When it comes to recruiting phone calls, I find coaches either love them or hate them.
Regardless of which group you fall into, very few coaches adequately analyze the content of their recruiting phone calls to teenage prospects, and determine what they could do better the next time.
To help coaches get over that hurdle, I’ve developed a list of twelve key areas of solid recruiting phone calls.
Walk through the list, and ask yourself the question I’m throwing out to you in each question:
- Did you make your prospect feel wanted? How? Could you prove it if you had to?
- Did you tell your prospect why you’re seeing them as someone that might be a good fit for your program? That’s one of the key things that our research says they’re wondering about as you begin contacting them.
- Did you keep your initial phone call short and to the point? Or, did you drag it out and spend a lot of time bragging about your program? If you did spend a lot of time selling your program, you risk boring your prospect and causing them not to remember the key details and selling points that you want them to. There’s time for selling, but it’s not at the beginning of the phone call process.
- Did you give them the chance to ask questions? You need to create specific space in each call dedicated to making sure your prospect can open up and respond to your questions, and ask questions of their own.
- Did you make them laugh? If you didn’t, research shows that you failed to engage one of the primary ways we connect with each other (that includes you, and your recruit).
- Were you able to get any missing information that you needed? Stuff like their parents’ email address, missing sports info, etc.? Make sure you do that the next time.
- Did you ask them who else they are hearing from?
- Did you tell your prospect why you needed them to come to campus soon? And, if they indicated that they might be open to that, did you nail down a specific month and week that you could talk about reserving for their trip to your college?
- Did you ask your prospect what they see as the next step in the process? This is a biggie, Coach. When we begin work with coaching staffs, one of the first question that we often help with is determining where each of their prospects is at in the recruiting process. One of the easiest things I can recommend doing is…are you sitting down?…here it is: Ask them.
- Did you remember to send a follow-up email or text message to your prospect after you talked to them? Did you know that the vast majority of your recruits wonder if you “liked” them after the call, and would love to hear feedback from you? Now you do.
- In that email, did you ask a question so that you could have a safe relationship-building message exchange this week? If the answer is no, you’re missing an effective way to get them comfortable with the idea of talking to you.
- If you are at the point where you see them on your team, and know that they’ll be an impact player for you, did you ask them if they felt like they were ready to commit? Most coaches would answer “no” to that question, and that’s o.k….that kind of direct approach often goes against the gut instinct that coaches like to rely on. Just realize, many prospects want the process over and done with and will be interested in an offer or opportunity with your program. And, the recruits that we conduct focus groups with consistently say that when a coach asks them for a commitment, it tells them two important things: First, there is no doubt that they are wanted by that coach and program. Second, it’s a great justification for them to schedule a visit to campus; if there’s an offer on the table, even if they weren’t interested before, that fact usually compels them to seriously consider coming to campus to talk to you about it.
Is that an exhaustive list? No.
But it is a list of the most common things that we would love to hear coaches talk about with their recruits. Why? Because if a coach covers each of the thirteen areas that I just listed, it almost guarantees them of being the most interesting coach that is calling them.
If that’s your goal, you now have a research-based checklist to work from as you get ready for the next round of phone calls that are coming up.
Did you know that one of the things we offer our clients is ongoing review and training for their phone calls sessions with recruits? We love helping our clients win on the phone. If you’re wondering what being a client is all about, email Dan Tudor directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for a complete overview of the program we’ve developed for college coaches.