Search results for "values-based"

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I’m Not Impressed By Size Anymore

by Matt Mattson

I’ll be honest. Size used to impress me. Not so much any more.

Fraternity chapters that were huge used to make me giddy. I used to get so excited about a 75, 90, 120 man chapter. After all, I own three companies focused on growing fraternities and sororities. And I came from a college experience where 60 dudes in a chapter seemed like a massive horde.

But I’m so bored by it now.

Don’t get me wrong. If you have 75 amazing, talented, driven, focused, hard-working men, I will take notice. But it’s the “amazing, talented, driven, focused, hard-working” part that I get excited about anymore. If you have EVIDENCE (not just claims) that your members are exceptional, that’s exciting.

The last decade or so has seen AMAZING fraternal growth. Almost all inter/national organizations are seeing dramatic growth right now. Despite the negative media. Despite the rising costs of college. Despite all the other options available to college students. Our organizations are huge right now. Many (me included) would argue that much of that growth is due to the surge of college students our universities have seen during the same time period. While fraternity membership is higher overall, the percentage of collegiate men who are Greek seems to be staying about the same. Which means that when the population bubble pops (as it is will soon), our shiny chapter houses might have a bunch of empty beds and angry alumni.

But still, I care far more about quality than quantity. I know that’s a cliche line, but it’s true. For me now more than ever. Our fraternal movement must focus more on the quality of men we’re attracting and selecting. We don’t all need MORE people. But we do all need BETTER people.

There are a few key ways to impact quality.

1. Have a lot of people to choose from. The more prospects you know, the more choosy you can be. Build your organization with quality parts, don’t toss together whoever shows up and expect it to be excellent. Quantity Drives Quality.

2. If you do marketing, don’t shout at everyone, whisper to the right people. I’ve been doing a lot of work in our marketing company (www.InnovaGreek.com), and the vast majority of what we’re focused on is helping fraternities and sororities talk to the RIGHT people in the RIGHT way.

3. The process you use to select new members is the most important variable for any chapter. If you use the “Good Guy” approach, you’re doomed. If you use a Values-Based Selection Criteria and can offer objective measures of quality that each man must meet upon selection and maintain throughout membership — well, that’s exciting. We’re working to make that easier in tools like ChapterBuilder (by TechniPhi), and by increasing the focus of our education on member selection and values-based recruitment.

Being big is good. Don’t get me wrong. In fact, I think I’m bored by “size” lately because it seems like every chapter should be at least 50-60 guys at this point. The education, tools, and resources are all available. And most importantly, the arithmetic tells us that the men are just waiting for you to recruit them. There’s really no reason for small chapters in today’s fraternal world. And bigger chapters have more potential to impact the world in positive ways — I’m a fan of big. But does your chapter have top notch quality control measures in place? If not, you’re behind the curve.

 

*Photo credit goes to whatever Pi Kappa Phi chapter popped up on Google Image search when I put “Big Fraternity Chapter” into the search bar. They looked sharp. I turned them red.

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Fraternity Recruitment Made Easy

by Matt Mattson

O.K., fall recruitment is FAST approaching, and since it is August you’re starting to get serious about building a plan.

You’re thinking, “I HAVE A CALENDAR OF RUSH EVENTS, I’M GOOD.” Well, that’s a great start. But it’s a calendar, not a plan. People join people, not events. So you need a simple plan to get your chapter’s people in meaningful relationship-building opportunities with the people who you want to join.

Why Recruit?

The first thing we recommend you do as you’re preparing for fall recruitment is determine WHY it matters to put hard work into recruitment. Truthfully, for many chapters, just enough guys normally show up to recruitment events without much effort. So, you can just phone it in, right? Order some T-shirts, repeat the events from last year, boom.

Well, yes. You can probably survive just fine without trying too hard. But here’s why we’ve dedicated a whole career to fraternity recruitment — because if you recruit the right men, fraternity can be a powerful force for good. We can change the world, and we can change lives. There are probably hundreds (if not thousands) of men on your campus who need fraternity in their lives (like I did and you too, I’ll bet). Recruitment is life changing and world changing. Recruitment is what fraternity is all about — giving the gift of brotherhood and purpose to high quality men so that they can gather together and do incredible things.

