US Air Force Reserve
U.S. Air Force Reserve Recruiting Command Licenses the IMPACT Selling® System for Ongoing Success
Beginning in 1996, the U.S. Air Force Reserve Recruiting Command began facing an increasing challenge to achieve their procurement goal. To combat this challenge, the Reserve introduced their entire recruiting force to the IMPACT Selling System in 2000. The results were so dramatic that they ultimately decided to purchase a lifetime license agreement for the IMPACT System. Their license agreement allows internal trainers to deliver IMPACT training on-demand – in a cost-effective manner supporting their large organization and mission.
Staffing the Air Force Reserve is the responsibility of its revolving 400-member recruiting force headquartered at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. During the early 1990s, a massive drawdown in the level of active-duty forces created a large number of active duty personnel interested in continuing their military service in the Reserves. For several years, recruiters had no problem filling their ranks with these well-qualified recruits.
By the mid-1990s, the force reduction programs ended and the number of Airmen leaving active duty annually dropped dramatically. This shift posed a challenge for the Air Force Reserve recruiters, and they struggled to achieve procurement goals for five consecutive years. So the search for a long term and sustainable partnership began.
Senior military leaders were determined to enhance recruiting efforts. A key strategy in their recovery plan was to provide better sales training for the recruiting force. Military leadership sought new ideas and best practices from the private sector. This bold and ‘un-bureaucratic’ move was instrumental in pointing the organization on the road to meeting and exceeding their goals.
In January of 2000, the Air Force Recruiting Command held an all-hands national meeting to introduce their entire recruiting force to the IMPACT Selling System. Recruiting results improved dramatically. However, IMPACT was still an external program for The Air Force Reserve. New recruiters went to Recruiter School to learn the internal sales model and then to The Brooks Group’s training center to learn IMPACT. This system ultimately proved to be costly, time consuming, and lacked efficiency.
By purchasing a license agreement for IMPACT, the Air Force Reserve took “ownership” of the IMPACT Selling System and was able to blend their Recruiter School curriculum with IMPACT. With the licensing agreement in place, the Air Force Reserve saw enhanced benefits in efficiency and cost savings through these mechanisms:
- On-demand delivery with in-house certified instructors
- Ability to adapt curriculum quickly in a dynamic recruiting environment
- Implement LMS based reinforcement and coaching
- Create a common language and process instilled in the culture
Another positive side effect of the licensing agreement was that Air Force Reserve officials saw that the value that IMPACT brought to recruiting could also be applied to retention. Because they now had an internal team of experienced recruiter-instructors they were able to quickly bring best practices to retention efforts making a positive impact on results faster than anticipated.
Productivity increased immediately. Since 2001, the Air Force Reserve has exceeded its recruiting goals each year by an average of 6%, despite recruiting in a wartime environment and through a global pandemic.
Perhaps the best compliment came when a high-ranking Pentagon official, testifying before Congress, referred to the Air Force Reserve recruiters as, “The model recruiting service in the Department of Defense.”