Approaching People

How you approach people can mean the difference between finding a new recruit or not.

Let's take a look at how Karen and Brian approached a few potential volunteers.

What did you think about Brian's approach? I don't think I would have wanted to be on his team either! It should not be about just "finding a warm body," nor should we think just our smiling face is enough.

Being personal and personable makes much more sense and reaps better rewards in the long run. Even if someone can't volunteer this time, maybe they will in the future if you are respectful. Making people feel guilty for not wanting or being able to participate on your group is a sure-fire way of never recruiting them now or in the future.

It goes without saying that Karen did a much better job. She was not only polite and pleasant but she also addressed several key pieces of information in her initial conversation...

  • Mentioning the team was looking at the effectiveness of ongoing programs.
  • Estimating her group would meet monthly for two hours.
  • Saying the total time commitment would be 6 to 8 months.
  • Sharing they would be meeting locally in a particular person's residence.
  • Talking about the potential volunteers' past experience with programs.
  • Inviting her to let her know the final decision by the following week.

Karen was able to communicate everything of importance and get a decision within a couple of minutes. However, the timing of her approach may not have been best, especially with people you do not know well. Remember, you want your relationship with your potential volunteer to start out on the right foot.

Scheduling a time for coffee or lunch might be more appropriate.

Let's go into more detail as to what this In-Depth meeting might include.

© 2016 Diane M. Dresback