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Giving PNMs More Independence During Formal Recruitment

by Ellen Chesnut

It’s not always easy to give up control. We often use perfectly good energy to plan, predict and prevent things that aren’t or weren’t ever actually in our control. We all know things go much more smoothly when we simply allow things to happen versus making things happen, but we all like to be in the driver’s seat. It’s in our nature, especially when it comes to all the logistics and management of Panhellenic recruitment.

There are so many lists to make, boxes to check, and then a nagging desire to double and triple check everything. It’s no wonder we micromanage the process to not allow our PNMs (who, by the way, this process is really all about) to have much control over their experience. As the demographic of PNMs evolve with the new generation of students entering college, we know PNMs don’t want to be told where to be and when to be there. We also know surrendering all the control to PNMs won’t work, at least not in the way Panhellenic recruitment is currently run. That’s why the team at TechniPhi is excited to announce the new release of their PNM Companion app which not only saves your Panhellenic recruitment team hours of time during recruitment, but gives PNMs a little bit more control over their recruitment experience. A win-win for everyone!

TechniPhi’s PNM Companion app (available on both iOS and Android) only works with IMG_3821the CampusDirector Panhellenic recruitment software, technology  that manages recruitment from start to finish for Fraternity and Sorority councils across the country. In this new release, PNMs will have the ability to take notes on their recruitment experience or the conversations they just finished while leaving a chapter event. They will also be able to view videos, PDFs, recruitment guides, and educational content all pushed out by the Panhellenic council.

In addition to those features, PNMs will now be able to connect directly with their Recruitment Counselor via voice, text, and email. They can receive messages from the council and view their schedule with the app’s sleek design to know exactly what event they are suppose to be at and when they need to be there. PNMs can also enter their selections for each round making the logistics of getting PNMs in and out of computer labs or coordinating additional staff or recruitment counselor time non-existent. The PNM IMG_3823Companion app is meant to relieve some of the logistical stresses of recruitment for both the Panhellenic recruitment team and recruitment counselors, all while giving PNMs a little more control over their experience.

VP of Technology for TechniPhi, Ellen Chesnut said, “I believe that time is one of the most important elements of Panhellenic recruitment. There isn’t enough time to provide every individual PNM with an individualized custom experience in recruitment, so we’ve got to give a little to get little. Give the PNM the ability to feel more connected to their experience through technology they’ve pretty much grown up with, and in return get some time back.” Chesnut continued, “Plus as an added bonus, your Panhellenic you can now communicate with PNMs more often and give them that more customized experience, we know they are all craving!”

“The app was great and drastically cut down the need for a separate computer lab for priorities and preferences. This in turn saved us time and allowed us to move on with IMG_3817the many other activities more quickly, said the Panhellenic recruitment team at the University of Wyoming after using the PNM Companion App. “Further, if a PNM did not complete her selections and we needed to track her down, it was usually done within moments, again, saving a ton time.”

“It empowered our PNMs more as they were the ones with their schedules and preferences, not the recruitment counselors. It made Primary Recruitment more of ‘their’ process. It also saved us time because we did not have to print 750 schedules each day! We got a few more hours of sleep!” said the VP’s of Recruitment for Iowa State University

The overall goal of any recruitment is the success of the PNMs, chapters and Panhellenic community. Success is measured differently year after year for each community, however, we can all agree that turning a little bit of the control over to PNMs through technology can both save time and provide a more engaging experience is a win for everyone in the recruitment process. To learn more about the PNM Companion app or CampusDirector, feel free to request a demo or get in touch, you won’t be disappointed!

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About TechniPhi: TechniPhi is the sister company of Phired Up Productions, and both companies help fraternities and sororities grow. The company’s products, services, and brands are creating the future of fraternities and sororities by transforming the way people join. The company delivers relationship-focused, data-driven, results-producing TECHNOLOGY, EDUCATION, and STRATEGY solutions for every aspect of the pre-member experience from first-impression through initiation.

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Alpha Sigma Phi to Provide ChapterBuilder for All Chapters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Matt Farrell

The Phired Up and TechniPhi team is proud to announce another headquarters as a full adoption partner of ChapterBuilder.

