You are the key to successful recruiting
You know the value of membership firsthand, so learning about your personal experiences and how AGD has impacted you will be most meaningful to those whom you believe will benefit from joining the organization.
To start finding these prospective members, review your personal and professional networks. Classmates, acquaintances you met through your American Student Dental Association involvement and other nonmembers who are interested in practicing general dentistry after graduation are all great people who will appreciate that you’ve gone out of your way to help them enhance their future careers. (If you’re unsure if one of your prospects is already an AGD member, search the AGD Membership Directory to find out.)
When communicating with these potential AGD members, use these tips to start the conversation and further peak their interest.
Be prepared. Become an expert about AGD and its many member benefits prior to meeting with a prospective member. When you’re at professional events or participating in various dentistry-related activities around campus, make sure you have AGD membership materials handy, such as fliers, applications, etc. You can download various recruiter resources in preparation of these events.
Initiate the conversation. Find opportunities to strike up a conversation, discuss shared interests and establish a relationship with your prospects. You might meet potential members by volunteering to help staff your AGD constituent’s membership table at a local campus vendor fair. Or perhaps you present an informational session about AGD during a lunch and learn in between clinics. You could also invite nonmembers to attend a continuing education session or a networking event with you through your local AGD FellowTrack Program. Encourage your prospect to visit the AGD website to gather more information about the organization.
Here’s a snapshot of additional perks you can tell them about:
- Student membership is only $17 ($22 in Canada). With the array of benefits students receive (e.g., free online CE, publications, credit toward Fellowship, etc.), the membership pays for itself almost immediately.
- AGD student members receive complimentary registration to the annual AGD Scientific Session, which also includes free lectures, access to the exhibit hall and Student and New Dentist Lounge, social events and more.
- During the first four years post-graduation, new dentists pay lower membership rates. AGD has established a 20/40/60/80 scale for these members, understanding the unique financial burdens they face as they begin their careers. See the AGD Membership Application for more details.
Tell your success story. Be open and honest with your prospective members when discussing the value you’ve received as a member of AGD. Tell them about why you joined, the benefits or services that have been most beneficial to you and the friends you’ve made along the way. Be enthusiastic and offer firsthand accounts of how your membership has been an invaluable investment in your dental education and future career. A positive testimonial from a trusted source can be one of the strongest tools for recruiting new members.
Focus on their needs. Each potential member you identify will have different needs, challenges and interests. Ask about what they’d like to achieve — personally and professionally — what keeps them up at night and what their plans are for the future. Inquiring about these topics can help you determine what kind of help or information they need most.
Offer AGD membership as a solution. Based on how they respond, pinpoint the AGD member benefits that will be most valuable to them. Then, share examples of how AGD membership has benefited you as you move closer to graduation and life as a new dentist. This helps make the conversation feel more like two colleagues sharing solutions and less like a sales pitch. Be sure to address any objections or concerns your prospect may have about AGD; then, invite him or her to join!
Follow up. One of the most important steps in the recruitment process is remembering to follow up. Check back with your prospects in the few weeks after your conversation to see if they have joined AGD. If they haven’t, ask if they have any new questions that you can answer, and be sure to reiterate the value of AGD membership. Then, send an email or a handwritten note to thank them for considering membership. If they are not interested in joining AGD, ask if you can contact them in the future with updates about new or improved member benefits. If your prospect has joined, express your appreciation for his or her support.
Don’t forget to include your name and AGD member ID number in the “Referral Information” box at the top of the paper application; or you can ask your prospect to include your information in Step 2 of his or her online application.
Lastly, encourage those who become new members to “pay it forward.” Tell him or her to get involved in the Refer-a-Classmate Program with you!