You Can’t Recruit Who You Don’t Know

The most important task you need to fulfill to build a recruitment plan, is determine how you will MEET as many non-Greek students as possible. You need some tactics to fill up your Names List. This is an easy problem to solve. We recommend picking about 5-7 of your favorite ideas from this list, spread them out over the first few weeks (do 3 in the first week, then 1 or 2 for the weeks following that), and execute them with excellence. These matter a LOT. You don’t have a chance to recruit people unless you first meet them.

People Join People

You already know this, but people don’t join organizations… people join people. Recruitment is entirely a relationship business. So have a plan to manage and build relationships. The first thing you need is a smart Names List. A technological tool that makes it easy to record, track, and manage the hundreds of men you’ll be meeting through recruitment. We’re not talking about a spreadsheet here. Spreadsheets are dead. Use ChapterBuilder. It’s free, it’s built for chapters who follow our Phired Up recruitment model, and it is absolutely amazing. Next, make sure you aren’t ONLY building relationships with prospects during “big events.” Big events are fine, but they’re really built for people who already know you — otherwise they can be intimidating for high quality men to just wander into. Fill your first few weeks of school with Small Activities.

High Quality People Make High Quality Organizations

Selecting members might be the most important (and least focused on) aspect of fraternity recruitment. Most fraternity recruitment selection processes look an awful lot like the excerpt from our book, GOOD GUYS, in the image below (click to enlarge, read and enjoy!). When selecting your members, it is VITAL that you use a Values-Based Selection Criteria. Here’s an example. Choose men who are already living the values your organization espouses. Seek evidence that they’re already exemplifying the type of man you want your members to be. High quality people make high quality organizations.

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Close The Deal

O.K., you’ve MET a bunch of guys. You recorded and managed their relationship with the chapter using your ChapterBuilder Names List. You deepened that relationship through Small Activities. And you voted on the guys you want to give a bid to using a Values-Based Selection Process. Now it’s time to close the deal.

Start with a “Pre-Close.” See the video below for instructions, or check out this free resource. A proper Pre-Close will guarantee your chapter gets 100% bid acceptance!

Then, close the deal. The best way to “Make the Ask” is to make it a man-to-man conversation. It’s a big deal. You’re asking him to join for life. Lay out the expectations of membership. Make sure he understands what is being asked of him. Reinforce the “pre-close” question. If he’s ready, make the ask directly. “Will you join our group?” If he says yes, close the deal with a handshake and a signature on a bid card.

Fraternity recruitment is not complicated. Meet people, build relationships, keep track of all your interactions, when it’s time vote on guys thoughtfully, then close the deal.

Remember, we’re here to help. Reach out to Phired Up if you need advice, guidance, want some training or whatever. We’re here for you. Have a great fall!

 

 

Intentionally Inclusive While Intensely Selective - Page 3

Intentionally Inclusive While Intensely Selective

by Matt Mattson

I posted something on Twitter last week that read, “Maybe we should replace the idea of ‘high quality’ new members with ‘low-risk/high-reward’ members. How do you select only the best?”

Of course, I thought this was both obvious and brilliant. I think these things about my Tweets. But it turns out not everyone on Twitter always agrees with me. This time though, I wasn’t getting trolled. Instead, a smart higher education professional engaged me in some thoughtful dialogue. LOVE IT!

Shannon McKechnie (@s_mckechnie) tweeted back at me, “I disagree – Our organizations should welcome all, celebrate diversity of experience and challenge all to grow.” and “We shouldn’t be creating an even deeper culture of exclusivity among collegiate leaders.”

I love conversations that challenge my assumptions and make me think. Even (especially!) when they happen within 140 character statements. Kudos to Shannon for offering a strong opinion. I think her point of view is not only valid and important, but reflected a blind spot in my point of view. I don’t think we necessarily disagree though.

As she and I discussed further via DM, I believe that fraternities and sororities can be both inclusive and selective at the same time. Those two things are not mutually exclusive. That’s not something I teach often though, and Shannon pushed me to consider how to do that better.

