by Josh Orendi
The Director of Expansion for a 100+ chapter fraternity walked onto a Midwest campus with 10,000+ students where nobody had ever heard of his letters. He was charged with recruiting 50+ men in 6 weeks to start a brand new chapter”. The chapter had nearly 100 men by the end of the year. Here is one of the techniques he used to find the original core of members:
Nick called Jennifer, the VP of Recruitment for Kappa sorority. He asked her to help him better understand the Greek system and the quality of the fraternities on campus. She admitted that the Kappa’s had their favorite fraternities, but overall they felt like the men on campus were disrespectful, unorganized, and a little wrapped up in themselves. She wished they were more committed to serving the community. Jennifer pointed out that there was only one fraternity on campus large enough to do a real mixer with them, and it was almost impossible to get all their brothers to show up for anything.
Nick said he understood and told her he was excited to offer something “different” with his fraternity. He arranged with her to make a brief presentation to her chapter at their next meeting.
Then, Nick called on Joe — a handsome, athletic brother from a nearby chapter — dressed him well, and prepared for the meeting. On his way there he picked up an arrangement of violets (Kappa’s national flower), a pack of note cards, and a large box of pens.
As the Kappa girls settled in for the meeting, Jennifer announced Nick to the group. Nick walked to the front of the room, thanked them for the opportunity to address the chapter, and publicly offered a token of his gratitude as Joe unveiled the arrangement of violets and presented them to the sorority president. (the sound of hearts melting could be heard throughout the room).
Nick addressed the group, “Ladies, I’m here representing XYZ fraternity, a new fraternity at ABC University. I’ve been on campus for a few days talking with students and faculty. I also had the pleasure to spend some time talking with Jennifer. She is amazing! You should be proud to have her in a position of leadership representing your organization.”
He paused, then said, “It seems to me that there are not nearly enough gentlemen in this Greek community. Would you agree?” Heads nodded throughout the group, mumblings of affirmation came from the back of the room, and one girl snapped her fingers and said, “Damn right!”
“You deserve better. The school and community deserve better,” he said setting up the group. “XYZ is committed to building and supporting a fraternity of gentlemen that are dedicated to scholarship, community service, and campus leadership. I know from experience that the best way to find the top men on a campus is to ask the top women on campus (pause) that is why I knew I needed to find the Kappa chapter on campus.”
The ladies faces lit up like Christmas morning. A couple of women in the group began a well rehearsed Kappa song as others joined in with clapping and singing. Nick interrupted, “Ladies, I’d like to introduce you to Joe. He is a founding member of XYZ at DFG University across the state, and a great example of a XYZ gentleman.” The ladies look over at well dressed, athletic, hunky Joe and dreams of mixers with a chapter of 100 Joes dance in their minds.
“Joe is passing out note cards and pens. Please make sure you get one. I’d like to share information about XYZ with the best non-Greek men on this campus, but I need your help to do that. Will you help me identify at least 5-10 non-Greek, top tier gentlemen? I am particularly interested in guys that aren’t the fraternity type and would never otherwise go Greek. While you’re writing, I’ll share a little bit more about XYZ with you “.”
Three minutes pass. Nick says, “Thank you for all your help, but there is one more name I need you to put on the card. Will you please turn the card over and write your name on the back so I know who to send a Thank You card to when those gentlemen become members of the Greek community?”
The girls pass their note cards and pens to Joe. The 5 minute presentation comes to a close. Nick thanks the women one last time. They applaud him for the work he’s doing, and he departs. Nick is off to the next sorority where he’ll repeat the same process.
Nick’s visit with Kappa resulted in over 430 referrals. These are names of quality gentlemen who would not otherwise be interested in Greek life. They are personally referred by a woman that man knows, likes, and respects. Nick will use Facebook or the student directory to get each man’s contact information.
Then he’ll place the call”.
Looking at the first name on the first card: “Brian, this is Nick from XYZ fraternity. I was just at the Kappa house and met Robyn (the name on the back of the note card). There is a group of student leaders forming a new organization and she recommended that I connect with you. Do you have any free time tomorrow or Thursday night? I’m picking up the tab for dinner at Papa Gino’s. Can I save you a seat at the table so I can share more information with you about the group? Great. Do you have a roommate? Feel free to bring a friend with you. I’ll see you at “.
Nick called Jennifer a few weeks later to thank her again for the opportunity to talk to her sisters. He asked, “Do you share this information with any of the other fraternities on campus?” She said, “No. I don’t think we ever have.” Nick asked, “Why not?” Her reply: “They never ask.”