Dan Tudor

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WAIT! Your Prospect Wants to Hear This…Monday, August 31st, 2009

First impressionEvery September 1st, coaches mark a new start in recruiting. 

It’s the day, of course, when a new batch of Juniors officially pop on to your radar screen and you begin written communication with them.

Making a good first impression is something you don’t get a second chance at, so here are some things to keep in mind as you begin communications with your Junior recruits.  Your September 1st letters are probably already out, of course, but your email communication with them is almost equally – if not more – important.  Why?  Because they will most likely get your email before your letter, and email allows back-and-forth communication between you and your recruit.

So hear you go, Coach…here are the six things your prospects want to hear from you today (and everyday) when you are communicating with them:

  • Be specific.  Our study on how today’s prospects make their final decision tells coaches that today’s prospects value specific information about them, or about your program.  What did you like about them specifically?  What do you see as the fit for them in your program specifically?  What are you looking for specifically?  Those are the questions that you need to answer for your prospect.
  • Don’t oversell yourself.  Kids today can sniff out a fake more quickly than they can bang-out a text message to their BFF.  Be straight-forward and genuine.
  • Keep it brief.  Long messages most likely get ignored, and that’s not what you want on the first day that you make contact with them.  Keep it short, sweet and to the point.
  • Have a call to action.  Give them a "next step" in the process.  They need something to do in order to cement your program in their mind. 
  • Create curiosity.  In our recruiting workbooks for college recruiters, we talk about the importance of making your prospect leave your message with unanswered questions.  Something that makes them want to go to the next step in their communication with you.  Something that…well, leaves them with unanswered questions about you and your program.
  • Tell them what to do next.  Want them to call or email you?  Tell them that, very clearly.  Tell them when to call, and let them know what you want to talk about.  Want them to reply to your email?  Be crystal clear and instruct them on what you want back from them.

Communication with your prospect should result in one thing, especially at the start of recruiting: A response from your prospect!

To do that, the six things we just outlined are a good start to creating effective communication with your recruits, whether its the first time they are hearing from you or the twenty-first time.  Changing the tone of your messages can change the number of prospects you end up hearing back from this year.

These are the same strategies that Dan Tudor and his team at Selling for Coaches use to create efffective, original recruiting campaigns for college coaches.  Want to take the stress out of coming up with original recruiting messages, and greatly improve your results at the same time?  Email Dan at dan@sellingforcoaches.com and ask to hear more about the Total Recruiting Solution plan. 

What You Should Leave Behind for Your ProspectMonday, August 24th, 2009

Dan TudorOne of our Total Recruiting Solution clients called last week with a problem…

On Monday, they were hosting a recruit on campus, and three days later he and his assistant coach were making a home visit to try and make one last pitch to an athlete they had been recruiting for the past year.

Their question for me was a good one: What could they show their prospects, and have them take with them, that would really make them stand-out compared to their competition.

With some help from a friend, and one of the greatest modern-day marketing minds in the business world today, I think we’ve come up with a great answer for those coaches, and you.  In fact, it’s going to be one of the segments we’re going to teach in detail at our upcoming "The Art of Persuasion for Recruiters Workshop" in New York City on October 10, 2009.

Seth Godin came up with the concept of "the talking pad" in a recent article on his blog, and I’ve adapted it to use in recruiting situations.  It worked for the coaches who contacted me, and I am sure it will work for you as well.

Here’s what to do, when to do it, and how to do it:

  • Your "talking pad" can either be a yellow legal notepad of paper, a large pad of paper with your school’s logo on it, or – even better – printed pages spiral bound like a book that you can leave behind for a prospect.
  • Leave your laptop behind.  Laptops are awkward to use, and scream "canned presentation" the second you ask your prospect to stare at the screen.
  • The purpose of a recruiting meeting with your prospect and their parents, either in your office or in their home, is to have a conversation and get them to open up to you.  And, you want them leave the meeting with a convincing argument as to why they should commit to your program.
  • So, you will first want to create a really good PowerPoint presentation.  Not one filled with bullet points and lots of text.  Instead, include some graphs, pictures and key words that will anchor your conversation.
  • On every page of your presentation, look for information you can remove.  Then, remove it!
  • Print the presentation out.  Create it and print it horizontal (landscape), not vertically (portrait).
  • Take it to your campus print shop, or to Kinkos, and get the presentation bound with a nice spiral binding (avoid using the cheap plastic combed binding at all costs).  Use heavy, 28 lb. paper if possible.
  • Buy a really good, sharp tipped felt pen. 
  • Now, when you make your recruiting presentation, sit next to your prospect and their parents you are meeting with and go through the booklet page by page, writing directly on each page. As you work your way through the ideas in the booklet, you can talk about what’s in front of you and mark it up.  Let them mark on it and make notes on it, too.

