When you coach college football as long as Joe Paterno has, you know you’ve picked up a few secrets on selling your program over the years.
Joe Paterno revealed one of his secrets recently. It involves personally connecting with his prospect and decision maker (mom), which is something every good sales pro masters if they hope to be successful:
“When I go into an athlete’s home for a visit, I’m there to see the young man, talk to his father and sometimes his coach. The mom is usually cooking dinner and because I’m Italian, they always like to cook me spaghetti.
“So I sit in the living room with the athlete, his father and coach and we talk about football and the school and why he’s a great fit at Penn State. Then I excuse myself and slip into the kitchen where the mother is making her spaghetti sauce. That’s where it all happens.
“The secret is that I always recruit the mom. I help her stir the sauce and tell her it’s the best spaghetti sauce I’ve ever tasted. We have a nice conversation, and I tell her I’ll always look out for her son.”When I walk back out of that kitchen, it doesn’t matter where that young man wants to go to college. He’s coming to Penn State.”
When you’re a college coach, it’s vital to understand who you’re selling to. Even more important is what you do once you understand it. Coach Paterno takes time get to know the decision maker on his “sales call” and uses it to his advantage when it comes time to “close the sale.”