Top 7 Army Recruiter Success Tips

So, you’ve been assigned as an Army Recruiter?  Now what?  What I want to do in the rest of this article is share some success tips for Army Recruiters, so you can succeed in your new job.  Although I was never a recruiter myself, I got this information by talking to some of my friends that served in that capacity.  I also have some experience in sales and marketing that might benefit you.  I hope you find the information helpful.

# 1 Know Your Numbers

Selling is a numbers game.  Recruiting is a numbers game.  It’s important that you know your numbers.  You need to know your metrics and conversion rates.  For example, let’s assume that you have to generate 50 leads to set 35 appointments to find 10 people interested to get 5 people to go to MEPS to find one person to join.  If those are “your numbers” you know exactly how many people you must approach to find a new recruit.  Using this same example, if your quota is two new recruits per month, you know you need to generate 100 leads to meet that goal.

# 2 Know Your Sales Cycle

When it comes to recruiting, there is a sales cycle.  This is the amount of time it takes from the time you generate a new lead and meet a new prospect, until they become a paying customer (new recruit).  Most people won’t join the Army the first day that you meet them.  In most cases, there is a three week to three month time period (sometimes longer) to make it through the medical screening and actually enlist in the Army.  Once you know YOUR average sales cycle, you will know how many people you must have in the pipeline at any given time to meet your quota.

# 3 Focus On the Most Important Tasks

In sales, they have what are known as “money producing tasks.”  This basically boils down to prospecting, showing presentations and following up.  MOST of your time should be spent on one or more of those tasks.  Yes, you have other responsibilities like going to MEPS and doing meetings, but make sure that you spend most of your working hours on the most productive things.

# 4 Educate Yourself About Sales and Marketing

There are lots of great resources available online, at your library, or at the bookstore about sales and marketing.  It might be in your best interest to study trainers such as Zig Ziglar, Tom Hopkins and Brian Tracy, so you can learn the art of selling.  Yes, selling is an art-form.  Very few people are natural salesman.  You must develop your skills, just like you would for any other job.  Set aside 30 to 60 minutes each day for personal development to learn more about how to be successful.

# 5 Schedule Your Time in Advance

We all waste a lot of time, usually without realizing it.  You must master your time if you want to be productive AND have a life, while you are serving as an Army Recruiter.  You should get a good day planner and plan out your week (and each day) ahead of time. Schedule in all of the mandatory things you must do.  Break your day down into 15-minute increments.  Plan your time.  Don’t confuse being busy with being productive.  If you schedule your time properly, you will always have people in the pipeline, always have appointments to go to, and always have something to do.  If you spend most of your time just sitting around the office, you aren’t doing your job right!

# 6 Master Lead Generation

Leads are the lifeblood in any sales profession.  As long as you always have someone to talk to, your job is easy.  It’s when you run out of leads that your job gets difficult.  You can’t count on the Army to provide you all the leads you need to succeed.  Come up with three or four good lead generation strategies that you feel comfortable doing and master them.  Sit down with your supervisor or peers and find out what they do and recommend to get leads.  Pick a few methods that work for you and focus on those methods exclusively.  A few examples might include events, going to schools, setting up at fairs, job fairs, or anything else.

# 7 Pre-Qualify Your Prospect

My final tip is to pre-qualify your prospect.  What you want to do is pre-qualify people as quickly as possible, so you don’t waste your time trying to recruit someone who isn’t interested or isn’t qualified to join the Army.  This is where a good questionnaire, interview, and pre-ASVAB test can come in handy.

Final Thoughts

Serving as Army Recruiter is typically a job that people either love or they hate.  Most people do not enjoy selling.  However, I truly believe that anyone can succeed as an Army Recruiter IF they have a game plan and some discipline.  Following the seven steps listed above is a good starting point.

What are your thoughts?  If you’ve ever spent time as an Army Recruiter, what are some of the best success tips that you can share?  Leave a comment below to share your expertise.  I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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11 thoughts on “Top 7 Army Recruiter Success Tips”

  1. What NOT to say to a military recruiter: basic information that can be easily researched, things that are not true, unnecessary and stereotypical comments. At the first meeting you should have no problems.