  • It’s not a brochure like you typically would hand to them as your leave-behind, it’s the outcome of a working session between you and your prospect’s family. Leave it behind when you go if you are visiting their home, or let them take it with them if they are leaving your campus.

The result?  Your prospect now has a customized piece of information that was created in front of them, with their help, based on their individual conversation with you.

Think that it would make more of an impact compared to what you are using now?  Try it.

We will be devoting an entire segment of our upcoming workshop for recruiters in New York to this idea.  Coaches who use it will be able to revolutionize the way they present their programs in person, and we will help this first group of coaches who attend this special workshop launch it in time for this year’s recruiting class.  Want to come and learn more about this technique and others?  Click here. 

“The Art of Persuasion for Recruiters” WorkshopMonday, August 24th, 2009

SFC ConferencesRecruiting, when it is all said and done, is all about effectively persuading your prospect to be a part of your program.

Developing it as an art, or a science, makes doing it easier and more productive for college coaches.

Selling for Coaches is offering a brand new workshop especially designed to help coaches develop their own personal art of persuasion that uses the science and philosophies developed exclusively by Dan Tudor and SFC.  Once recruiters begin to master the approach, and really craft their own “art of persuasion”, better athletes magically appear on your roster (it’s not magic, actually…it’s just working smarter).

Spend a full day learning these newly developed techniques in New York City this coming October 10th, 2009.  Coaches who attend this special workshop will learn:

  • How to write a message to a prospect that gets them to respond and interact with you sooner and more in-depth.
  • What questions parents want answered, and how you need to communicate with them.
  • The role your current student-athletes have in hosting and interacting with prospects who visit your campus.
  • Executing a home visit that will set you and your program apart from the rest.
  • How to persuade athletes who have objections to reconsider their position and get them interested in your program again.
  • Much, much more!

This one day intensive course for college recruiters is just $149, but coaches who register before September 27th can secure their spot for just $99 in the main conference area of the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center at Laguardia International Airport in New York.

Register today, seating is limited!  CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE INFORMATION.

For questions or to pay by check, or to inquire about special pricing for groups of three or more, email Cheryl Corrente at cheryl@sellingforcoaches.com.

5 Twitter Tactics That Can Boost Your FollowingMonday, August 17th, 2009

TwitterOne of the growing questions we’re getting with the growth of social media websites revolves around Twitter.  How do coaches get an audience for their individual Twitter accounts? 

We found some strategies recommended by the American Writers and Artists organization.  They’re simple, effective and easy to do: 

Tactic 1: Send welcome messages to all your new followers
This tactic uses a free tool called TweetLater to automatically send a direct message to everyone who follows you. Set up a TweetLater account, and under "Twitter Account Automation" you can write a message which will automatically be sent out when someone follows you (like an email autoresponder).

A couple of quick rules. First, it should look like an excited and informal personal message, not like an advertisement. Second, it should have a low-resistance call-to-action to go to your website and engage with you – this is how you get much of your traffic from Twitter. This is a fine line to walk, but it can be done.

You can model it after a message like this if you’d like: "Hey, thanks for the follow. Have you signed up to get our team’s monthly email updates yet? If not … Just do it!"

Tactic 2: Follow people talking about your topic
Here’s a quick way to get the attention of people who talk about the topics covered on your college sports website.

Search for keywords related to your website in Twitter users’ tweets. Either use Twitter’s web-based search or the free TweetDeck desktop software (an invaluable tool for regular Twitter users!) to stay on top of the current conversations.

And, as soon as someone uses your primary keywords in their tweet, you follow them. They get notified that you’ve begun following them, and they’ll often follow you back (triggering the welcome message from Tactic 1).

Tactic 3: Get in on conversations about your topic
For this tactic, you’ll want to use the search tools I told you about in Tactic 2 to find conversations people are having and questions they’re asking around your topic.

