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June 13, 2005

A Peak Inside the Military's Recruiting Handbook

This is from a Boston Globe article from last November... Officers are trained to analyze students and make a pitch according to what will strike a motivational chord -- job training, college scholarships, adventure, signing bonuses, or service to country. A high-school recruiting manual describes the Army as "a product which can be sold."

The manual offers tips for recruiters to make themselves "indispensable" to schools; suggests tactics such as reading yearbooks to "mysteriously" know something about a prospect to spark the student's curiosity; notes that 'it is only natural for people to resist' and suggests ways to turn aside objections; and lists techniques for closing the deal, such as the "challenge close":

"This closing method works best with younger men," the manual reads. "You must be careful how you use this one. You must be on friendly terms with your prospect, or this may backfire. It works like this: When you find difficulty in closing, particularly when your prospect's interest seems to be waning, challenge his ego by suggesting that basic training may be too difficult for him and he might not be able to pass it. Then, if he accepts your challenge, you will be a giant step closer to getting him to enlist."

Posted by MikeBurke on June 13, 2005 | Permalink

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