5Effective Recruiting Begins with the Discipline to Ask

The more people you talk to, the more enlistments you’ll make.

—First Sergeant Christopher Llewellyn (and First Sergeants everywhere)

Asking is the most important discipline in recruiting. Period. You must ask for what you want, directly, assumptively, assertively, and repeatedly. Asking is the key that unlocks:

  • Qualifying information
  • Meetings and interviews
  • Access to students in schools
  • Parental permission
  • Next steps that move applicants through the funnel
  • Getting applicants to the floor
  • Enlistment commitments

In military recruiting, asking is everything. When you fail to ask, mission suffers. Your reputation suffers. Your unit suffers. You suffer. Your family suffers.

When you fail to ask, you fail. It’s the truth, and this truth will not change. But, as my favorite line from the movie The Big Short goes, “The truth is like poetry. And most people fucking hate poetry.1

This is why immutable truths like “The more people you talk to, the more enlistments you’ll make” are so easily ignored.

If you are having a hard time getting interviews, next steps, access to schools or homes, applicants to MEPS, and enlistments, it’s not because you lack prospecting skills, closing skills, the right words to say, or tactics for getting past the inevitable objections.

Nope, you are not getting what you want because you are not asking for what you want. Why? Nine times out of 10, you are insecurely and passively beating around the ...

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