Fraternity/sorority members should be both INTENSELY SELECTIVE and INTENTIONALLY INCLUSIVE when selecting members, in my opinion.

By “selective,” I mean they should have clear, written, objective, values-based selection criteria they use to determine eligibility for membership. Some groups have this; most don’t.

By “inclusive,” I mean they should consider the obstacles to membership that might exist (probably exist) for certain groups of students on their campus — consider those of different race, different native language, different ability, different religious and cultural experiences, different sex/gender/sexuality identification, different socioeconomic background, different mental health challenges, and so on.

Once those obstacles are identified, many chapter leaders will be interested in exploring ways to remove those obstacles. Although, many obstacles will likely be complex and difficult.

This is an important area of education for student affairs professionals to explore. I know many are.

Here’s my basic belief: Fraternities and sororities are membership organizations. Membership organizations are made of members. Therefore the quality of your organization is directly correlated to the QUALITY of the members you bring in. I don’t think it’s very easy to make a great organization out of mediocre parts. Prospective members should be evaluated on the choices they’ve made. We have WAY too risky groups of women and men (mostly men) within our Greek fold. Fraternities and sororities should work hard to reduce risk early (prior to pledging or any level of membership). We can evaluate choices (to reduce risk) while still being fully inclusive. Greek Life is not, in my opinion, for everyone. We’ve allowed our chapters to be built from weak bricks for too long. This is the root of our cultural challenges within the fraternal movement.

All this is to say, KUDOS to Shannon. Let’s all continue to engage with each other in conversations that matter about fraternity/sorority life. Turns out, I think Shannon and I at least partially agree on a complex topic (not to speak for her). At the very least, I know that I’ve learned from her civil retort and continued discussion.

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Don’t Forget The PNMs

by Tina VanSteenbergen

I know, I know. You’re reading this title and thinking, “Tina, who forgets about the PNMs?? No one. No one forgets about them! They’re one of the most important parts!”

We don’t forget about them in the obvious ways—we know they’re coming to recruitment, and we know the goal is to create a recruitment experience that matches each PNM with a chapter with which she shares a mutual love and admiration. They, the PNMs, are part of the reason we work so hard on recruitment in the first place.

And so the planning process begins. We start with the logistics—oh, the logistics! Schedules, room reservations, busses, programs, maps, wardrobe, etc. The sheer planning of the recruitment process could be a full-time job in and of itself. We work hard on this piece, pay attention to all of the details, so that the process by which PNMs find their future sisters is seamless.

Then there’s the recruitment counselors—recruiting, interviewing and selecting the women who will be the leaders of our sorority communities. We pour our energy into planning a great training experience for them (maybe even a retreat!), ensuring that they have the opportunity to learn everything they’ll need in order to best help the PNMs connect their values with those of a chapter on campus.

Working with each of the chapters in our communities is one of the largest parts of values-based recruitment planning. We check in with the recruitment chairs, offer them rule and schedule updates, help them create their recruitment training plans with their chapters, and collect and inspect their recruitment videos. We do all we can to help each chapter be the best versions of themselves so the PNMs can find their homes.

And then, of course, there are those PNMs! We have to work to find them, to encourage them to register for recruitment, and make sure they have everything they need to know about the schedules, the chapters, and what they need to wear each day.

I’m sure it doesn’t sound like anyone is forgetting the potential new members—sounds like they’re at the core of each part of the recruitment planning process, right?

We do it all for the PNMs, and yet, so often, we forget the most important part—we forget to teach them, prepare them, and empower them to confidently participate in a values-based recruitment process. I mean, really train them. We teach our recruitment counselors how to lead and guide their PNMs with values and purpose. We ask our chapters to eliminate frills and focus on their values instead. But when it comes to our PNMs, while we tell them what to wear, to bring snacks, and to “trust their hearts” when it comes to selecting a sorority. We can sometimes forget to teach them about their role values-based recruitment.

