Recruiting Made Easy!

She had never belonged to a professional organization. She had no connections. She had no mentors. AND she was scared...totally outside her comfort zone. Sound familiar to you?

Yet...a Southern lady from Alabama became President of the American Society for Training and Development and took its membership from 44 to 142 in one year...winning International Recognition for their club.

Today she is one of the most sought after speakers/trainers in the organization and association world. The question is...“how” did she do it? Did something change in her life? Did she have a paradigm shift? Did she use the skills she already possessed? “How?” She practiced G.A.T.H.A. I am that “she”.

At 62 years of age I’ve reflected on my has been one continuum of sales. Regardless of the profession or career, professional, civic or religious organization, life is about sales. Sales is all about recruiting. It is finding the people who have what you have to offer.

If you are seeking to grow your business, expand your wings personally or in your career, you are looking for someone who has already been there and done that...they have what you want (to “buy”). So we are all in sales, constantly looking for someone to whom we can sell what we know or from whom we can purchase what we need to know. I’ve experienced it as an international speaker/trainer, as a developer of customized programs, as a columnist, as a consultant, as an author, as a poet, as a mother, as a grandmother, as a wife, as a friend, as a member of organizations, as the owner of a multi-million dollar recruiting business.

Identifying “what” you are doing and “why” you are doing it are the two most important things to remember when expanding the membership your local club. The “what” is easy here...“recruit”! All of us know what “recruit” means...“take on; enlist; enroll; sign up” further...“novice, apprentice, disciple, freshman, intern, newcomer, pupil, rookie, student, tenderfoot, trainee”. If this article ended here we could understand “why” so many recruits “go nowhere” in our local organizations. What do we do with them after they come into the organization? That’s another article.

Every new recruit comes into your local organization with an unspoken “goal”. They have something in their personal or professional life they want to achieve. It may be as simple as being recognized for “who” they are or it may becoming the “president” of your National Organization. Too often we bring in a new recruit and began indoctrinating them with “us” and getting them to see “our goals” for our club. When we know “why” a person is willing to give of their time...the most precious commodity on the market today...then we have the “key” to keeping them active in the organization. There is a fine art to this, the art of listening, becoming friends, building relationships, putting others first, helping them to “become” and “fulfill” their goals and dreams through our organization.

Many people search for the perfect technique. The only perfect technique lies in building relationships, loving and caring about people. Does this mean “that if I love and care about people, everyone will come into my organization?” Absolutely not!

There is something called the Law of Averages which is a universal law. Just like the Law of Gravity, it works all of the time and applies to everyone. It is ALWAYS in effect. This law never takes a break. Some people consciously use this Law to help them recruit...others are oblivious to it. Regardless of which category you fall into, the fact does not change that the Law is always in effect. What is the trick? UNDERSTANDING the Law Of Averages and then learning “how to” use it to increase your membership.

The Law Of Averages says “do something long enough and consistently enough” over a period of time and you will develop a ratio of results. In other words, if you consistently share your recruiting message often enough, eventually it will fall on the right people and you will recruit them. Simple, right? Actually, it's deceptively simple (most powerful life-altering revelations usually are). Let’s see if we can grasp its implications.

Let's take a closer look at the CORE of the Law - the "RATIO OF RESULTS."

Everyone (beginners all the way up to the ole’ timers) has a ratio of results. For example, you approach 10 different people, 6 agree to be your guest at your next meeting, 4 actually keep the appointment, you recruit 2 of the 4. That's a ratio of results... the Law Of Averages in action. In this case, you can assume that for every 10 people you approach to take a look at your organization, you will end up recruiting 2 new people.

In the example outlined above, the Law Of Averages says your ratio of results of approaches to new enrollees is 10 to 2 or 20%.

Now, not only do you have the overall ratio of approaches to new members, but each individual step leading to the end result has its own individual ratio. Here's what I mean (going back again to our example) - the ratio of approaches to appointments is 10 to 6 or 60%. And the ratio of appointments to actually attending the meeting is 6 to 4 or 66.67%. And 50% of the people who are your guests to actually recruiting, making the ratio of guests to new enrollees 4 to 2. Get the idea?