Then, just reply to them. Begin having a conversation. To send them an @ reply, put an @ sign on the beginning of their username. (Example: My username is dantudor, so if you want to send me an @ reply just type @dantudor at the beginning of your message.) Then type your message.

By having this conversation through @ replies, you’re creating a public record of your knowledge on the subject. And it won’t hurt to link to your website any time you have the answer to one of their questions already written (this creates a permanent link to your website as part of the conversation). And often the people you have a conversation with will follow you.

Tactic 4: Get noticed for talking about your topic
One way Twitter users have developed to indicate the main topic of their tweet are hash tags (#). If your keyword is "softball", and you put #softball in your tweet, this tells other users that this is the topic of your tweet.

Many people will search for hash tags instead of searching on just a keyword for people to talk to. By adding a hash tag to your keywords you’ll get maximum attention, followers, and ultimately website traffic around keywords describing the content of your money-making website.

Tactic 5: Automatically share your website updates on Twitter
This is a "set it and forget it" Twitter traffic tool.

If you use popular blogging software, it’s likely there’s a plug-in for it that automatically publishes your website updates on Twitter, with a link back to that page on your website. You can use TweetSuite with WordPress, and it works wonderfully.

Try one (or all) of these easy to use strategies if you want to become Twitter experts that get results when it comes to attracting recruits and building a following on one of the most popular social networking websites in the world.

The Three Motivators of EVERY ProspectMonday, August 17th, 2009

MotivationCreating the right feelings in the mind – and heart – of your prospect.

Important?

You bet it is.  Our national study of how recruits make their final decision revealed one solid fact that every coach should be aware of when it comes to what’s important in developing a recruiting strategy: Your prospects are trusting their feelings.

That’s the feelings you create while you recruit them, how effective your letters and emails are at creating the right feelings, and the feelings they get when they visit you and your team during a campus visit.

Psychologists have identified three main emotions that center around your prospect’s emotions and their motivation for making their final decision:

Approach

When approach motivation kicks in, your prospect wants to experience or discover more of something. Approach motivation involves positive desire, and the perceived value of what you move toward always increases.

Approach motivation makes recruiting athletes easier if a quality offer exists, whether it be a full ride D1 offer or the chance to attend a prestigious private college. But it can also be used to sell desirable outcomes, ranging from the Obama campaign for "empowered change", to get rich quick and get skinny now products that promise a desired result.

Avoid

You want to focus on "avoid motivation" when your prospect wants to get away from something. Avoid motivation deems something unworthy of attention, and an inconvenience or annoyance that should be ignored or eliminated.

In the real world, people want to avoid paying too much on their electric bill more than any desire for features of the juice coming through the wires, unless you’re using alternative energy sources, in which case many will do business with you to avoid adverse environmental impact. Most charities play on avoidance emotions to lessen the impact of poverty, disease, and natural disasters. Rather than taking a beauty approach, Clearasil plays on motivations to avoid the stigma of acne.

In recruiting, you may help your prospect avoid a bad homelife situation.  Or, you may help them avoid a lesser competitor and their sub-par facilities.  Get the idea? 

Attack

With attack motivation, people want to devalue, insult, criticize, or destroy something. When someone is emotionally motivated to eliminate something (rather than simply avoid it), attack motivation is the way to go.

Think about ad campaigns for weed killer and bug spray (Raid kills bugs dead!). Likewise, we’ve seen more than our share of large-scale campaigns designed to eradicate various complicated problems by waging war against them – the war on crime, drugs, terror, etc.

In a recruiting situation, you might wade into dangerous territory here by being tempted to use negative recruiting.  I advise against it.  And, that’s not what we’re talking about here.  A good example of "attack motivation" would be signing early to avoid the stress and unknowns of waiting until the last minute to make a decision.  Or, it might be used to prompt and athlete who is dragging their feet at making a final decision by letting them know that your other top prospect is wanting to come to campus and you’ll need to go ahead and offer them the scholarship if they aren’t interested.

Those three motivating factors – approach, avoid, attack – need to be an essential part of your recruiting message.  That’s one of the central approaches we use in helping our clients through our unique Total Recruiting Solution program, and it can be for you as well.

Just remember, these feelings and motivations are present in every single recruiting situation.  The key for good recruiters is to figure out which motivation your prospect is most likely to respond to, and then build your recruiting message around it.