What would recruitment look like if we shared with potential members how to have deeper conversations, how to ask about values in a way that facilitates real conversations, how our behaviors and conversations show our values, how to set measurable selection criteria they can use to select a sorority? If we prepared our PNMs for recruitment the way we do our recruitment counselors and our chapters, we can truly achieve values-based sorority recruitment!

Don’t forget the PNMs—to train them, educate them, and help them use their values to find a sorority. If we can help you, call us!

small things

The Small Things Matter in Recruitment

by Woody Woodcock

Have you heard anyone say something in 2015 that caught your attention yet?  Last week I heard a man say something valuable that really stuck with me. It was so simple and I thought he was absolutely right.   I hope as you read it sticks with you, too.

He said:

“It is often the SMALL things that no one sees that result in the BIG things that everyone wants.”

Read, it again.

“It is often the SMALL things that no one sees that result in the BIG things that everyone wants.”

Wow! What if I thought about his simple phrase more in 2015?  What if WE as leaders and members thought more about this phrase for fraternity and sorority?  What if we thought about this phrase more in RECRUITMENT?  How could we benefit from using this wisdom?

What are the small things that we can do in recruitment, that will add up to the BIG results at the end?

At Phired Up we care deeply about putting more people and better people into fraternity and sorority.  We also care about the SMALL things and believe that the doing them well can lead to BIG results.

If you are new to Phired Up or Dynamic Recruitment let me share a few of the SMALL things that can impact the results in recruitment for your chapter.  This SMALL things will add up to BIG results for your chapter in recruitment:

  • Using a Chapter Names List (here‘s what we recommend)
  • Having a proactive calendar of SMALL activities created in advance of your BIG recruitment time
  • Using a SMALL list of Values-Based Criteria so you can know who is and is not a qualified for membership.
  • Building a SMALL Team to support your recruitment chairman
  • Setting aside a SMALL amount intentional time to talk with your recruitment coach/advisor so that he/she can stretch you, encourage you, and help you see obstacles you hadn’t thought of yet.
  • Trying to meet a SMALL number of new people each day on campus that don’t already hang out with your fraternity or sorority
  • Practicing what your going to say in the mirror for a SMALL amount of time, so you feel prepared to approach or contact someone new.
  • Sending an encouraging text message to a SMALL group of potential members

Apply this RIGHT NOW:

Step One: write down the SMALL things that you believe your chapter can do better
Nothing should be taken for granted.  Nothing is to SMALL just write down whatever comes to mind.

Step Two: Next begin creating a SMALL plan of how you will focus on SMALL measurable wins to do the SMALL things better in dynamic recruitment.

Not sure where to start?  Just send a SMALL email to us.  We’d love to help.

“It is often the SMALL things that no one sees that result in the big thing that everyone wants”

We Need Values In Recruitment

now for values based recruitmentby Matt Mattson

For almost 13 years we’ve been teaching that the source of all our fraternity/sorority success is RECRUITMENT, and the cause of all our fraternity/sorority woes is also RECRUITMENT. I believe that more now than I ever have.

Our recruitment processes set the tone for our membership experience. The experiences, conversations, expectations, social cues, process and everything a potential member experiences while being recruited creates the foundation for your organization’s next several years. Each year we have the chance to make that recruitment experience better, more befitting our organizations’ historical purposes, more worthy of our rituals, more VALUES-BASED.

We’ve written about how to do values-based recruitment before (herehere, here, and here). NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE SURE YOUR CHAPTER AND COMMUNITY ARE DOING IT!

We teach VALUES-BASED RECRUITMENT too. Check out iValU, our Keynote & Training Workshops, and our Quick Recruitment Prep Course. Our training services are built to help solve the problems of Greek Life, not just add more people to our chapters. We believe in, and teach, a highly values-based approach to fraternity/sorority recruitment. Whether it is through a formal process, year-round recruitment, or some other variation, we can help you put VALUES at the center of your recruitment efforts.

There has never been a more important time than NOW for Values-Based Recruitment. We have to make bold moves to improve our reputation, image, and the overall quality of the fraternal experience on every campus. We believe in fraternity and sorority. We believe more fraternity/sorority members equals a better world. We also know that there is a right and a wrong way to recruit — if you’re reading this blog, it’s likely that you believe all that too, and you believe that fraternity/sorority is a beautiful thing but it can be done better. Let’s work together to make Greek Life the values-based experience it is meant to be.