Alpha Sigma Phi was an early adopter of ChapterBuilder using the tool for expansion at new schools. The technology helped systemize and accelerate the fraternity’s growth model. During this time Alpha Sig became the fastest growing fraternity in America. Beginning July 1, 2019, the tool will be available to 100% of the fraternity’s chapters and provisional chapters.

“Alpha Sigma Phi is committed to helping our chapters attract the highest caliber undergraduate men on their campus,” said President and CEO Gordy Heminger. “If there are resources we can provide that will assist our chapters in recruiting a higher quantity of high caliber men, we are committed to providing those resources.”

As the higher education landscape continues to change, Generation Z is producing new recruitment challenges for all organizations. Outside of fraternity, CRM technology has rapidly emerged to not only manage such challenges, but serve as growth systems for organizations to flourish.

“Alpha Sigma Phi has proven it wants to lead our industry in recent years by giving the gift of membership to more high quality men on campuses all across the continent,” said Matt Mattson, co-Founder of Phired Up and TechniPhi and member of Alpha Sigma Phi. “This makes me really proud to see my own organization choosing to utilize data, a standardized growth system, and advanced analytics that ChapterBuilder provides to engineer the future of the fraternity. I’m a very proud brother and a grateful partner today.”

Heminger adds, “ChapterBuilder will allow our groups to gather more information about potential members, organize it better internally, and communicate in a higher and more effective frequency with potential new members.”

Alpha Sigma Phi is the 10th headquarters to utilize ChapterBuilder fully for all chapters.

TechniPhi’s description of ChapterBuilder reads, “ChapterBuilder brings potential new members to you, alerts you when it’s time to follow up, gets all your members and advisors involved, keeps recruitment organized, and even provides real-time analytics to make your recruitment process smarter than ever!”

In an era where undergraduates are seeking resources and support to meet demanding recruitment goals, TechniPhi is thrilled to offer these tools to our partners nationally. Learn more about Alpha Sigma Phi at https://alphasigmaphi.org/.

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About TechniPhi: TechniPhi (a sister company of Phired Up Productions) helps fraternities and sororities grow. The company’s products, services, and brands are creating the future of fraternities and sororities by transforming the way people join. The company delivers relationship-focused, data-driven, results-producing TECHNOLOGY solutions for every aspect of the pre-member experience from first-impression through initiation.

The Simple Question Most Recruitment Chairs Can’t Answer

by Matt Farrell

I’m constantly meeting recruitment chairmen across the country. Some are desperate to grow their chapter while others are looking for efficiency. The rest are in between and annoyed at all of the busy work. When there’s a group together, it can be tough to figure out how to help everyone.

So I’ve been starting each conversation with this simple question.

“Do you know what CRM is?”

If you don’t know the answer either, you’re not alone. The answer is a “no” almost every time (it’s Customer Relationship Management, by the way).

What’s the big deal–just another acronym, right?

Not really. CRM is rapidly becoming the premier growth strategy for every organization OUTSIDE of fraternity. Whether a traditional business, nonprofit, or startup, success comes down to deepening the relationships between your group and who you interact with. Simply put, CRM is based on the understanding that relationships are the key to business. CRM technology allows as much of the “busy work” as possible to be taken care of, including information, organization, and even personalizing communication. This lets teams free up their time to maximize the power of their interactions with those they’re reaching out to. Quality interactions create relationships to drive business growth. Period.

A great example of CRM can be seen for anyone who visits the capital of the Greek industry— Indianapolis. You just have to look up. The tallest building in the skyline, the SalesForce tower, symbolizes the recent rise of CRM technology. Here’s how SalesForce explains CRM and why it’s important. I find it interesting how my friends who visit always know what Salesforce is and are familiar with CRM. They’re all in their mid-twenties living in big East coast cities.

Whether or not they cared about recruitment as undergrads, they use CRM every day now.