Want additional help in developing modern recruiting strategies based on psychological studies, real-life recruiting situations, and the best techniques plucked from the world of sales and marketing?  Get our two recruiting guides for college coaches.  They are quickly becoming a mainstay of college coaching bookshelves around the country.  Click here to order!

 

The Art of Great Email Template DesignMonday, August 17th, 2009

Front Rushby Sean Devlin, Front Rush

Because of NCAA guidelines, the usage of email is enormous when it comes to recruiting. 

The consistent dripping of emails into recruit Inboxes has been an effective tool for some time.  Savvy coaches are using graphic-rich email templates to make their email messages pop out.  Email templates, for those who are not using them, surround your email with action shots, photos of your team, school logos, and school colors.  Many templates, like those designed by Front Rush for our growing list of college clients, also include links back to the school’s website for recruits to click on.  You probably have received an email template in your own Inbox from a company that was trying to sell you a product. 

We wanted to give you some insight on the email template and what we have found to be the most effective approaches when it comes to designing a really effective recruiting email template:

#1 –  Beautiful, yet simple
You want your template to include your favorite pictures and action shots of your current team; however, you don’t want them to be overwhelming.  We have seen coaches who attempt to include as many photos as possible, so much so that it dirtracts from the real message. 

We have also seen coaches who use all kinds of crazy design techniques to differentiate their email from every other competitor.  Although creativity is appreciated, it often dilutes the message.  Think of the websites you have visited where there are advertisements everywhere.  Got the picture?  The same concept applies here.  Simplicity is key when you design your template–just a few action photos of your current team.  This will catch the recruit’s eye and will allow him or her to quickly read your email.  The end result, of course, is that you have achieved your goal of attracting the eyes of your recruit.  To steal a line from a famous usability artist – "no matter how great your design, less of it is better".

#2 – Fewer Links
Many times, email templates will include links back to your team’s website.  The idea is that when a recruit opens your email and sees the template, he or she will be able to click on links that will take them to various places on your website.  When choosing, select only a few key links.  We have seen some coaches who will list 10-20 links.  This is not realistic!  A recruit will click on a single link and from there will be able to navigate the majority of your site.  It’s fine to include a few additional links, but less is better.

#3 – What Links to Choose
When choosing links, make sure you choose links with a specific purpose in mind.  The purpose of using your team’s page is to provide more information about your school and sport.  If you choose to include your recruit questionnaire, the purpose is to have recruits fill it out.  Often, we see coaches include a link to the NCAA site.  When we see this, we ask why?  Is your purpose to educate the recruit about the NCAA?  Is your purpose to have the recruit find out the latest news?  What is the purpose?  Answering this question will enable you to make deliberate – and more effective - choices.

4) Ask Recruits to Click
The purpose of including links in your template is to have your recruit do something; for example, learn more about your school or sport or to fill out a questionnaire or application.  When writing your email, tell your recruits to click on the links.  "Hey, Mikey, we are interested in learning more about you.  Can you click on the link that says recruit questionnaire and fill it out?"  It sounds obvious knowing that your recruit may be computer savvy.  However, your helping hand will dramatically increase the probability that they will click. 

These are just a few of our basic rules for designing great emails, templates and banner graphics.  If you are like most coaches and have a professional consultant like Front Rush handle the design,  you can now be an educated member of the "design team".

Need help with design and using email templates to improve your recruiting strategy?  Front Rush is used by hundreds of college programs across the country, from big-time D1 programs to small private colleges. 

Click here to see what they’ve done for other college coaches, and how you can get a free analysis of your needs from the national technology experts.

 

An Unlikely Player in the Recruiting WorldMonday, August 10th, 2009

Washington Post

by Mark Viera, The Washington Post       August 5, 2009

The man who says he has his finger "on the pulse of the recruiting world" works out of a brick building in a farming town of 15,000 near Bakersfield, Calif. He has never recruited a prep athlete, and his coaching experience is limited to ten years with a local high school football team. Some recruiting experts say they’ve never heard of him, and some question whether the services he provides — namely, teaching college coaches how to sell their schools to recruits — are truly necessary.

Nevertheless, Dan Tudor has found a successful, unique niche in a crowded recruiting world where coaches already have abundant information at their fingertips. Tudor’s company, Selling for Coaches, preaches a mantra of more salesmanship, less coachspeak to "everyone from BCS football coaching staffs to NAIA schools with six sports, and everything in between," he said.

