Follow Up, or Fail


by Woody Woodcock, Guest Blogger

Have you ever met someone who didn’t remember you? Did you ever have that girl or guy who introduced themselves to you over and over again in college, but you still couldn’t remember their name? There are times when I attend a conference or run into someone and I just can’t place their name. Usually, I am quick to say “would you tell me your name again?” before moving on in our conversation. Most of the time, people don’t mind if you’re honest (and don’t make it a habit). Whenever this happens to me, I make a special mental note to remember their name for our next encounter.

This week at the University of Michigan, something similar happened. This time, the consequences were more detrimental. If you haven’t read about it yet, check out the ESPN story. It was really easy for me to instantly connect this disappointing story to countless others in the fraternity recruitment process when it comes to retaining recruits and new members. Here are two key quotes from that article that are alarming:

“I do not know which recruit they were talking to, but it was not me. It was just a little heartbreaking, for me to supposedly be so high on their list, for them to confuse me with someone else.”


“Plus, they spelled both of my names wrong after I told them, but that was not the main issue. I guess they do not have tabs on me.”

Consider this: if someone is high up on your prospect list, and you spell their name wrong or confuse them for another PNM, how could you expect them to want to join your chapter? As a recruitment leader, you’re expected to be excellent at managing the details. Something little like taking the extra time to get someone’s name right can go a long way toward helping them feel like they are genuinely cared for. Our sister company, Phired Up, even conducted retention research that showed members leave organizations when they don’t believe people truly care for them.

There’s a difference between rush and recruitment. In “rush”, you’re likely rushing the process along to get as many members as you can. When you rush, you likely lose track of important details. Recruitment, on the other hand, is a well planned and consistent effort that helps you get to know PNMs on a deep, authentic level. ChapterBuilder can help you keep your important recruitment details organized so you can be intentional in your pursuit of building relationships. We recommend using ChapterBuilder to help make the details easy for you! Here are just a few things you can do:

  • Create a daily time to review and update your ChapterBuilder account
  • Track who attends your events and who you’ve contacted (calls, texts, and what their replies were) with ChapterBuilder notes and tags
  • Spot-check at least 5 – 7 PNM profiles to ensure that your recruitment team is doing a solid job of being systematic and taking good notes
  • If you discover that information is missing or not up-to-date, work with your recruitment team to help fix that right away!
  • Discuss the ESPN article with your recruitment team to help illustrate the importance of genuinely caring for each of your recruits individually

I’ve worked on dozens of expansions and with hundreds of fraternity chapters across the country, and I’ve learned an important lesson: if you don’t follow up in a meaningful way, you will fail in your recruitment and retention efforts. You have an incredible opportunity to help bring the gift of fraternity to many new members, and you have the tools at your disposal to make it easier and more organized than ever.

If you think you’ve got some recruits who might be on the edge of making a decision to go elsewhere, redouble your efforts to get to know them even better. Learn who else is helping them to make their decision by asking them about the people in their life who they care deeply about, and the people who care deeply about them. Don’t let another team gain your recruit because you squandered your opportunity to make them feel like they matter! Recruitment technology like ChapterBuilder can keep you organized and on track, but the real recruitment work comes down to the quality of the relationships you build.

Leave a Reply