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Tips for Successful Office Visits

While you may draft or receive an organizing script early on, it is meant merely as a sample of an effective organizing conversation. Such scripts provide ideas for topics to hit upon and ways of structuring a conversation that ideally help move a non-member to join as a member, or move a current member to become more actively involved.

Always remember that an effective organizing conversation is personalized. You should never recite a script. Talk with the people you visit, not at them. Tell them why you’re there, then listen to what they say next and have a dialogue about it. Be genuine. Often, it’s helpful to let them know why you joined as an active dues-paying member.

When first approaching someone to have a conversation, ask if they’re able to talk for a little while. If it’s not a good time to talk, ask when a good time would be. Make note of it.

DO

Ask them to sign the membership form before you leave, rather than leaving it with them
Schedule a date to come back and pick up the form if they don’t sign it before you leave
Emphasize that the chapter is only as strong as its members, if asking them to volunteer, come to an event, or participate in an action
Ask questions designed to involve the listener in thinking about and discussing the chapter
Listen more than you talk
Say “I don’t know” if you don’t have an answer
Help potential members find the information they seek
Stick to the reason for the visit and don’t get sidetracked by other topics
Point out that any criticisms they have are all the more reason for them to get personally involved
Let them know you’ll be back in a week or two to talk further, if they don’t join immediately but haven’t ruled out joining

DON’T

Be afraid to ask colleagues to join
Start formulating your response before they’ve finished talking
Enter into heated arguments
Gossip or deal in personalities—stick to principles and issues

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