Tudor did not divulge the names of high-profile college football or men’s basketball programs he has helped, citing the competitive nature of recruiting, but coaches and administrators interviewed for this article who have worked with him represented schools ranging from Division I to Division III and an array of sports. Many spoke on the condition of anonymity because they are still under contract with Tudor and did not want prospects and opponents to know they were receiving outside help in recruiting.

Those who have worked with Tudor praised him, saying they have attracted better athletes and that they are more comfortable in the recruiting process under his guidance.

"It’s made our coaches take a hard look at how they’re recruiting," a senior associate athletic director of a Mid-American Conference school said. "And to have that support for when someone is being recruited by the Big East and Big Ten, they know they have a secret weapon they can pull out of their back pocket" with Tudor’s techniques.

Some recruiting observers, however, are skeptical of the necessity of such assistance.

"I just can’t imagine needing to have someone do research for me on how to sell Tennessee or Pitt or Ohio State," Allen Wallace, the national football recruiting editor for Scout.com, said in a telephone interview. "If you’re a recruiter, you can come up with a spiel in 15 minutes that would give a recruit an idea of what makes this place really special. I think he advertises himself as a virtual behind-the-scenes recruiting coordinator. The bottom line is he’s nothing like a recruiting coordinator." But Jeremy Crabtree, a national football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com, said there are "quite a few schools that could use this service and find it helpful."

Before starting his company, Tudor ran a recruiting service for high school athletes, showing them how to attract the attention of college coaches. In the process, he discovered that some coaches were just as unfamiliar with how to sell themselves.

Selling for Coaches started modestly in 2005, with Tudor sending a free weekly newsletter with recruiting tips and strategies to about 600 athletic directors. Now, he said, more than 36,000 people in college sports receive the report.

Dan TudorApart from the newsletter, Tudor holds seminars and visits campuses throughout the country. In a given year, Tudor said, he or one of his four employees hold two-day training sessions for about 70 teams or athletic departments. Those private visits cost about $2,000.

In his first day on campus, Tudor holds a closed-door meeting with athletes already on the team to discuss the good and bad of how they were recruited, what attracted them to the program and what could have been done differently. In his second day, Tudor reports to the coaches and administrators with the feedback from their athletes. Then he helps to recast the team’s recruiting strategy, rewording letters or e-mails sent to prospects and emphasizing the elements that attracted athletes to the program.

"There is a science to recruiting," Tudor said. "It can be predicted and measured in terms of how a kid ends up choosing a school, for what reasons. It’s not usually for the reasons the coaches are assuming. When they understand the differences, they understand how to recruit better."

A service like Tudor’s complies with NCAA rules because it is considered professional development for coaches, and because Tudor doesn’t directly engage in recruiting activities on behalf of an institution, according to NCAA spokesman Cameron Schuh.

The Penn State women’s basketball program was among the programs Tudor has helped. Kia Damon, an assistant coach, said Penn State invited Tudor to help focus the program’s recruiting message shortly after Coquese Washington took over as head coach in April 2007.

"I think his approach is to be out of the box with your recruiting," Damon said in a telephone interview, adding that Tudor encouraged being more "recruit-friendly" in interactions with prospects by "cutting out the fluff and getting to the heart of what you want from them."

A women’s basketball team from the Division III Ohio Athletic Conference landed four of its top eight targeted prospects for the coming season in part because Tudor instructed its coach to emphasize the school’s family atmosphere and its location in a suburb of a large city that offered students plentiful internship opportunities.

"We might hit on those points but we didn’t think they would be that big a deal," the women’s basketball coach said in a telephone interview. "Now he’s made them a bigger deal. Really, it’s about setting yourself apart. What makes you different?"

After consulting with Tudor, the coach of a Division I track and field program in the Southeast sends shorter letters and e-mail messages to recruits and asks more creative questions: If you could sit down and talk to someone, dead or alive, who would it be? What would you do if you’ve been given a certain amount of money?

"The results have improved," the track and field coach said in a telephone interview. "I really feel comfortable that we’re making contact and getting interest from higher-level kids."

Tudor has a limited athletic background. He was asked to walk on to the tennis team at Cal State-Bakersfield but declined, he said. Some coaches have dismissed his techniques, citing his lack of coaching experience.

