I recruited a fraternity by recruiting one guy. This one guy was charismatic, and when he pledged, he brought several of his buddies with him. Let me explain…
Frogger and I went to the same high school. I was two years older. We became pretty good buddies because we were on the golf team together. He was popular because he would tell the most outlandish stories to go along with his ferocious hook.
Anyway, I graduated and went off to college. We occasionally played golf during the summers, but lost touch for all intents and purposes.
By chance, we ran into each other the summer before he started college. He had decided to attend NC State. We played golf a couple times, and stayed in touch. I told him I would have him out to my fraternity when he got on campus, and he eagerly awaited the invite.
I reached out to him on move-in day. And as luck would have it, he had three buddies that were fantastic guys and they all shared a suite together. He decided to come out to rush and brought them with him.
Even though we were good friends, his recruitment was still difficult. His dad was a member of a rival fraternity on campus, and Frogger attended a few of their rush events. Also, his folks weren’t wild about him joining a fraternity the very first semester of school.
However, because of our past, his parents knew me and knew I’d take care of his son. Because of our relationship, he already had formed a better bond with the brothers in my fraternity. All the brothers knew of him and his group, and went out of their way to make them feel welcome. We realized they would be the difference between an average class and a good one, so we made sure they had our full attention.
He ended up pledging, along with his three buddies. The next semester three more of his buddies would join. Before long, it seemed as if half the fraternity was from the same high school, and could be linked directly to his recruitment.
This shows an important lesson in fraternity recruitment. The shot-gun approach to recruitment where you try to wow freshman with lavish events doesn’t work and isn’t necessary. It is the personal relationships that matter. Frogger was willing and eager to become my brother because we were already good friends.
For you next rush, be sure to maximize the relationships you already have. These guys will give you the maximum return with the littlest effort, and should form the foundation of every one of your pledge classes.
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