We talk a lot about real world skills in fraternity. Some of these skills are admittedly vague, like networking and leading your peers. CRM is not one of those skills. CRM is an objective measurement of how every industry does business. More than any other position in the chapter, recruitment chairmen are positioned to master it with ChapterBuilder.

Yet they still can’t answer the simple question.

By now, it should be obvious that CRM usage will lead to higher performing chapters. Could that phrasing be the problem?

Maybe the chapter isn’t actually priority #1. CRM technology usage is ultimately about preparing our members to have a clear-cut edge in professional performance. If they don’t know what it is, let alone use it, it’s failing to prepare them for the real world.

If they do, they’re prepared for the job. Maybe their chapter’s successful growth is just a bonus.

Hello From the Other Side (Of the Techline)

by Matt Farrell

I’ve never considered myself to be much of a “tech guy”. When I joined the Phired Up team in 2017, none of the reasons I came to work here involved technology. I wasn’t passionate about it or great at it. When I’m traveling for training days, I still feel lucky when I set the projector up right on the first try.

However, I’ve recently found myself starting this year in a new role with shifts covering on our “techline” as part of the on-call TechniPhi support team.

Chances are you or a someone you know has called the techline. There’s someone on it 24/7 for recruitment season ready to help with CampusDirector, MyVote, or ChapterBuilder. I’ll be honest, I knew nothing about how this worked even being at the company for a full year. From what I could gather from my colleagues, I was visualizing an invisible hot potato jumping from person to person through hectic recruitment weekends.

Now that I’ve made it a month, here’s some discoveries from the other side of the line.

1. Objective results:

Over the past few years, it has amazed me at how much of fraternity & sorority work is subjective. We are trying to help members grow as better humans, but most outcomes are based on individual interpretation. Any advisor or professional can create something and find a way to measure it, but how do we know for sure who to put the onus on? We ultimately have to hope our students care enough to listen, and if they don’t it’s easy to put the blame on them instead of us.

The opposite is true for the techline, because every question we get is purely objective: Where is this button? What setting do I need to turn off? How do I get back into my account? There is usually only one clear outcome. It’s still taking some getting used to, but I find it refreshing for our field.

2. Long days don’t seem so long anymore:

It’s no secret that workdays in student affairs can get lengthy, especially with evenings and weekends. Luckily, we love what we do. This combination produces a phenomenon I like to call “bragplaining” where folks share the amount of hours they work as if it’s a trophy. Well if that’s the case, this crew gets the trophy! You can’t beat a 24 hour workday on the techline (unless it’s with our roughly 60 hour weekend shifts).

In all seriousness, sunrise to sunrise shifts are long but have helped me realize how much more I can get done on an “average” workday. It also is a grounding experience to push aside the daily to-do list to help whatever unexpected troubles from others come your way.

3. Developers are awesome:

I didn’t really know any of the developers on our team before this. Erik, Taylor, Gerrit and Patrick are all super cool dudes with a passion for bettering fraternity, sorority, and humanity. Not to mention, they are purely solution-oriented all the time. Even while they’re working with people like me that have never touched a line of code, they never get frustrated and always have their mind on the fix.

I think it’s so cool that Gerrit and Taylor didn’t have a fraternity experience, but have grown to appreciate it through this work. It shows the potential we have not just for our own members, but for everyone we touch.

4. It’s All Connected:

Like I said before, I’m not a tech wiz, and may never be. That’s fine. The best part is simply knowing enough to realize how it fits into everything else. Technology, education and strategy are so connected in the ways our students want to (and need to) grow. Every headquarters and campus needs a growth system—that could not feel like more of a reality to me after traveling for my HQ and as a Phired Up educator. I feel that my time in technology hasn’t pulled my mind away from education and strategy much at all. If anything, it’s given me a realization that technology is the first step of the system. Once everyone is connected, we can do some awesome stuff.

5. Sometimes you don’t have the answer:

This has been the toughest, but most important, realization for me.

Before the techline, anytime I got a recruitment question I could take my best shot at it or send a resource over later. Whether you call this BSing, sharing perspective, or stalling—the asker still gets what they asked for.