"He hasn’t been in their shoes, therefore they are hesitant to hear what he’s got to say," the MAC associate athletic director said. "But again, that’s why we looked forward to bringing him on board with our staff, because he brings a fresh perspective. His approach is so different. It really doesn’t have anything to do with being a coach. It’s about being a salesperson."

 

Stealing Recruiting Ideas from the High-Tech WorldTuesday, August 4th, 2009

Sean Devlin, Front Rush technologyby Sean Devlin, Front Rush 

When developing a software application, we like to speak with our end-users that use Front Rush

We like to know their pains, their successes, and their recommendations for improvement.  We want to know why they chose a particular product and why not another.  We want to know what they are trying to accomplish, why they are trying to accomplish it, and what is their timeframe to do so. 

The model is to look into the crowd and learn from end-users.   In the same breath, we try to communicate with the crowd explaining what we are trying to achieve and why.  We want them to know our core focuses, who we are, and who we are not. 

This software design model has a direct correlation with recruiting.  Why are recruits choosing your school and not another?  What are the ultimate goals of the recruits who come to your school and, how can your athletic program help them achieve these goals?  What goals are you trying to achieve as a program and, do your recruits embrace these goals?  What are your core focuses?  What is your athletic program and, what isn’t it?

In software design, there are several models:

  • Listen to your end-users and build every recommendation they make.
  • Listen to your end-users and understand their goals.  Then, apply your expertise to help them achieve these goals.
  • Listen to your end-users and promise the world–but never follow through.
  • Make all development decisions yourself.

The above are all real models that can be seen in the software world (not just recruiting software). 

As a coach, what kind of recruiter are you?  Do you have access to all of the amenities and, can you promise the world?  Do you consult with your recruits to understand their needs and, do you show them how your athletic program can fulfill those needs?  Do you promise the world just to get recruits?  Are you a program that says, “Here is who we are”.

The key to software development is to know what kind of company you are before you begin the development process.  It is equally important to know what kind of athletic program you are before you begin recruiting.  What core skill-sets do you have and, what advantages does your program have over your competition?  When you can answer these questions, your message will be that much more powerful when recruiting.

Front Rush is the economical high-end technology solution for college programs around the country.  Have you given them a chance to show you what they can do for you that might be a better solution than you are using now?  Click here to see if Front Rush might be the missing ingredient you’ve been missing.

Perfecting the Call to Prospects to Take ActionTuesday, August 4th, 2009

Persuading recruitsby Mandy Green, SFC Team Development Specialist 

Is persuasion a gift? Are some coaches born with the ability to speak well and ‘sell’ their ideas successfully?

It sure seems that way when some coaches always get the recruits that they want, and year after year have successful seasons.

In your role as a coach, you need to be able to motivate, inspire, and persuade others.  To be successful in this profession as a recruiter, you need to need to know how to move recruits to action to further the recruiting process.  You need to start by getting that first response and end with a commitment.  How do you do that though?  
 
Here are five steps I wanted to suggest that you can take in an effort to progress through the recruiting process from start (identification) to finish (getting the commitment).

Step One: Get Their Attention
In your first few emails or letters, get the attention of your recruit. Use storytelling, humor, a shocking statistic, or a rhetorical question – anything that will get the recruit to sit up and take notice.  Be different than all of the other coaches out there who are sending out their long boring letters every month.  When you get their attention, they will care less that you are from a small school, or that you don’t have a winning tradition, or that you don’t have the best facilities.  They will notice that you are different from the rest and they will respond. 

Step Two: Establish the Need
Every recruit will have wants and needs for their college experience.  It is your job to figure out what those are.  Convince your recruit that you care what their wants and need are.  When they know you care, they will stick around to hear what you have to say. 

Step Three: Satisfy the Need
Introduce your solution. How will you show the recruit that you can meet the wants and needs that they have? This happens a few months into the process after you have gotten their attention and established a need for your program. It will vary significantly, depending on each recruit and their needs. Now is the time to discuss the facts of your school and program. Elaborate and give details to make sure the recruit understands that your school has everything that they want and need for their college experience. Clearly state what you want the recruit to do or believe.  Use examples, testimonials from your current team to prove the effectiveness of your solution. Be prepared with counter-arguments to anticipated objections.

