American Legion recruiting for the 2020-2021 membership year is actively underway. Membership recruiting was one of the eight presentations given during the virtual 57th annual National Membership Workshop in August. American Legion Membership Engagement Coordinator Ron Neff, who presented the “Every Legionnaire is a Recruiter” training session during the Membership Workshop, put out a challenge for every Legionnaire to bring in one new member – “But not just to get them to join. Bring in that one and then mentor them to be your replacement.”
Below are a few recruiting best practices – and a rejection tip – shared during the training session.
Be prepared to answer what this organization will do for them. “We are an organization of givers,” Neff said. “We volunteer our time because we believe in the cause. It’s not about what we receive but about what we give. Whether it’s filling that void or providing that camaraderie, there is something mutual in that relationship that we need to discuss.”
Be confident and knowledgeable about the organization. Take the Legion’s Online Basic Training course if you haven’t already at legion.org/training.
Passively recruit. “Most important thing we can do is thank every veteran you see for what they have done for their nation,” Neff said. “You can then just ask if they’re a member or consider continuing their service by joining. But at the end of the day, it’s all about thanking them, it’s that Buddy Check.”
Show pride. “Display your pride in the organization by what you wear, what you say and what you display in public,” Neff said. “Set the example by demonstrating the highest degree of professionalism and patriotism as it relates to The American legion.”
Have a business card with an American Legion application printed on the back. Check with Emblem Sales for this.
Overcome objection. “Nine times out of 10, whatever that objection is it’s a falsity – it’s not true,” Neff said. “Those are generally easy to overcome because they have a misperception about who we are and what we do. So as long as we understand our organization, we can walk them through the misinformation. One out of 10 times whatever their objection is, is valid. That one objection you say, ‘Well join me, and let’s make it better.’”