As you start to get down to the business of signing your top prospects this year, we want to remind you that coaches like you are not just involved in "recruiting". You’re involved in negotiations.
Parents, and even your prospect, are getting pretty good at maintaining their poker faces and seeing which school offers the best package. So what should you as a coach do? Maintain the power of walking away.
Here’s an excerpt from our new book, "What They Didn’t Teach You About Recruiting", dealing with the incredible power you have to control the sales and recruiting process from start to finish:
"Walking away. That’s tough for a lot of coaches, and in some instances it isn’t recommended. But if we’re talking about an athlete that is abusing his or her relationship with you and your staff – taking too much of your time, demanding too much, parents are making unrealistic requests…you know who I’m talking about, coach – then its your right to walk away, and that’s a very powerful negotiating tool. It’s the same basic concept that many coaches use in offering a scholarship to a prospect, but giving them a deadline for accepting the offer. Basically, you’re telling them that you will “walk away” if they don’t commit.
If your prospect knows that you will move on to another recruit without hesitation, you’ll maintain your control of the process and your position as the power player in the negotiating process. And can I tell you something else? You’ll actually build respect in the process…your prospect could end up liking the fact that you’re taking a strong position. People are drawn to strength, and it will often command more respect than groveling and pleading the athlete to stay interested.
The big key to making these work? Practice. Over and over and over again. Why? It makes a difference come "game time" when the prospects are real, the objections are tough, and successful negotiations can make the difference between players wanting you to add them to your roster, or you looking in the want ads for a new job."
It’s a powerful technique that a few college coaches have mastered. I’ve seen it in action, and it works because it gives coaches the ability to maintain control of the process from start to finish. That’s important, because losing control of the recruiting process is one of the biggest reasons coaches wind-up sitting by the phone wondering why the recruit they were positive was going to sign with them hasn’t called them in three weeks.
Maintain your power, coach. You can help do that by maintaining the power of walking away from a prospect.