 

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“We’re about Quality!”

by Matt Mattson

“We’re about quality!” says nearly every fraternity/sorority member.

Prove it. Please. Prove it.

Be exceptional. Be people your alumni can be proud of. Be “high quality.”

Today is another dark day in the history of Greek Life. Our demons are haunting us. The former members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon at The University of Oklahoma proved that our members are not all “high quality guys.” Those guys were horrible. They are an embarrassment to fraternity and sorority. And they’re in all of our organizations. All of them. We have so much work to do.

When you say your chapter is about “high quality” members, please be ready to prove it. Be excellent. Be kind. Be special. Be people we can all be proud of.

When you recruit new members this coming year, there are two things you should probably consider.

1. Be ready to PROVE that you’re not racist sexual assaulters. Because the evidence available publicly would suggest otherwise. Start having some very real conversations about how you can prove your quality to people who have been taught otherwise. Not just claim it, prove it.

2. Please only recruit people who are VERY different from the idiots in SAE’s former Oklahoma chapter who were filmed chanting on a bus. There are two ways to do that… a) build a big Names List – the more people you know, the more people you can choose from – Quanity Drives Quality. b) Use a Values-Based Selection Criteria that disqualifies anyone except truly remarkable people who will make our organizations better.

If you love fraternity and sorority like I do because it taught you the opposite of what we’re all reading in the news today, please decide right now to work much harder to stop this sh*t from happening. Fraternity and sorority is something that I believe can and does make the world better. But too often we’re making it worse. I know that only really high quality people read this blog so I’m “preaching to the choir,” but we have to DO business differently, not just post about it on Social Media. It starts with recruiting differently, selecting differently, and educating new members differently. VERY differently. We were founded to be models of humanity to the collegiate communities that host us, but lately we’re allowing mediocre to terrible members (that we recruited) be perfect models of utter inhumanity.

I’m still committed to making us better. I’m promising to continue pushing and doing and creating. I know many others are too. Certainly our team at Phired Up (and Innova and TechniPhi) are. Let’s get to work.

 

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It Shouldn’t Be Easy

by Jessica Gendron Williams

It Shouldn’t Be Easy.

So maybe you tried something new this year in recruitment.  You got rid of skits or tried values-based recruitment for the first time or tried to focus on conversations first.  Whatever it is that you might have tried, you might be leaving recruitment feeling like it didn’t work – that it was really hard and uncomfortable.  Perhaps you feel like your members or the community didn’t “get it”.

You’re now getting ready to debrief recruitment or plan for next year’s recruitment – thinking about the changes you attempted – and wanting to trash the whole idea.  It was too hard.  It didn’t work perfectly the first time you did it.  You felt a little unprepared for it.  So the decision is made – go back to the way you did it before.  The recruitment reviews might even tell you that the members or the chapters didn’t like the change either.  It just seems easier and will make everyone happier to go back to what you were doing before.

I have some news for you:  Change is hard.

Change should make you uncomfortable – if you are doing it right.  There’s no growth in your comfort zone.  There’s no comfort in the growth zone.  The discomfort you, your members, or your community feel is a good thing – it means you’re getting better, evolving, changing – for the better.  If you want to get better YOU HAVE TO GET UNCOMFORTABLE.  It’s very rare that anyone can do anything for the first time and be AMAZING at it.  You cannot expect it to be perfect the first time it ever happens in recruitment.

The reason that your chapter or community feels so comfortable doing what you’ve always done in recruitment – is because you’ve had plenty of practice – year and years of practice.  Now, you make one tiny change and after trying it for the first time and you want to quit?

I beg you, please don’t – please don’t quit.  Don’t give up on the changes just because it was a little hard.  We’ve seen countless chapters and communities give up on important changes because it wasn’t perfect the first time they tried it – or it was too hard the first time – or it felt a little uncomfortable.  You knew it was right to make this change when you started, don’t forget that now just because it was hard… It’s supposed to be hard.

