Dan Tudor

Join The Newsletter and Stay Up To Date!

Text Size Increase Decrease

BOOK EXCERPT: How To Address Parent ConcernsMonday, June 26th, 2006

Are you running into parents who are putting up concerns and questions as you’re recruiting their son or daughter?  Are you having trouble overcoming their objections?

In the new book, "Selling for Coaches", author and recruiting coach Dan Tudor talks about how to win over parents by answering their concerns and eliminating their objections.  Here’s an excerpt from the Chapter 7 of the book, entitled "Meet the Parents":

First, you need to be actively listening for objections when you have conversations with your prospect and their parents.  And keep in mind that listening for these objections includes things they say verbally, as well as things they might infer or hint at.  Obviously, the later is the harder thing to pick out.  You have to “read between the lines” and bring up potential objections (and be the one to answer them) if you think they might exist. 
The last thing you want to do is to have your prospect – and his or her parents – be stuck on an objection they can’t – or don’t want to – verbalize to you, and let that be the thing that kills his or her chances of playing for your program.  Listen for, and anticipate, objections that a prospect may have as you are recruiting them.  This is especially true for parents of your prospect, who will have a great influence over their son or daughter’s decision.
Answer the parent’s objections and concerns with the same attention to detail, and using the same techniques we’ve talked about so far in the book, to win over their confidence and establish yourself as the best choice for their son or daughter.  Recruiting the parents is as important as recruiting your prospect.  Make sure you pay attention to their questions and objections.
To order the new college recruiting guide, "Selling for Coaches", click here!

The Questions Your Prospect Needs AnsweredMonday, June 26th, 2006

A coach called me this week and asked a really great question, and I’m using it for the basis of this week’s training (thanks, Gary!).  He wanted to take my recent advice on asking the right questions to the next level, so he asked me what questions are on the minds of his prospects that they need answered before they’ll commit to his program?  GREAT question!

Here are some questions I know you’ll need to answer for prospects.  By the way, they’ll never tell you that these are the questions – heck, some of them don’t even know these are the questions that they need answered – but experience and hundreds of conversations with the athletes you’re recruiting tells me that this is what’s on their mind…


Disasterous Results for Coach Who Wasn’t LeadingMonday, June 26th, 2006

We’ve chronicled several coaching horror stories over the last year that are a result of coaches failing to lead.  Failing to be an example.  Failing to set boundaries.  And, just plain failing to use common sense.

The latest example?  A controversy at Marshall University involving the cheerleading squad.  We’ll presume the accused to be innocent until proven guilty, but if the charges are true, this is one of the worst examples of coaching neglect I could imagine. 

The results, if its true?  A tarnished image for the squad, a ruined career for the coach, and bad publicity for the university.  Not to mention, if its true, a horrible emotional scar for the alleged victim.  All because a coach not only failed to lead, but is accused of actually participating in the stupid activities alleged by the plantiff.

Coaches, these stories are becoming way too common.  This one goes beyond any recruiting lessons I could pass along, given the seriousness of the charges.  But let me just encourage you to take your responsibility as a surrogate parent, supervisor and coach seriously.  If you don’t, you’ll end up in the same situation – and on the same websites like The Smoking Gun and BadJocks.com – and ruin your coaching career.

Four Key Negotiation Techniques For RecruitersMonday, June 19th, 2006

Coach, when you want an athlete to sign – and he or she wants to sign with you – it might seem like nothing can stand in your way.  It’s a done deal, right?  Not necessarily, as you probably know.  Maybe its pride, maybe its their parents…sometimes, your recruit might feel like they’re "not getting what they deserve" and you have to sit down and iron out an agreement.

Is it something coaches want to do, or like to do?  Definitely not.  But there are times when you’ll be forced to roll up your sleeves and iron out differences that you have with a prospect, and doing it correctly will lay out the relationship you’ll have with them for years to come.

So, how can you do that but still maintain your upper hand in the negotiation process?  Here are four key negotiating tips that you can use next time you’re locked in battle with a recruit…

What To Do When They Tell You “I’m Not Interested”Monday, June 19th, 2006

This question came up from a coach who just got done reading our new book, "Selling for Coaches".Not interested, coach!  In our book, we talk about overcoming objections and the importance of doing so if you hope to win over prospects.

Anyone who buys our book is welcome to follow-up with me on questions that didn’t get answered, so a coach from North Carolina took the opportunity to ask me, "Dan, what if you have a prospect that you really, really want tell you that they just plain aren’t interested in your program?"

Great question…and that’s a tough one to overcome, no doubt.  But here are a few quick strategies you might want to try the next time you have a recruit come right out and tell you that they’re not interested…

Is Your Marketing On “Auto Pilot”?Monday, June 19th, 2006




Last week, I had a coach from a college I won’t name receive our weekly Selling for Coaches newsletter.  Nothing unusual there.

But later that day, our staff received this auto reply back from his e-mail, with no subject line, and obviously meant for someone other than us.  Here’s a sample of what came back to our Inbox:

Dear Prospect,
Thank you for your interest in the *(name of the college and sport)*.   We are excited about your potential to help our program.  You have been recommended as a potential scholarship candidate.
The next order of business is to get you to our campus.  If you are interested in us, we need to get you here!  Let me take this opportunity to invite you to our summer camps… *(info and dates given about the camps)*

Some additional information on your academic standing and character will need to be gathered…

Thanks again for your interest in our program here at ….  Please visit… for all of our camp information and additional info on our program.