Step Four: Visualize the Future
Describe what the situation will look like for the recruit when they come to your school. The more realistic and detailed the vision, the better it will create the desire to do what you recommend. Your goal is to motivate the recruit to agree with you and adopt similar attitudes, and beliefs about how your vision of the future for them matches what they want. Help them see what the results could be if they act the way you want them to. Make sure your vision is believable and realistic.

Step Five: Action/Actualization
Your final job is to leave your recruits with specific things they can do to solve their wants and needs. You want them to take action (commit) now. Don’t overwhelm them with too much information or too many expectations in each letter or email you send, and be sure to give them options to increase their sense of ownership of the solution.

Get the attention of your recruit, create a convincing need, satisfy the need, describe a detailed picture of success (or failure), and ask the recruit to do something right away: It’s a straightforward formula for recruiting success that we use for our Total Recruiting Solution clients. Try it for your next set of recruiting letters or emails, and you’ll no doubt be impressed with the results!

3 More Ways to Win Over ProspectsTuesday, August 4th, 2009

College sports recruitsOur previous tips on strategies that college recruiters can use to influence and win over their prospects were some of Dale Carnegie’s most proven techniques.

Carnegie, the master author and business guru who penned "How to Win Friends and Influence People", has some bedrock principles that can easily be applied to college recruiting.  After all, at the heart of every recruiting effort, coaches want to connect with their prospect in a way that draws a recruit towards their program.

So to complete his thoughts on the matter, we wanted to give you another three Carnegie principles that you can put to work for you immediately:

PRINCIPLE #4:  Be a good listener

When you begin a new relationship with your next recruit, make it a goal to let them do most of the talking.  That’s one of the strategies we stress in our recruiting guides we have developed for college coaches, and it’s one of the things that Carnegie believes can be the difference between developing a good relationship with your prospect or just being another salesperson in their eyes.

When you do most of the talking, you make it impossible to discover what is really motivating them to consider your program.  You also are cheating yourself out of valuable information that you can discover from the comments your recruit will make "off the cuff" during conversations.  However, if you are doing all the talking, it’s unlikely that you’re going to give them the chance to do that.

A good rule to follow is to try to let your prospect do 80% of the talking during any conversation.  That means asking great questions, and then giving them lots of opportunity to talk afterwards.  Expect to ask a lot of follow-up questions, and maybe even re-stating your original question in different ways in order to get your prospect to tell you everything that’s on your mind.

PRINCIPLE #5:  Talk in terms of the other person’s interest

It’s not about you, Coach.  It’s about your athlete.  What I mean by "talking in terms of the other person’s interest" is tying-in the benefits and strong points of your school or program directly to the athlete’s self-interests.

For example, if you finally have that brand new locker room and are ready to show it off to a new group of recruits, don’t assume that just walking them through the room will do the job.  You will want to make sure that you give them examples of how it’s going to impact them personally…get them to imagine hanging-out in the new locker room instead of your competitor’s older facility…see if you can get them to agree that they deserve a facility like this after all the work they’ve put in to their sports career.

If you fail to connect your benefits directly to them, you will have a hard time effectively using all of your program’s benefits to the fullest extent.

PRINCIPLE #6:  Make the other person feel important, and do it sincerely

When I go to a college for one of our On-Campus Workshops with an athletic department staff, and bring athletes in behind closed doors for one of our focus groups, do you know what I’ve been hearing more and more the past few months?

It’s this:  Your athletes and prospects are actively searching for honest.  A coach who is genuine.  They are looking for the fakes, and on the alert for getting sold something that’s less than completely accurate.

Making your prospect feel important is, well, important.  But doing it sincerely, in a completely unique way, is of the utmost importance in their minds.  So, the question I have for you is how do you creatively and uniquely create that feeling for your recruits right now?  If you don’t have a great answer for that question, you need to stop what you’re doing and develop a strategy that address this vitally important desire for this generation of student-athlete that you are recruiting.

Coaches who can make each one of these six principles originally developed by the legendary Dale Carnegie will find themselves in the best possible position to win over the athletes they really want, year after year after year.

Haven’t brought Dan Tudor and his Selling for Coaches team to your campus yet?  You should!  We’ll produce a customized workshop for your staff and give them unique insights into what will be the most effective message for the recruits you are trying to attract to campus.  Click here for all the information.

 

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