But now being in the objective world of technology, not having the answer comes with the territory. It is tough not always being able to solve a problem off the top of my head. I’m still new to this, and I’m constantly asking my colleagues for help. But I suppose these are valuable truths of life that I wouldn’t have understood before this experience.

By now, you’ve probably realized benefits of recruitment technology you never would’ve otherwise thought of. Sometimes, those lead to random issues no one could ever expect—hence the existence of the techline.

But whether it’s a quick email or a middle of the night phone call—I can say one thing for sure: we’re here to listen.

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Guiding Your Chapter on the Importance of ChapterBuilder

by Ellen Chesnut

Your members are the most important asset to your organization. Members give your organization purpose. They continue to let your organization live on and carry out legacies year after year (several fraternities and sororities are well over 100 years old!). Your members are the number lifeblood of your organization and that means you’ve got to do more than appreciate them; you’ve got to understand them – you’ve got to find out why they’re a member in the first place.

The relationships you cultivate with your members will determine your organization’s level of success, and like the success of every relationship, that depends on how well you know each other. When building these relationships, (what we call recruitment) and getting to know the potential members who are going to make your organization successful year after year, it’s hard to get a grasp on understand what that process should look like and how it should be managed.

We know that there are certain parts of recruitment that are out of your control, like primary recruitment policies and schedules.  We also know that recruitment doesn’t just happen during the primary recruitment season, it happens all year. When setting up your organization for success, the mindset of year-round recruitment needs to be presented in a way that all members can be engaged. When taking on a year-round recruitment mindset, the task may seem overwhelming. However, if we have the right tools in place, year-round recruitment can be really easy and get you on track to recruiting the best members who are going to create long-term success for your organization.

Our tool, ChapterBuilder, has been a key resource for tracking success during year-round recruitment. ChapterBuilder is a CRM, or Customer Relationship Management tool, which meants that it is software that tracks interactions with prospects and customers.  In fraternity and sorority recruitment terms, ChapterBuilder is a CRM that tracks interactions and relationships with potential new members.

Here are six key benefits of utilizing ChapterBuilder to help your chapters see success through year-round recruitment.

1. It’s always messy before it’s organized

The more you know about your potential new members, the better you’ll be able to provide them with the kind of experience they are looking for when joining your organization.  Everything they do, and every interaction they have with your organization, needs to be identified and recorded. To do this, you need to move beyond the sticky-notes and pretty notebooks.  Using ChapterBuilder’s potential new member profile to maintain key points of contact and demographic information, as well as track all interactions, will help you organize and store a vast list of the future members of your organization.

2. Enhanced Communication

ChapterBuilder allows your recruitment team and all members of your organization to provide the same high-level of recruiting, by having access to all the same potential member data and past interactions.  With a variety of communication tools including email, text, and the rolling calls feature, you can give your potential members the type of communication they prefer, when they prefer it. There is no more “starting fresh” when you can see what level of interactions other members have had and where each potential member is in the recruitment process.

3. Makes you Look Good (and Smart)

Your time is valuable and also jam packed with other important tasks competing for your schedule.  Your potential members’ time is also valuable. When starting the membership selection process, whether that be the first interaction or right before extending a bid, ChapterBuilder helps your recruiters know everything about the experience the potential members are receiving and how they are responding to them.  You will be able to know who needs contacted and when, and if you’re keeping good notes, you’ll know how they take their coffee too.

4. Automation

Recruiting new members isn’t as easy as throwing darts onto a board of PNM names, with whoever it lands on getting a bid for membership. Following all of your recruitment procedures and reporting, voting methods, and finding time to host and meet your potential members takes time. ChapterBuilder is designed to take the burden of many of these tasks off your team’s shoulders, thanks to the magic of automation. From creating tasks, to scheduling follow ups and reminders, ChapterBuilder keeps users on task and keeps the recruitment process running.

5. Greater Efficiency

Automatically stored communication allows you to view emails, text messages and phone call details in one easily accessible place. Add that with the ability to have multiple users accessing the same information, it simply skyrockets the amount of achievable progress.  The recruitment team can filter down tasks and information and share valuable insights about prospects to get the results your organization needs to be successful.

