“DTR” (Define The Relationship)

by KJ McNamara

dtrWhy is it so hard for us to ‘seal the deal’ in recruitment?  Why is it that as soon as the talk gets serious we tense up with fear?  Why is it so difficult to ask a person, “What do you think about joining my fraternity/sorority?”

I think it has a lot to do with a fear of rejection.  A fear of that person saying, “No, it’s cool… I have seen what your organization is all about and it is not for me.”  But isn’t this what we want?  Don’t we really want to know what the highest quality people on campus actually think of us?  Don’t we want to truly understand the reasons people wouldn’t make decision to join our amazing life-changing organization?

So then why are we so afraid of the serious talk or what we call the ‘pre-close?’

I have some questions for you: 1) Does your organizations change lives for the better? 2) Does your organization make an amazing and positive impact on the lives of everyone they touch (when done right)?

If the answer is yes then let me tell you something… Your organization (and the potential member) deserves the respect of having a real, serious, and vulnerable conversation about the potential of lifelong membership.  Do not be afraid of rejection — it happens less than you would think if you are doing fraternity or sorority right.

I am here to tell all of you to stop living in fear and DTR.  Define the Relationship.  Now I know it is easy for me to say, and more difficult for you to do, but let’s spend the next few moments changing your frame of mind.

I always say if you are good at recruiting you are going to be good at dating… they are very similar.  You need to find out if the people you meet are going to stay in your friends category, or if they are going to enter into a lifelong bond, FBO (facebook official), sit in a dark room and share secrets category… come on we all went through initiation.

The only way you are going to figure out what category they fit into is by DTRing.

Defining the relationship, having a real conversation about your fraternity or sorority with a high quality individual can change the world forever.  Either they will say no, and you can put it to rest (after you’ve made sure they don’t just misunderstand the situation) or they say yes.  And if they say yes then it will change their life and the life of your organization forever.

If you are trying to recruit the highest caliber of individuals into your organization, so you can become a quality organization… your organization deserves to have a high caliber and high quality conversation with potential members that breaks down, what your fraternity/sorority is all about, that individual’s values and expectations and any concerns you might run into along the way.

If they run screaming (just kidding no one will do that) but seriously if they can’t handle the idea of getting serious — having a powerful one-on-one conversation about their level of commitment — they were never serious about your organization to begin with… and recruiting people who are afraid of commitment and afraid of the DTR are never going to fit into a high quality organization or relationship.

Sit down with those people on your list.  Look them with care and love in your eyes, and DTR. Define the Relationship so you know where you stand.  Check out the sorority “Excuses, Quality Responses, and Pre-Close” document.  Here’s the fraternity one too.