Why keep track of the steps in between? Because they pin-point the EXACT areas of breakdown (or potential breakdowns) in your recruiting process. If you approach 20 people to be your guest, 3 people show up, you recruit all 3 of them, you can assume
you've a great recruiter (you deliver well) but your prospecting skills could use improvement. In this case, if you worked on the approach and honed it so that
60% of all the people you approached actually were your guests then your recruiting results will grow exponentially.

So, no matter where you are in your organization (beginner, experienced, or professional) the Law Of Averages works and produces a quantifiable ratio of results for each step in your recruiting process. Obviously, someone just signing up today has a very different ratio of results than the confident recruiter. But the Law still works for them too. Maybe they need to approach 15 people to get 1 to be their guest... but it still works.

The Law Of Averages is the great equalizer. You see, the Law states that a person can compensate for lack of skill, knowledge or experience with activity. Compare the person of experience with the beginner. The pro may only have to approach 3 people to recruit 1 or 2 whereas the beginner has to approach 15 or 20 to recruit 1. But the beginner still recruits 1 (simple...more activity). That's why your numbers tell the whole story of your success (or lack of).

With a clear understanding of how the Law works, even the beginner can recruit 6 new people their first month in your organization. “How?” By following their recruiter’s (mentor’s) duplicable system and taking MASSIVE action. It's simple. Say it takes 10 approaches to get 4 guests to recruit 1. All you have to do is approach 60 people to
recruit the 6. Good news... there's no way someone can approach 60 people (with a semi-decent approach) and not dramatically increase their ratio of results. See how easy it is to set and achieve goals once you understand and apply the Law of Averages?

Key to this Law: Your ratio of results WILL improve when you work on it. With activity comes experience, improved skills and newfound confidence. Show me a beginner who understands this concept and is willing to risk being a little uncomfortable and bear a little rejection (15+ "no's" to recruit 1) and I'll show you someone who's on the fast track to becoming a new member enrollment machine and winning the award this year. say, “We’ve tried the Law of Averages...there must be a better way!” That’s “run of the mill” stuff...we’ve already asked everyone we know...what about some fresh new ideas and concepts? We know that bringing in new members is like having a transfusion, it gives you “pep”, it creates excitement, it energizes the whole group, it gives you “get up and go” again. How do we do it?

How about using the G.A.T.H.A. principle?

There are five steps in the G.A.T.H.A. principle.

  1. Goals - Every member makes a list:
    100 Names (minimum), Addresses, Phone Numbers (& Email Addresses)
  2. Ask
    What is the greatest advertising known to us today? "Word of Mouth!"
    Ask through a "who do you know" letter
    Briefly the letter should say:
    Briefly the letter should say:


    “The purpose of this letter is let you know that we are expanding our membership in Credit Professionals and are looking for a couple of really great people.

    “I am excited about our organization, the personal and professional development, and the services we provide.

    “I have personally grown and have developed my leadership skills which have enhanced my career. (Identify how it has helped you in your career or your personal life)

    “I have many friends whose professional life and personal life have totally changed as a result of our organization.

    “Enclosed you will find a brochure which gives you an overview of our organization. If you know anyone who would like to develop their leadership skills, communication skills, or enhance their career, would you please pass this
    information on to them.

    “I’ll give you a call in a couple of days. Thanks in advance for your help.

    “Gatha Crowson”

    In this letter you will accomplish two major things...
      A. You have said to this person, "you are a high credibility person and you know the person I am looking for." (a very        nice compliment)
      B. You have eliminated the rejection did not ask them to join...