6. Proof

Incorrect data should not be the reason you cannot succeed.  With ChapterBuilder, the data is all in one place, which leads to improved analyzing of the data as a whole. From historic to real-time data, you can make resourceful and effective decisions to reap the rewards in recruitment for long-term membership.
Ready to learn more about how ChapterBuilder can help your chapter achieve your recruitment goals? Schedule a demo today!

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Using ChapterBuilder to Maximize Continuous Open Bidding

PJI_0144by Chris Buck

You may have stumbled onto this article and thought, “Isn’t ChapterBuilder just for Fraternities?” We are always happy to share that we designed ChapterBuilder for all fraternities and sororities, and our sorority users see success with ChapterBuilder every day! In fact, the largest growing ChapterBuilder user base is women’s groups. We are proud that more and more organizations and individual chapters are using ChapterBuilder for both formal and informal recruitment. Recruiting after formal recruitment or all year round can be really, really tough.  However, building a team, setting a goal, and having a tool to help manage the process can make continuous recruitment easy and fun! Using a technology like ChapterBuilder allows you and the rest of your recruitment team to focus on building relationships and making smart thoughtful decisions when it comes to membership selection, the stuff we know you’re really good at! We are excited to share how chapters participating in the continuous open bidding process have made their lives easier by utilizing ChapterBuilder and these key features below to assist them. 1. Centralized Target List - ChapterBuilder was built to revolutionize the way we maintain our list of prospective members as we identify the best individuals to bring into our organizations. Using customer relationship management software , our platform serves as a centralized hub for communication, organization, and most importantly information. Members of your chapter can view PNM profiles, take notes, and share information that we learn to ensure we are making the best membership decisions. Pro-Tip: ChapterBuilder offers a bulk upload feature that allows you to take the names and information of the eligible members from your CampusDirector or other campus recruitment technology and upload them to your new account after the primary recruitment process is over. 2. Tabling: we’ve got you covered - ChapterBuilder makes tabling easier to collect names through our forms feature. Users can create custom forms, pull it up on their devices, and have PNMs enter their contact information, automatically generating a PNM profile in ChapterBuilder.  Pro Tip: Don’t just create forms for tabling, create forms to collect referrals from your social media, website, and alumnae newsletters too. 3. Communication & Alerts – Establishing consistent communication with prospective members is key for building a lasting relationship and sharing the gift of your organization. Through ChapterBuilder you can send mass texts and emails sharing organizational information and key dates. You can also create alerts to avoid having PNMs fall through the cracks. 4. Information – the most powerful component of ChapterBuilder is the centralized location for information. As we establish relationships with prospective members, we start to learn valuable information about who they are, what matters to them, and how they will contribute to the organization. This information is invaluable and vital for our members to make the best membership decisions. Information can be easily added through the application and can be displayed in a customized slideshow to facilitate membership discussions. ChapterBuilder’s goal is to be a resource to support each chapter and organization looking to make recruitment easier. Our hope is that you will consider joining us for a demo to show you how the platform works and how it could support you in either formal or informal recruitment this year. To sign up to learn how the platform could assist you, CLICK HERE!

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ChapterBuilder – Information is Power!

by Chris Buck

When we meet with a potential member, it is typically in a one-on-one meeting or in a small group. This is the best strategy because it helps foster relationships and does not overwhelm the perspective member. But, there can be a problem with these interpersonal interactions. During those meetings, we are often learning a lot of valuable information about the new people we’re meeting, but the problem is that we’re not sharing that information properly (or worse we losing or forgetting it). Then, we’ll hold a bid discussion and have members voting on a potential member they have never met or know very little details about. It is kind of scary to consider letting someone join your organization for life when you can’t even remember where they’re from, what they like to do, or what they’re studying in school.

