Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Year From Hell or...

The end of my first recruiting year. Well, I fell short of my goal to put 48 people in the National Guard this year. I figured there had to be at LEAST 50 people who wanted to join the Guard out of my county this year. There were, but I only put 32 of them in my box (computer).

I did not make Chief's Rural 54 (best recruiter in a rural area of the 54 states and territories). I missed it by a few recruits. Yes, I was bummed for a minute. It would have been a nice "Attaboy" not to mention you get a cool ring and I really love jewelry. ;-)

On the bright side, I put 32 people into the National Guard this year!! I helped two people make their mission. I helped people change their lives. I got to ride in a Black Hawk. I helped a poor kid get an $80K full ride scholarship. I put 4 people in the National Guard on September 11th (very nice feeling) and put 6 people in the Guard in 8 days. I made Staff Sergeant.

All in all it has been a very good year. Goal for next year? Put 50 people into the National Guard.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Handshake

I got a call that a fellow was interested in enlisting. He lived quite a distance away from the armory so we agreed to meet at the library of a city halfway between the two distances.

I got to the library and he and his dad were sitting in the foyer. We sat a talked for a while. I did my little recruiting diagram I do when talking to a prospect. It is a simple line diagram but it outlines how the National Guard is different than the reserves and active duty. It gives people a visual which really helps. I write all my notes on there as I go through my little sales pitch. Then I hand them the paper so later they have something to refer back to.

Anyway, this kid was already sold so we moved quickly to signing papers, answering questions and setting up a MEPS day. I was trying to keep our conversation down since we were in the library foyer!! A young man approached us and I thought "oh no, we are too loud and he is going to ask us to leave, how embarassing!". I stood up as he reached us and he asked "Is this young man getting ready to enlist?" I answered that he was. He turned to my applicant and shot out his hand for a handshake. "I just want to say what an honorable thing it is that you are doing. Thank you!" he said to my much surprised applicant. I grinned from ear to ear and said "Thank YOU!". He went back to work in the library (note to self ask him what he is doing for the next 20 years) and I went back to work. I told my young applicant to get used to that sort of thing.

My applicant scored a 70 on the ASVAB tonight, and will physical tomorrow. Hooah!

End of the Year Reflections

I see light at the end of the tunnel! And I believe it is daylight and not the headlight of an oncoming train. My poor kids look at me when I come in the door and say "who are you?"

OK, I am nearing the end of our recruiting year. I have a lot of leads, very few of them are qualified but hey I am SUPER RECRUITER I will find a way to put these people in boots! Right? Wrong.

I am pretty good at what I do. I am a technician by civilian trade. I love to fix things. I always have. When I was a kid I was taking things apart trying to figure out how they worked. I also would try and fix broken things and occassionally I would! Like the time I found the loose wire in the iron in the trash. My mom was thrilled.

OK, so I look at my applicants like that. What's broke? How do we fix it? The goal is getting them trough MEPS and into the Guard. But is it?

I worked really hard getting a few people in and most of them turned out to be a bad bet.
I had the fellow that dropped out of Marine Corps Boot Camp 10 years ago. This time he shipped to Army Basic and didn't make it through the first week before he was being sent home.
Another really really wanted to serve. That is until his parents bought him a brand new truck and threatened to cut off the money for college and take away the truck if he shipped. Nice.

So upon reflection I think I am going to focus on QUALITY and not quantity this year. Don't get me wrong, there about 30 others I am very proud I helped to enlist and serve. However I am going to be just a little more picky.