  3. Telephone
    Call the person three days after you mail the letter. This is the “script”:
    Hello Yvonne,
    This is Gatha.
    How are you doing?
    A couple of days ago I mailed you some information on our organization.
    Did you receive the information?
    Have you had a chance to look over it?
    We are expanding our membership, looking for a few good people.
    I immediately thought about you.
    I have no idea whether you would be personally interested,
    but I knew that you would be willing to do me a favor and
    recommend someone that I could contact to be my guest at
    our next “get-together” on (date, time, place)

    Your friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances are usually willing to do you a favor.
    Especially since you did not ask them to join.
    Another thing happens here... “Fear of loss” sets in for the person
    you did not ask them to join...
    “Fear of loss” is the greatest motivator known to man
    Questions in their mind:
    “What am I missing?”
    “What about me?” are NOT asking them to join.
    You are looking for who they know, that is called “referrals”!
  4. Help!
    “What do I do with the referrals?”
    Call them...Script:
    “Hello Donna, This is Gatha Crowson.
    I am a member of our local CPI chapter and we are expanding our membership.
    Our mutual friend Yvonne said that you are the type of person we are seeking. Would you do me a favor and be my guest at (date, time, place)?
    You may not be interested, but you will know someone who is looking for personal
    growth or professional development and can recommend someone to me.

    If they cannot come on that date...ask for their address and send them a
    brochure with a post-it note which says:
    “I enjoyed visiting with you.
    I’m glad our friend Yvonne recommended you.
    Thank you for taking the time to read over the brochure.
    I’ll give you a call in a couple of days.
  5. Action
    Activity creates courage...inactivity creates fear.
    Activity gets everyone in the club or chapter excited.
    New blood (members) ALWAYS brings about great things.
    Knowing what to do is one thing.
    Doing it is another.
    You can know “how to” bake a cake, but you must have the ingredients and you
    must turn on the stove to the right temperature.
    In the oldest writings we have it is stated, “be courageous and do it NOW!”

Does the G.A.T.H.A. principle work? Almost four years ago I agreed to build a new club for Optimist International, Inc. in a city 60 miles away from my home and I knew only one person there. The club was recognized six weeks following the kickoff with 47 members.

Recruiting does begin with developing relationships, caring about other’s needs. Most try to sell their organization to another person instead of discovering what is lacking in the person’s life. Unfulfilled needs, wants, desires are the “why” a person will become an active member of your organization. Once you know what is lacking then you know “how” your organization and it’s leadership or personal development programs can fulfill this need in the individual’s life. Instead of selling...making a pitch...the “see how great we are” or “how great this would be for you”...try listening to their needs, wants, desires, “goals” (probably unspoken goals) and see how your organization can help them achieve their dreams. Ask a relationship...then activate. This works with old members as well as new members. Do you know the “core desire” of your old members? Meet the need and you activate a member who has grown “weary in well doing”.

Remember what you gained from becoming an active member of Credit Professionals:

  • personal development
  • enhanced leadership skills
  • educated yourself through courses, seminars, workshops
  • great networking for career
  • brainstorming, sharing of ideas
  • professional development
  • comfort zone expanded
  • friendships worth more than the “price of gold”

If someone says “no” when you approach them...remember they have rejected the opportunity of a lifetime...not “you”. You KNOW what they have missed. Keep in mind that the “timing” may not be right for them. Put them on a list of people you will contact again in 6 months or a year.

Always REMEMBER...Care as much about new members after they join as you did when you were recruiting them...before they signed on the dotted line. They are like our children...they are the “future”.

The new millennium has brought about changes...progress to all of our lives, both professionally and personally, so let’s embrace new recruiting concepts and ideas which can take our clubs into the 21st Century on the cutting edge.

Gatha Crowson is the President of Crowson Productions, Inc. A native of Athens, Alabama, Crowson is one of the most sought-after speakers in the association and organizational world. She has worked with Optimist International (11 years), Pilot International and Civitan as their keynote speaker as well as training their International Governor-Elects. You see her photo frequently in a small town newspaper where she still gives of her time to work with any club who wants to have a paradigm shift, expand their membership, motivate their members. She is famous for her topic in the volunteer world on “Stepping Stones to Managing Volunteers”. Crowson runs a multi-million dollar sales force where recruiting is a part of her everyday life.


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