The only way to get better is to get uncomfortable.   The more and more you do it – the less and less uncomfortable you feel.  Don’t give up after one try or one year.   Get comfortable being a little uncomfortable.

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The 5 Conversations of Fraternity Recruitment

100% of recruitment happens during conversations. Yet most of our members couldn’t hold a conversation if it came with a handle. Practice these five conversations and be prepared with the core skills necessary for recruitment excellence.

1. The Meeting: “Hi, I’m Matt. Nice to meet you!” You can’t recruit who you don’t know. Meeting new people and making a positive, warm, engaging first impression is the first of the five recruitment conversations. To be successful at this conversation, you must achieve three objectives: 1) a welcoming first impression (use your Social Excellence training), 2) exchanging names and contact information, and 3) identifying a reason to meet up again soon.

2. The Invite: {RING RING} “Carlos! This is Matt. We met yesterday at the hot dog stand. Hey I have a quick question for you, do you have 2 minutes right now? Cool. Me and some guys play pick-up football on the IM fields every Tuesday and Thursday, and we’re trying to get a big game together this week. We play around 4 p.m. Which of those days might work best for you? Awesome! We’d love to have you out on Thursday then. I’ll text you to remind you, but we’ll be planning on you playing. See you then.”

3. The Friending: This conversation happens in myriad places and multiple times. It happens at small activities, events, over coffee or lunch, at parties, in hallways and on sidewalks, at one-on-one meetings, etc. There are three phases.

Phase 1) Getting to know each other — this is the phase where we’re just talking about regular stuff. Learning about one another. Being curious, generous, authentic, and vulnerable. Connecting. Caring.

Phase 2) You ask, “So, what do you know about Alpha Beta Gamma?” Listen closely. Affirm his perspective.

Phase 3) Only engage in phase 3 when he’s asked about the fraternity… “Thanks for asking. Our fraternity is something I’m really proud to be a part of. Can I tell you a story?” Complete phase three with a personal story that illustrates the benefits of membership (see here for more info). Another approach to Phase 3 is called, “Inception” (here’s a secret video to help you out).

Repeat “The Friending” conversation until you know enough about him to determine his qualification for membership (this might require a formal interview), and until he knows enough about the fraternity that he’s showing genuine interest in joining.

4. The Pre-Close: We’ve written and taught about this conversation extensively. Here’s the related Free Resource for fraternities. This conversation happens AFTER the chapter has determined the candidate’s qualifications for membership using a Values-Based Selection Criteria. The key question is, “If we were to ask you to join, what would you say?” Validate any concerns that arise. Isolate each concern to deal with independently. Then address all concerns with “Quality Responses” in a time frame that you’ve agreed upon.

5. The Close: This is the final recruitment conversation. A strong close most importantly requires a clear ask. “Will you join us?” Most of the best chapters close the deal with a formal “bid card” that must be signed to demonstrate commitment. Some go so far as to make a bold presentation (see “The Two Handshakes“). This conversation should be serious, uplifting, and representative of what it is — a life changing moment for the prospect and the chapter.

These are the five conversations that every great recruiter has practiced, prepared for, and mastered. This is what recruitment looks like. 100% of recruitment happens during these conversations.

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81 New Members in 5 Weeks! Phi Sigma Kappa Shatters Recruitment Record

Imagine being hired by your inter/national fraternity headquarters as a professional recruiter.  You are flown across the country to a campus where your fraternity does not exist.  Your job is to build from scratch a chapter of your organization that will not only exist but must also improve the quality of the overall fraternity community for decades to come.  You get one other recruiter to help you, a couple hundred dollars, and 5 weeks to recruit.  On your mark. Get set. GO!

Meet Greg DalSanto and Romarr Mayne.  They are each 23 years old.  Both graduated in May 2014.  Fall 2014 was their first semester working for Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity headquarters.  On August 18, 2014 they checked 2 pieces of luggage each at the Indianapolis airport and stepped on an airplane for a 5 week recruitment binge at Washington State University.  This is the life of an Expansion Specialist.  How did they do?  Oh, they almost tripled PSK’s national fraternity’s expansion record!!!