One of the most valuable features ChapterBuilder has to offer is the potential new member profile that allows users to log key information and write notes. This can be your PNM information hub. This feature can help you solve that pesky problem of losing or forgetting information, and assists in ensuring all members are more informed about the members they’re voting on. Any member should be able to log in to a PNM profile, view the PNM information, and review the notes. They can take the following things away for it:

  • Know what interactions that chapter has had with the perspective member; has she attended events? What members have met with him?
  • Know that person’s passions, interests and pursuits – what are they looking to get out of the college? What matters to them?
  • Know any concerns or information that we as an organization want to discover so we can make the best decisions.
  • Know the next step in the recruitment process for this perspective member.

I am often told by fraternity and sorority members that they forget to log information or that it’s too much work. Remember, we are asking people to join our organizations for life and that they will be representing us for the day they take that first oath, so we can’t afford to be uninformed about someone.

To help make it easier, ChapterBuilder offers an iPhone app that can help you log the information you learned immediately following an interaction. Just pull up the app, click on the PNMs profile, and share the information right after your meeting!

If you are not sure what a good note should look like just remember to answer the following:

  • What happened? (Did you meet for coffee? Did they attend a small activity?)
  • What did you learn? (Passions, pursuits, interests, etc.)
  • What else do we need to know?
  • Next steps (invite them to something? Should a specific member follow up? Do we need to create a task or alert to remind us?)

If you do this properly each time, you will craft a good note that will contain some valuable information to help inform the rest of your chapter!

American activist Robin Morgan said, “Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility.” So, don’t withhold the information you learn about perspective member… share it!

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Partnership Spotlight: Alpha Chi Omega + ChapterBuilder

by Chris Buck

It is often thought that ChapterBuilder is only for fraternities, not sororities. Or, if it’s for sororities, it’s only for those who are participating in continuous open bidding or COB. Alpha Chi Omega is defying that misconception and using ChapterBuilder as a catalyst to spark growth in all chapters. This growth is not just in numbers, but in how they identify future members.

I had the privilege to sit down with Lisa Roane, Assistant Director of Collegiate Growth to discuss their experience and use of ChapterBuilder .

Quick Facts about Lisa

Years at Alpha Chi Omega: 4 years

Responsibilities: Oversees the establishment of new Alpha Chi Omega chapters and assists with recruitment efforts for established chapters.

Alma mater: Allegheny College

Buck: How has ChapterBuilder been built/adopted into Alpha Chi Omega’s recruitment process?

Roane: We have seen a huge change in the number of chapters that have had to participate in COB because of automatic re-adjustment of total. Through ChapterBuilder we have seen recruitment success and success in making COB more fun. We’re sharing this tool, showing them how to use it, so they’re actually using it. We have fit ChapterBuilder into our current COB processes that have already existed.

Buck: How have you seen chapters benefit from using ChapterBuilder?

Roane: A lot of the women are missing the first step of recruitment; building a names list. If you are trying to recruit 10 women you need more than 10 names on your list. You have to go out and find women; they’re not coming to you like in the formal process.

ChapterBuilder is also a place to store women’s information. There are women that want to join but they can’t right now; we like her, and want her to join, so we need to keep her information so she can join later. The ChapterBuilder waitlist has allowed us to do that; every chapter should have one.

Buck: So obviously, not all of the chapters that are using the platform need to participate in COB; why are they still using it?

Roane: Continuous open bidding is the ability to add women into our sisterhood throughout the entire year. We need to look at this as something positive. You are just reaching out to the women that you want to reach out to to talk about your organization and building a relationship with them. We are making COBing a normal thing, because it is.

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Delta Sigma Phi Recruits 75 at the University of Florida

by Chris Buck

Hearing that you are going to spend early spring (January – March) in Florida is exciting for any fraternity or sorority staff member; many end up in much colder and snowier regions of the country during that time of year. For the men leading Delta Sigma Phi’s expansion to the University of Florida, being in Florida didn’t mean a vacation. It meant hard work.

Determination, a competitive spirit, and teamwork were the winning combination that pushed Sam Edwards, Matt Beauchamp, and Nick Dietrich to recruit 75 men during their 4-week project expansion project for Delta Sigma Phi. I had the opportunity to sit down with Sam Edwards to discuss his experience, and it led to a great conversation about how they were able to share the gift of fraternity with so many men at the University of Florida.

