Monday, March 5, 2012

Creating a Chapter Scholarship: Part 5

Its a little later than I would have hoped, but here is the 5th installment of "Creating a Chapter Scholarship". Hopefully by this point you have done the following:

Agree to Start a Scholarship
Create an ApplicationDistribute that Application
Follow-Up with Applicants

This final post is where all it all comes together. This is how to take a scholarship applicant and bridge the gap to get them to accept a bid. It may be vastly overplayed, but its based on the movie Inception.

For those unfamiliar, Inception is a tactic used to influence people's thoughts and decisions based on small, sometimes inconsequential, events. Another metaphor would be to "plant a seed".

The concept is very simple. Throughout some form of follow-up meeting, seek to find out what an individual can gain from joining a fraternity. In my scholarship interviews I use the following set questions to to get my answers:

"What do you hope to do professionally after you graduate?""What types of things do you need to improve on or accomplish to get to that point?"

There are a wide variety of answers to the second question that are applicable: leadership, community service, networking, getting involved... Hopefully these ring a bell as advantages of joining a fraternity. Take note, but don't make your pitch yet. I actually write these answers in the margin of my page so I can reference them later. Continue through the interview as normal.

This is where the magic happens...

At the end of the interview act like you're required to give an elevator pitch. Nonchalantly weave their answers to the above questions into your pitch. Then, you should have some form of professional-looking handout that gives information about your organization and your chapter.... again, something you "have to give them". Shake their hand and say it was great to meet them, and if they have any questions about the scholarship or the organization they can contact you.

The key is in the follow up. If the applicant contacts you, great. If not, in a day or two follow up with them via text with:
"Hey its Alex from XYZ, I was wondering if you got a chance to check out that folder?"

Chances are they respond something to the affect of: "yes, it looks interesting"
You respond with "Do you have some time to meet up this week to learn more about it?"

... and there you have it, you've just booked a 1-on-1 recruitment meeting through a scholarship. The rest is up to you to communicate the value of joining your organization and make sure to sure their answers from above. If you went through something close to the event discussed in Part 4, you should have an even bigger advantage in having a larger amount of personal connections with each applicant.

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