These new Greek gods didn’t have much time to talk after the project (they were already preparing for the next one), but I caught up with them in Indianapolis during their 1 week break before they move on to Young Harris College in Georgia then Woodbury University.

Phired Up:  81 new members is a big number!

PSK:  It is – especially for Phi Sig.

 

Phired Up:  A month ago people were saying that 40 would be a stretch goal. How did you do it!?

PSK:  This is our first project!  So, we’re excited about how we did…  We’re a good team.  Where one of us had a weakness the other had a strength.  We have balance as a team.

 

Phired Up:  [sarcastically] You must have spent a fortune on alcohol, parties, t-shirts…

PSK: [laughing] No. We didn’t do any of that.  Even if we had the budget to do any of those things (which we didn’t), there’s no way we would have gone down that road.  That’s not what Phi Sig is about.

 

Phired Up:  Then how did you recruit 81 guys!?

PSK: Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, we did spend $92 on a pizza party and $110 on BBQ for all the guys toward the end of the project.  So I guess we did have “parties.” No alcohol at either though.

 

Phired Up:  So that’s how you got all these guys to join?

PSK:  No. No. No. Those were just fun ways to build brotherhood and get the group that had already joined to come out with some of their friends who might be interested, too.

 

Phired Up:  Seriously.  Phi Sigma Kappa hasn’t recruited more than 30 men on an expansion project in recent history.  How did you nearly triple that!?

PSK:  We both came from PSK colonies and were heavily involved in recruitment.  We both had a background in recruitment for a new group.  We understood the importance of 1-1 personal meetings.  We made lots of phone calls.  We talked about service, philanthropy, and academics rather than “frat stuff.”  We also got really personal with the guys.  We got to know them.  We spoke their language. We really care about them.  We’ve been in their shoes and they responded to that.  There was a lot of passion poured into this project.  We talked about the opportunity to do something bigger than themselves rather than asking them to join something that we own.

 

Phired Up:  Is WSU just some magical space where fraternity recruitment is easy?

PSK:  WSU is a really special place.  Not that it’s magical but that the existing fraternity community and administration was very supportive of us building a new chapter.  There are a lot of quality men at WSU who were excited to talk about building a values-based fraternity.

 

Phired Up:  You weren’t alone.  There was another fraternity expanding at the same time, right?

PSK:  Yes.  And, they did very well, too.  It’s unique to have two fraternities expanding on the same campus at the same time.  We’re excited about the guys who joined PSK and we know they’re excited about the guys who joined their group.  The real “winner” if you want to think about it that way is WSU Greek Life.  The WSU fraternity community just grew nearly 8% this fall through expansion!

 

Phired Up:  The average fraternity chapter size across the country is around 50 members.  How is it that chapters this size struggle to recruit 20+ new members in a full YEAR, but you TWO recruited 81 new members in just 5 WEEKS?

PSK:  I’m not sure what other groups are doing.  I can tell you that Phi Sig is not a stereotypical fraternity.  I can tell you we don’t put social and alcohol first.  We put community service, philanthropy, scholarship … our values first.  We choose to be personable and professional.  We learned that there are a lot of men at WSU who want a values-based fraternity experience.  We hope that will be true on other campuses we visit after WSU, too.

 

Phired Up:  Your critics are going to say you just recruited for numbers…

PSK:  We’re proud of every single guy we recruited.  These are literally some of the best men at WSU.  They have a collective GPA higher than the all-male and all-fraternity GPA.  We used our Values-based Selection Criteria to evaluate every guy.  I’d say we actually got more selective each week of the project.  By the end, we literally had to turn away guys we would have absolutely bid in the first 2 weeks.

 

Phired Up:  Were you afraid of getting too big too quick?

PSK:  OH YEAH.  When we got to 75 we thought … we could push this group to 110 if we want.  Easily.  It just wasn’t what was right for the group.  We cancelled 20-30 meetings with guys who expressed interest in the last week and we left 100+ referrals on the Names List that we didn’t even call.

 

Phired Up:  You two lived together and worked together 24/7.  Did you ever want to kill each other?