  2. Sales is the name of the game as a recruiter. I am a firm believer in Zig Ziglar, and I would also recommend taking a Carnegie course if you haven’t already.

    One thing I do need to mention in this comment is BE HONEST! Think of the Golden Rule-would I want it done to me? So many recruiters in times past have lied to prospects and it looks bad on the service you are a member of.

    I would highly recommend speaking at High Schools and colleges. Use flyers and postcards. As someone else mentioned, for a certain amount of nos, there will be a yes. Learn to enjoy the nos, because a yes is coming.

      1. I also believe that Army recruiters could take a huge lesson from network marketers. If in your daily life, you just talk with people about what you do, you will get “sales.” I think that recruiters often think they need to talk with young people, but older people are a great idea, because they know younger people and if they give you as a reference, well….you know. With any sales person, you sell yourself first and foremost–if a person is against the military, but they like you, they will give you a reference when they talk to someone who is considering the military.

          1. Yes, it is a numbers game.

            I would also recommend using the internet to your advantage as an Army recruiter. We see so many of these youngsters playing military style web games on Facebook and different places like that. I believe that if it is allowed, if I were a recruiter, I would install ads within these games, and at forums that discuss these types of games. I would also run ads on places like Craigslist and Facebook, etc…

  3. This is an interesting post and brings up several issues.

    As a recruiter, your job is to bring people into the U.S. Army. In order to do that, you have to get in front of a flow of people who MIGHT be interested.

    As this post points out, it is a numbers game. Some people call it selling and say they hate sales.

    The fact is that everybody sells something on a daily basis, but most don’t see it that way. Your selling ideas, movies, and restaurants on a daily basis.

    Something I have learned recently, and would apply here, is the fact that a recruiter has to go for “no” responses and be immune to that word. He or she has to decide emotionally that they don’t care if they hear “no”.

    They will get more “yes” responses during the course of going after “no” responses. I realize that this concept is 180 degrees out from normal thinking, but it has been proven to me that it is reality.

    A recruiter, who is an outstanding recruiter, will make phone calls, send post cards, and now can use squeeze pages and other online methods.

    The goal would be to get a minimum of 20 “no” responses in a day of work. And not worry about the word “no”. Keep track of every name, number, and email address.

    In the process of doing this, there will be more “yes” responses over time than is realized, even if it may take weeks. This work will pay off.

    “No” doesn’t mean “no” forever, it means not right now. It means following up, with permission, to talk things over and answer questions as long as needed.

    I am learning this concept myself. I realize it will not make sense to some, but I have researched highly successful people now, and this concept applies to Army recruiters as much as any other recruiter.

    I would highly suggest that Army recruiters look for Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz on youtube and listen to those youtube videos. They make sense when you let the ideas sink in.

    If you let “no” discourage you, you quit. If you go after “no” responses, the “yes” responses inevitably have to come.

    Watch the youtube videos I mentioned with an open mind. I think they will help Army recruiters bring good people into the Army over time.

  4. Theresa Williams

    Being a recruiter is a job that several people I know have left the military over; they had to serve their turn as one and just did not want to “waste their time” doing it, so they left. Personally, I wouldn’t enjoy being a recruiter but I would still see my time as one as valuable. I think that obviously knowing your numbers and knowing your sales cycles are the most important here. Good planning is part and parcel to any successful life or work. If anyone is looking for a great day/week/month/year planner, I suggest Erin Condren planners. They’ve helped me organize myself and my time so much because of their setup.

    1. Some folks are natural fits as recruiters, but for most people it will be uncomfortable because most people do not like to sell. That being said, if you are disciplined, and can manage your time effectively, I think it would be fairly easy to succeed as a recruiter.

  5. I have worked in sales in the past and I could not agree more about scheduling. A good leader and employee does not waste time “being busy”. Often busyness is really just another form of laziness. I am not very good at making a schedule and setting to it. But I do understand the value of it and I have seen that experienced in my own life and in the lives of my fellow coworkers. I’m sure it would be a crucial trait of a recruiter.

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