Just for context, Sam is a fun guy, confident, spirited guy with a great sense of humor and hunger for excellence; he was a lot of fun to talk with with.

To kick things off, here are some quick facts about Sam.

Name: Sam Edwards

Title: Recruitment Specialist

Undergraduate Institution: Kansas State University

Year on Staff: 1st year; began in Summer of 2017

Buck: Tell me how the project started off? How did you begin getting campus excited for Delta Sigma Phi’s arrival?

Image uploaded from iOS (1)Edwards: We did a site visit during the Fall 2017 term and were able to do some sorority presentations during the visit. We also created an Instagram account; our Instagram game was on point. We arrived on campus with leads and were able to extend 10 bids the first week on campus.

Buck: How many meeting were you doing a day?

Edwards: Between the three of us we were doing at least 30 meetings a day.

Buck:Talk to me about the team dynamics; how did you divide the work? How did you work together?

Edwards: We all kind of had our own roles and the things we were each best at. We found that when we focused on that, we were able to maximize our effectiveness. We also had weekly calls with Woody Woodcock [the Vice President of Coaching for TechniPhi's sister company, Phired Up], and he always gave great guidance in managing our team dynamics.

Buck:How did ChapterBuilder play a role in your project?

Edwards: ChapterBuilder helped keep us organized. It was a great place to post notes. I am not a big fan of typing, so I would use headphones and Siri to create notes. We would roll calls through the platform, 40-60 a night, and would send mass texts too.

Buck: Why were you able to be so successful?

Edwards: We were honest about who we were, presented a unique product, and did so authentically. It was also about hitting daily benchmarks. I don’t like to compare one day to the next because some days you are only going to be in a position to give two bids. Instead I focus on doing the work and hitting my benchmarks each day for PNM notes, sending text, rolling calls ,etc. I made sure I was doing the best in each of these areas.

Buck: How’s the colony doing now?

Edwards: Great! They were really involved in the process and were given ownership. We had guys sign and give out bid cards to guys they helped recruit, and encouraged them to help build the legacy of Delta Sigma Phi at Florida and they’re running with it; they’re still recruiting even though we left campus.

 

After talking with Sam, it was clear that what made the expansion successful were the attitudes of those on-site, their ability to hone each team member’s strengths, and discipline to hit their key performance indicators (KPIs) each day. When I asked Sam what success meant to him he said, “I think you know that you’re successful if you would join the chapter if you were an undergrad. In the case of the colony at Florida, I would join!”

Congratulations to Delta Sigma Phi on their new chapter; we can’t wait to see the great things these men are able accomplish! Are you looking for help growing your fraternity or sorority? ChapterBuilder can add power to the work you’re doing! Email me at Chris@TechniPhi.com to learn more.

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Phi Kappa Sigma recruits 70 at Texas Christian University

by Chris Buck

After a year and a half of focusing on education and working with 24 different Phi Kappa Sigma chapters, James Coffman was nervous and excited about working on an expansion. He had never done an expansion before, and the native Texan was excited to be close to his family and to lead his first project. I was fortunate enough to interview James about his experience and how he and his teammate, Christian Springer, were able to recruit 70 men under three months with the help of ChapterBuilder.

Quick facts about James Coffman:

Title: Educational Consultant

How long have you been at Phi Kappa Sigma? Going on 2 years.

Where did you do your undergraduate work? University of North Texas

What previous expansion projects have you done in the past? This is his first expansion project.

Buck: Tell me how you prepared for the TCU expansion.

Coffman: Back in November I had my first experience with TCU. The former Executive Director had a meeting on campus and invited me to join him. I met with a good five to seven guys that were interested in joining Phi Kappa Sigma. I didn’t know that I was going to do the project, but because I had been on staff for a year and a half and I was local, they figured “Why not give James a chance and see if this is something that he could do”. I had no training, beside basic level understanding of recruiting. The plan was  that my direct supervisor, Ben, would come down and spend some time training me on how he thought expansion should work; that was very helpful.  Andy Bremer (an Organizational Growth Coach for TechniPhi’s sister company, Phired Up) came down and trained us. Andy made things much clearer and easier, answered all my questions, and made me feel like my mindset was right. It built my confidence up big time.