PSK: The truth is that these are long days with high expectations. We are both passionate about our work.  We get along great, but just like all brothers we have disagreements.

 

Phired Up:  What were the 3 most important things you did to produce results?

PSK: 

  1. Be Personable.  Having an inviting spirit, a vibe of openness.  Being genuine.  People gravitate to people who are personable.
  2. Be Professional.  The way we carried ourselves, the way we spoke, the way we dressed, the questions we asked, the meeting/events we hosted…
  3. Be Relatable.  Telling the story of how much we personally got out of the fraternity.

 

Phired Up:  Scott, what’s the one thing that is most under-estimated to produce big recruitment results?

PSK:  Planning.  As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” The site visit, research, alumni discussions, etc., all played a part. I scheduled the majority of the sorority presentations prior to arriving on campus. Planning the project with the Greek Life office, getting internet access, parking, knowing the IFC recruitment rules, having the interest group men set up meeting schedules with their referrals for week 1; all of these planning steps and activities allowed us the ability to hit the ground running from day one! I think planning is one of the most overlooked and underrated parts of any expansion project.

 

Phired Up:  Walk me through an expansion day at WSU.

PSK:

8:30am wake up, send appointment reminders via pre-set text

10am arrive on campus for student meetings (usually 20+ between us)

10:30 make phone calls from student referrals we got the prior day

1pm lunch (typically 15 minutes on the go)

1:15pm begin follow up meetings (usually 10+ between us)

4:30pm hurry back to hotel or run errands for the night

5pm presentations to student organizations or sororities

6pm enter new names into Names List

7pm host interest meeting

8:30 phone call session (1-2 hours, 50 phone calls each.  Usually talk to 30, meet with 20)

9pm dinner on the go

10pm hang out with some of the guys from the group or go relax at the room

12pm head hits pillow

 

Phired Up:  When did you sense the WSU project was going to be something special?

PSK:  [Romarr] Week #2 and Greg laughed at me.  There was an energy from the guys we met and the friends they would bring back.  Everyone was pouring names onto our names list.  After the first interest meeting there was so much energy I knew we could double the record.  Scott (Director of Expansion) and Greg laughed and blew me off… we weren’t even at 30 at that time.  In week #3 we got the IFC no bid list and we got another big wave of interest at the next few meetings.

 

Phired Up: Where did most of the guys who joined come from?

PSK:

20+ from referrals of the guys we recruited.

15+ from sorority referrals.

10+ IFC list.

9 from the initial interest group.

5+ from article in the campus newspaper.

A legacy, a few at IFC table fair, a walk up, etc.

 

Phired Up:  Phi Sigma Kappa is a proud partner of Phired Up.  Tell me about your relationship with Phired Up and Paul Manly.

PSK [Scott Pegram]:  The coaching is key! We had in-office training for the new staff by Phired Up prior to this project. Paul taught the Dynamic Recruitment process to Romarr and Greg and ran MANY practice sessions – not to mention weekly calls and support with our staff and Director. The coaching helped uncover things we needed to tweak and checkpoints to share our successes.

PSK [Romarr & Greg]:  Paul was a great liaison between us and Scott.  We can relate to Paul.  He has an insight.  He knows what it takes to do big expansion projects.  Having that weekly call with him recharged us and helped us understand where we can do better.  The training we did for hours and hours made our presentations work and prepared us for success.  It was huge!  Anytime we had a problem, Paul was able to help us. Without Paul and Phired Up this project wouldn’t have been nearly as successful.

 

Phired Up:  Is 80+ the new expectation for Phi Sigma Kappa expansion?

PSK:  Ha!  Probably not.  Each campus is unique.  The bar has definitely been raised!

 

Phired Up:  Congratulations, gentlemen.  You should be very proud.

PSK:  We’re damn proud!

 

Interview Date: September 24, 2014
Interview Conducted By:  Josh Orendi, Josh@PhiredUp.com
Interviewing Romarr Mayne & Greg DalSanto. Email interview with Scott Pegram.

 

Do you think your growth story is worthy of a Spotlight Interview?  Contact us at Info@PhiredUp.com.

 

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