Recruitment Technique: “Chunking” and Closing with Phone #’s

by Josh Orendi

During small activities and 1-on-1 meetings (fyi: coffee is awesome for this) with potential new members it’s ideal to close by asking them to share names and numbers of the people in their social network that they consider top notch.  Remember:  we’re always growing our social network and building our names list.  Ideally, you want to get 3-5+ additional names at a meeting or up to 10+ from someone that’s showing a high level of interest.  Every new relationship is a gatekeeper to dozens of potential new members. 

So what is chunking? 

"Chunk" from Goonies

It can be a little awkward (read: creepy) to ask someone having coffee with you to write down 10 names and numbers of their friends.  So we use a technique called “chunking” along with a series of intentional questions to make sure they feel great about recommending their friends.  Chunking is the process of getting to a lot of referrals by asking several times in the same sitting for smaller ‘chunks’ of leads.  Here’s an example:

— Setting the Stage —

MEMBER:  It sounds like you could be excited about the idea of helping to build a fraternity that’s different than the stereotypes on campus.
PROSPECT:  Yeah, I am. 

MEMBER:  I need your help.  The only way we’re going to be able to tackle a project this big is if we have the best-of-the-best men at the table.  From my experience, top caliber men typically associate with other top caliber guys, would you agree?

— Chunking —

MEMBER:  I’d be willing to bet that a guy like you has dozens of quality men close to him.  When you think about the BEST non-greek men in your current social network … who comes to mind?
PROSPECT:  My roommate, Steve … My friend, Mike … A guy from my class…

MEMBER:  Steve, Mike, and what’s the other guy’s name?

MEMBER:  Okay.  In addition to those 3 guys, who are 2 other men that really impress you?
PROSPECT:  Well, my buddy Craig is a really nice guy … my RA is super involved.  His name is Pete.

MEMBER:  Cool.  Like I said, the best chance we have of really blowing the doors off this project is to have the right guys participating in the conversation.  When you think about all the guys you know on campus.  Who are 3-5 more guys that you think could contribute to this idea?�
PROSPECT:  Bill, maybe Scott, Tom … and that’s probably about all I can think of….

— Getting contact information —

MEMBER:  Awesome.  I’d really like to meet these guys.  Would you be offended if I reached out to those guys to offer them the chance to sit down and talk with me, too?
PROSPECT:  No.  I’m okay with that.

MEMBER:  Perfect.  I’d like to reach out to them with a personal invitation.  I was thinking a phone call might be better than an email.  Would you agree?

MEMBER:  What number can I use to reach them? …
Personal Story - Delta Sigma Phi:  I’m recruiting today at Texas Tech with the Delta Sigma Phi expansion team.  Last week was their first week on campus and they locked in 20 signed bids!  (these guys are rock stars)  The problem is that they forgot about the importance of growing their names list, so leads are running dry.  This morning we met with 10 prospects before noon.  Using the script above we’ve got over 30 new referrals that we’ll be calling this afternoon to set up meetings.  I can’t wait to see the results of the 15+ meetings that were already booked for this afternoon and the interest meeting tonight.  Chunking and phone number closes are working!