LETS group.
And this is not an ongoing role either. Once the members start trading again, they'll have gained back the confidence they'd lost, and will soon be making their own calls again.
7-Recruiting New LETS Members
Due to various reasons, losing members is a normal experience by any group. So recruiting new members should be an ongoing group activity.
The following recruiting activities usually prove very successful:
notices in the What's On section (usually free in local newspapers)
But the best activity of all is through successful LETS trades between members. Because this gives members an opportunity to brag to their family and friends about how they got things done without the need for money. It doesn't take many examples of this before those friends and family are knocking on the LETS door asking to become members!
On October 19, 2001, I started work on LETS-Linkup.com. This was to be a web site which would provide links to every LETS group in the world and also every article on the internet which had anything related to LETS or local community trading systems.
After 3 weeks and 250 hours effort, I had put together a web site of over 60 web pages listing over 1,000 LETS groups from over 20 countries. I then used this experience to present my "LETS And The Internet" presentation at the Australian National LETS Convention on November3, 3 weeks after I first started my project.
The web site has continued to be well supported by LETS groups worldwide, and has since grown to 78 web pages listing over 1500 LETS groups from 38 countries.
9-James Taris LETS Background
My name is James Taris, and I'm a LETSaholic.
I joined my first LETS group in 1994, and after my first trading experience (11 months after I joined!) I became hooked on the benefits of LETS which has since seen me join several other LETS groups, as well as being involved in launching a couple of others.
I've been interviewed on the radio several times about LETS, and also featured as a LETS speaker at several LETS conventions.
My current European LETS Speaking Tour is my way of getting first hand knowledge of LETS Groups and how they are run overseas. It's also an opportunity to show how LETS points can be used to trade with LETS members from all around the world. All of my accommodation and many other expenses have been covered with LETS transactions.
I love LETS. Long live LETS!
Other James Taris web sites