Dan Tudor

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Believing in What You’re SellingSunday, June 26th, 2005

“Recruiting for Pitt is easy because of what I am selling. Recruiting is selling. If I were out there trying to recruit for school X it would be difficult because I probably wouldn’t really believe in it. But I love this place so much and I am so comfortable here. I know so much about it and can talk about the history of it because I was part of it. It is a real exciting sell Pitt, and it is real and recruits will see that, their parents will see that and coaches will see that and that is what will give us good results.”

That’s Dave Wannstadt talking. He’s the new football coach at Pitt after years and years as an NFL coach. He didn’t have to recruit in the NFL, but its a prime part of his job now as he tries to rebuild the program at Pitt.

Believing in what you’re selling: It’s key in the sales process. It’s just as important in the recruiting process. Parents are sophisticated “buyers” and their kids are just as sophisticated, if not more.

How many times to do we hear about a prospect signing with a particular school because “I just felt a connection with the coach there”? We hear it a lot.

Passion for what you’re selling can make all the difference when it comes to results. Good luck, Coach Wannstadt.

Mark Snyder Gets ItFriday, June 24th, 2005

Marshall University’s new head football coach understands that sales is a part of college coaching.

Good luck, coach!


And, yes, I’ll be contacting him about how we help coaches with selling.

Tommy (and Nebraska) Gets ItThursday, June 23rd, 2005

From Tommy Frazier, former quarterback at the University of Nebraska:

“This day and age, it’s not about the coaching,” Frazier said. “It’s about the players. They want the finer things in life because that’s what they’ve grown up with. It’s hard to sell the storied history of Nebraska football to young athletes today, because tradition only goes so far.”

So, what do smart coaches do? The same thing that smart businesses do: They re-tool to meet the customer’s needs. They pay attention to the market and what the market wants.

In this case, Nebraska couldn’t continue to effectively “sell” the glory days of Nebraska football, because for athletes that can play at that level there is more to look forward to…namely, an NFL career. That’s why Nebraska has switched from an old-fashioned running game to a NFL-like West Coast offense. That’s why they’ve built state of the art athletic facilities.

There’s more than selling a program to an athlete than talking about the “glory days of yesteryear.” Kids (your customers) are expecting more. Show them the benfit of buying your product, and have a product that’s worth buying.

NBA age limits mean good things for college coachesWednesday, June 22nd, 2005

It changes the way college coaches can now approach basketball prospects. It gets coaches back to selling themselves and their programs, rather than having to sell college ball vs. pro ball.

Granted, we’re talking about a handful of basketball recruits who could have had the chance to go pro right out of high school. But, all in all, this is a great thing for college basketball recruiting.

But coaches still need to know how to sell against their competition.

So, What Do Bobby and Larry Do Now?Sunday, June 5th, 2005


What would you do?

Time to freshen up the sales approach to compete with the new kid on the block?

I Don’t CareSaturday, June 4th, 2005

Believe it or not, that is apparently the attitude of some college recruiters out there.

All of us have experienced an “I don’t care” moment out in the world. If you fly on airlines, you see lots of people that say “I don’t care” through their actions. Same thing when you’ve rented a car. Or gone to a restaurant. Or checked in late to a hotel. Or renewed your driver’s license.

Two athletes recently related two totally separate incidents while being recruited. The coaches recruiting them – one older, one younger – were just “going through the motions” (in the words of one of the athletes) as they were visiting the athletes at their homes. They blandly rattles off graduation rates at their schools, the history of their programs, how great the head coach was, etc., etc.

One of the athletes, who was interested in the school before the coach came to visit, was left with an unpleasant taste in his mouth. He will probably sign with another school.

It’s my belief, based on conversations with hundreds of athletes over the years, that they make their recruiting choices based on how they feel about the coach, not the school. Not the program. Not the graduation rates. Even at 18, kids have already naturally gravitated to one of the core principles in sales: You do business with people you like.

A few effective questions, listening rather than talking, and taking time to find out what the athlete wants out of their college experience, not the coach acting like a depressed used car salesman who is just going through the motions until he’s able to clock out for the night.

Couldn’t Have Said It Better MyselfSaturday, June 4th, 2005

“Let’s face it, recruiting is all about sales — selling the school, the opportunity and yourself.”

- Former Notre Dame quarterback Paul Failla, on the return of Peter Vass to the Irish as quarterback coach.

You see? Even old back-up quarterbacks get it!