Recruiting Station Los Angeles --
During a recent visit to Recruiting Sub-Station Hollywood, meritoriously promoted Staff Sgt. Iasia J. Brown told of her personal secrets to becoming the 2013 Recruiter of the Year.
Q: Why do you think helped you to win Recruiter of the Year?
Brown: It was the plan I had from the start. My goal coming on recruiting duty was to be Rookie Recruiter of the Year, and when I saw my rapid progression I decided to take it a step further.
Q: What drove you to have that goal?
Brown: My family did. Recruiting duty requires long hours, and time is the only thing in life you can’t get back. If I’m going to be giving up this much of my time away from my family, then I decided to do everything I could to make sure it’s worth it.
Q: What do you think you did differently to make you so successful?
Brown: I think it was the service after the sale. I took a lot of kids who other recruiters looked at and wouldn’t work with. Some of the kids were too fat and needed to lose weight, or needed a tattoo waiver. I think my first ten contracts were kids who needed a lot of extra effort. It just became daily physical training and working with them constantly because they were underdeveloped. It paid off in the end because they brought me referrals, their families brought me referrals, and they eventually became United States Marines.
Q: What did you do to make your prospecting most effective?
Brown: I was a social media monster. After I visited a school that had an ROTC program or special clubs, I would join those groups on Facebook. During class talks I would get to know the students and then in their groups I would post an “Ask a Marine” segment. My phone number would be posted right under my picture and kids would start calling me. This generation loves to text messages and I ended up doing a lot of texting. Social media just made it so much easier to communicate.
Q: How did High Value Targets help you in your success?
Brown: When I was at Recruiters School, I told the Assistant Recruiter Instructor I wanted to be meritoriously promoted and I wanted Rookie Recruiter of the Year. He told me I needed to find a magical creature and one of the seven dwarves. I asked him what he meant, but he said I had to figure it out. I learned the magical creature was a unicorn – an Asian or black female pilot, and one of the seven dwarves was an NROTC applicant or a MEOP. My niche was the musicians. I found as a person who could play music, who could speak the language, who could play for these kids and let them know I’m legit, they would talk to me. So when crunch time came and we needed a musician, I provided one with a 15-day turnaround.
Q: How did you handle schools that you had a hard time getting into?
Brown: I have really good relations with all my schools. Of course, there are always teachers who are absolutely against me being there. Even if someone didn’t care for the military, it never stopped me because at the end of the day it’s not about us. You have to ask the educator, are you going to help this kid pay for college? Because I’m sitting here with a scholarship offer. Are you really going to deny me this information that could possibly better this kid’s life? Once you make them see it through your eyes - that it’s in the kids’ best interest and not just you needing a number for a quota - they are more supportive. It’s about educating the educators. They don’t know too much, so I would explain to them how the scholarship works, and they then understand these kids have to be competitive in all aspects.
Q: Do you have any big goals for the future?
Brown: I do have big goals, but I don’t want to say. When people know your plans, they try to ruin them. I got promoted to the rank of staff sergeant by the Commandant and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps. It’s going to be hard to top.