by Shira Tober
How many times have you heard the comment: “I’m a really good recruiter, I could talk to a brick wall!”
But what really makes a GOOD recruiter? Is it someone who can talk to a brick wall? Is it the most social member? Is it someone who can fill 15, 30 or 45 minute recruitment rounds, events, or activities with meaningless babble? Is it someone who can impress others with their knowledge of stuff? Is it someone who can discuss the latest sporting event or episodes of Real Housewives because the potential member mentions it in passing? Or is it someone who can listen? Is it someone who can learn about the prospect, not only for the what (logistical information) but also the why (the reasons someone is the way they are)?
Someone who is a good recruiter doesn’t dominate the conversation talking, but rather opens their ears and learns about the person they are talking to. Listen to learn, not to respond. Listen to care, not to impress. When were are first getting to know prospective members of our organization we want to make sure they are comfortable and we want to make sure they feel like we are genuinely interested in what they are saying — and the only way we can make them feel that way is by actually being genuinely interested in what they are saying.
People join people. More specifically, people join people who they trust, feel a connection with, and respect. People respect, connect with, and trust people that listen to, value, and care about them. Simple.
To prep your members to be GREAT recruiters, have a lot of conversation practice. Not canned conversations with role playing of the “shy” prospect, the “partier” prospect, or the “brainiac” prospect, but real, genuine conversations. Practice listening. Practice caring.