It was signed with the coach’s name and contact information.

The letter sounds like many other automatically generated e-mails from any one of a thousand colleges.  Here’s the concern I would tell the coach about: Automatically generated e-mails are dangerous.  Especially if they are outdated, or (like this one) meant for someone other than the person reading it.

Why are they "dangerous"?  Because your prospects are smart.  Smarter than a lot of you think.  And you never know what will cause them to lose interest or become more interested.  Little things matter, coach.  What this e-mail that I received could tell me, if I were a prospect, is that this program doesn’t pay a lot of attention for detail, and isn’t really taking a personal interest in me.   

Am I being a little too harsh?  Maybe.  But the coaches that I talk to and train seem to be concerned about every single competitive edge that they can get – whether its big or small – when it comes to recruiting.  I just think it’s a shame when those intense efforts get thwarted by someone asleep at the wheel when it comes to the little things. 

By the way, this is just one example of dozens that I could talk about.  It extends to the mediocre voicemail greetings that are on your phone, and the bland copywriting in your recruiting letters.  My message in all this is urgent, coach!  You’re losing recruits because of all the easy-to-fix little things in your process of communicating with your prospects. 

Balancing Life An Ongoing Struggle For CoachesMonday, June 12th, 2006

Ask any of your fellow coaches what their biggest struggle is, and most will tell you its the challenge of balancing the demands of college athletics and all that it encompasses, and balancing home and family life.

Olin Buchanan of Rivals.com has a great article on that struggle, and how some coaches are trying to introduce creative ways to make family life a part of life their college sports life.

Take a look at the article by clicking here.

Five Ways to Turn On The CharmMonday, June 12th, 2006

When a coach gets the opportunity to get in front of an athlete and begin recruiting them one-on-one, establishing a personal connection is vital.  In many cases, that’s what is going to be the deciding factor for the athlete as they make a decision about you and what you’re offering them.

So, like it or not, a lot of decisions come down to you and how you connect with your prospect.  That’s one thing we talk a lot about in the new book, "Selling for Coaches".  But here’s another secret to connecting that we didn’t discuss in our new guide for college coaches: Being "charming".

Charming?  Yes, charming.  Being perceived as caring, interested in the other person, and complimentary.  Those are just some of the aspects that coaches need to master when it comes to quickly establishing rapport with your prospect.  Some others?

Here are five ways to up your charm factor, coach… 

Committed Recruits Helping Coaches Land Other ProspectsMonday, June 5th, 2006

This article from the NY Times News Service should point out the importance of having your athletes chip in on recruiting efforts.  Smart coaches know when, and how, to get their athletes (and recently signed prospects) to help land other big recruits that can help build a championship team…like Charlie Weis at Notre Dame is trying to do. 

During a break in his Algebra II class recently, the nation’s top-rated high school quarterback casually flipped open his black cellphone, began typing on its keypad and then pushed send.

 Thirty miles away, a speedy defensive back felt his cellphone vibrate. Sitting in anatomy class at St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura, California, he sneaked a peak.

"GO IRISH," it read.

"Quarterbacks," said the recipient of the message, Michael Williams, who has a scholarship offer from Notre Dame, "I guess they do that."

BOOK EXCERPT: A Big Mistake Coaches MakeMonday, June 5th, 2006




To be a recruiting pro, you need to first uncover the mistakes you might be making as a college coach and correct those errors.

In the new book "Selling for Coaches", we explore one of the ten big mistakes college coaches make when they’re recruiting athletes: Forgetting What They’re Selling.

Think that’s not a big deal?  Think again….here’s an excerpt from the book:


This is a big one, coach. 

What is it that you’re selling?  A common answer would be “a scholarship” or “my college” or “our program’s successful history.”  While those are all technically correct answers (and answers most of your competition would give) they aren’t necessarily the best answers. 

It’s a little like asking a car salesman what they are selling.  If I heard a car salesman answer, “I’m selling a car” or “I sell Fords” I would probably guess that he’s a mediocre salesperson.  Excellent, successful, wealthy car salespeople will answer the same question by saying, “I’m selling the dream of owning a new Ford Mustang convertible” or “With gas prices going through the roof, I’m selling my customers on great looking cars that get fantastic gas mileage, which saves my customers lots of money every year.”

Here’s what I’m telling you, the college coach: You’re selling a lot more than a scholarship or a college.  You’re selling the dream of playing college sports.  Or the need of having college paid for and getting a great start to a successful life.  Or the desire of being wanted and appreciated by a college at the next level. 

Do you see the difference?  Sell your college, and you’re selling "stuff".  A commodity.  A product.  If you’re selling desire or need, you’re connecting a desire of your prospect with something at your college that can make that desire come true.  You have to make that connection, as the book goes on to outline.

Want our free report on "The Ten Big Mistakes That College Coaches Make When They’re Recruiting"?  Click here.  (Go ahead, coach…it’s free…take it!)

Want more great advice on how to become a better recruiter, and dominate your competition when it comes to landing big-time prospects?  Order our new book "Selling for Coaches".  Click here.  (Not free, but cheap!).