Step into the Boiler Room

“When was the last time you closed something, huh? You couldn’t close a frickin’ window, you moron!”

That is just one of  many lines that made me fall in love with the movie ‘Boiler Room.’

Haven’t heard of it?

It hit theaters in 2000 near the peak of the stock market bubble and didn’t interest me at the time.  Having now watched it, I am disappointed that every business student in the country isn’t shown this during freshman year.  Oh, and did I mention it oozes with sales advice?  From IMDB… A college dropout gets a job as a broker for a suburban investment firm, which puts him on the fast track to success, but the job might not be as legitimate as it sounds.

Still need further encouragement?  Check the video

Now THAT is a  sales call!!

Do I have your attention?  Good.  Keep reading.

Within the next month virtually every college and university in the country will be back in session.  That means there will be new freshmen on campus.  That means there is recruitment work to be done.

Unless you plan on personally meeting every freshman male on campus before formal recruitment hits, you are going to need to supplement your recruiting efforts with some cold calls.

Deep breath.

Yes, I said cold calls.  You’re going to get IFC names lists. Your friends and alumni are going to give you referrals.  If you tell me that you don’t have to make some cold calls to have  a successful recruitment effort, then I will tell you that your ‘success’ isn’t as great as it could be.

Here are my top tips for a cold call:

1)  Bring the energy.

When I’m on campus doing recruiting work, I like to think of it like this:  I am the patron saint of rescuing underwhelmed college students.  I’ve got this frickin’ awesome Fraternity thing going on, and they are bored in their dorm room playing video games and itching to ‘get out and meet new people.’  I am a new person.  I can be their new friend.  So can you.  Cold calls are not a selfish act of you trying to ‘get something’ for your fraternity.  No, no, dear reader.  Cold calls are philanthropy.  They are service work.  You, as my apprentice, are a co-patron saint of rescue.  These young students need you to rescue them from their underwhelming college experience.  When you think of it like this you cannot fail.  You are merely trying to pay forward the life-altering experience that you are currently enjoying.

2) Establish the connection.

“Wait, who is this?  Why are you calling me?”  You will undoubtedly get this question during a cold call.  Have you got an answer?

The trick to recruitment isn’t necessarily KNOWING a ton of freshmen.  Usually, the trick is knowing people who know freshmen.  Referrals.  If you’re not asking your friends, professors, parents, and alumni for referrals, then what ARE you doing?  These are the people who help take recruitment from good to great.  When you get that question “why are you calling me” you can swoop in and respond “a mutual friend of ours, ______, said that you were interested in greek life and as part of a fraternity here on campus I just wanted to call and invite you to….”

3)  Keep it casual.

This ‘event’ is going to be really low-key.  Come and go as they please.  Come with a friend if that would be better.  They can’t come?  No big deal.  What do you say we just grab lunch sometime this week?  Are they too busy to talk right now?  Ask when would be a good time to call back.

“And there is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can’t. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him? Now be relentless, that’s it, I’m done.”


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