Buck: What goal did you have in mind, and what did you think was realistic in terms of numbers?

Coffman: The expectation was 65, but I was thinking maybe 40 was realistic. The first week of meeting with guys was rough at times, and I remember thinking, “are they all going to be like this? Can we really reach 65?” I started thinking that even 40 was pushing it.

Buck: What type of men where you looking for?

27336790_175424749897852_8422357449797803119_nCoffman: We weren’t trying to create a mold. We were trying to create something different. We wanted to be the group that challenged the status quo; we wanted to find genuine individuals who wanted to be something different and something better – a catalyst for change for the Greek community. We asked everyone we met with: how can we be better? It was about creating that open-mindedness, and about accepting who they are as people, not how they dress or how much money they have. The meeting were, “let’s learn who you are” conversations. Guys connected with this idea. As challenging as it was to get that message across at times, the best guys caught on quickly.

Buck: What was your process? What was a typical day at TCU?

Coffman: Wake up, get to the university by 9 a.m. and set up shop at the Greek Union. We’d have meetings starting at 10 a.m. running until 6 p.m. back-to-back. At times we were both doing meetings all day at the same time. We were fortunate with the amount of support we got from the Greek Life office with referrals to help build up the names list. They were crucial in the success of this project. So basically, meetings-on-meetings.

Buck: Did you have daily KPIs (key performance indicators) you needed to meet?

Coffman: We set up our KPIs/goals when Andy came to campus. We tried to meet with 16-20 people a day.

Buck: What were some obstacles that you encountered during the project?

Coffman: Meeting with guys that we really wanted to accept a bid, but they were on the fence. So trying not to come across as pushy or give them an ultimatum. Instead saying, “we enjoyed meeting with you and would like you to consider joining.” When you don’t hear from them, that can be frustrating. There were a number of guys that fell in this category.

Buck: What role did ChapterBuilder play in this project? How did it help?

Coffman: If we didn’t have ChapterBuilder, it would have been a mess to be honest with you. ChapterBuilder kept things organized. Knowing first that we can send out messages and organize guys by where they are in the process was critical to us staying on top of our list. Being able to shoot out text messages through ChapterBuilder was also very beneficial; better than trying to use my own phone. At the end of the day, ChapterBuilder kept everything organized and I knew where everyone was at. It was a big part of the process.

Buck: Ultimately, what did you think led to your team’s success?

Coffman: Motivation and determination. We knew that this was a very important project for our organization, and we couldn’t mess it up. We also wanted to make sure these guys were set up for success. We got a lot of support from the university and had great alumni support. We knew the kind of guys we wanted and we went out and found them. We extended 85 bids, and 70 were accepted.

Buck: Any big lessons learned from this project that you’d be sure to do on future projects or recommend to other teams?

Coffman: Don’t always judge people at face value. There was something that I learned a lot. You may not have a reason right away why you want to give a guy a bid, but you want to. Some guys took several meetings before we decided to give them a bid, and afterwards see that you made a great call! So trust your instincts.

Don’t let one bad meeting ruin the rest of them for you. You are going to have those meetings and you can’t let those make you think your project isn’t going well; think about the end goal. Too often I found myself wondering what I did wrong in that meeting, and that can derail your progress. The good meetings makeup for all of the bad meetings.

It also taught me to be organized.

Buck: Any other final thoughts?

Coffman: For my first expansion project ever, it was the most rewarding experiences of my life. It’s amazing to see guys get fired up about Phi Kappa Sigma, and seeing their faces lit up and that they are as excited as you; that was the best part.

Congratulations to the men of Phi Kappa Sigma for their successful expansion; we can’t wait to see all the great things to come for the chapter in the future! If you’re looking for help growing your fraternity or sorority, let me know by emailing me at Chris@TechniPhi.com.