Dan Tudor

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P.S. You Need This in Your Recruiting MessageSunday, March 28th, 2010

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Does This Annoying Part of Your Website Drive Your Recruits Away?Monday, March 22nd, 2010

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Amplification, T.V. Infomercials, and How They Can Make You a Better RecruiterSunday, March 21st, 2010

I know we probably hate to admit it, but there is a strange allure to television infomercials.

You know the ones:  The ShamWowThe SnuggieBuying No-Money-Down Real Estate…there are literally hundreds of products being advertised on television.

And all the ads look, sound and feel pretty much the same.

Ever wonder why?

The answer is simple: The formula works.

And you, as a college coach, can employ the same psychological justification that successful infomercial marketers use to rack-up billions and billions of dollars of sales every single year.

Hang with me here…I know the idea of being just like a TV pitchman may rub you the wrong way.  And, it should.  But that’s not what I’m asking.  You don’t have to become college recruiting’s version of the late Billy Mays.

It all comes down to the language.  And that’s what I want to teach you in one simple lesson today…

You see, most infomercials use the same time-tested technique to keep you interested and, ultimately, get you to buy their products.  The technique takes place throughout the commercial, and usually comes out sounding like “but wait, there’s more!”  Or, “and that’s not all!”

Why does that work so well?  Because it’s based on an ancient Greek technique called “amplification”, and way before there were television infomercials, there were Greek philosophers who wanted to prove their point in court and in the town square.  And they used the same technique as shrill-voiced comedian Gilbert Gotfried uses now in selling the ShoeDini.

It’s called “dirimens copulatio”, which will sound better when you tell your fellow coaches about your new technique versus telling them that you learned it from watching television at two in the morning.  And it’s based on the language argument of, “not only this, but also”.

When would you use this in your recruiting message?  Well, we employ this technique when creating our master-planed recruiting strategies for our clients when we want to stress the value of being a student-athlete at their college.  It could take a variety of forms, but here are some of the areas that we see it being most effective:

  • Selling a potential objection about a school or a sports program by listing all of the qualities and “value” that they have to offer, lessening the effectiveness of the objection.
  • Selling a recruit on the idea of simply visiting the school, rather than trying to “sell” a commitment to the school through your letters and emails (which is nearly impossible, based on our research that we’ve done with athletes around the country).
  • Overcoming the objections of a parent who has a different program in mind as their top choice.

Another way to use this technique?  Not being afraid of losing the prospect.  Willing to “walk away”.

After stating everything that you can give your prospect, and telling them point-by-point why you are the logical choice, let them know that if they don’t agree with what you’re saying, that’s o.k…you will move on to the next recruit on your list, even though you think they are the better athlete.  It’s tough for a coach to pull off, but those that learn to use this powerful persuasion technique will see their recruiting results take a big spike in the right direction.

Why does the technique work so well?  Psychologists suggest that we are wired to look for the most out of any potential beneficial situation that we might choose to engage in, and choosing a school (or deciding whether or not to start baking giant cupcakes like the other cool parents on the block) fit into that category.

Sometimes, you’ll need to tell your prospects and their parents, “But wait!  There’s more!” before you get their attention and are able to sit down and have a logical conversation with them as to why you and your program are the best choice for them.  Try to incorporate it into your next recruiting campaign.

If you need help, or want to talk about how we work with coaches all around the country to improve their recruiting results, email me directly this week at dan@dantudor.com.  I’ll be happy to answer questions and talk about your situation over the phone.

Overcoming objections by using this ancient technique is going to be just one of the amazingly insightful break-out sessions at the upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference.

“But wait!  There’s more!” (sorry, couldn’t resist)…you’ll also hear from industry experts, nationally recognized marketing experts, and even learn insider secrets from your fellow coaches in attendance. “Plus you’ll also get” one-on-one time with Dan Tudor and the experts from Tudor Collegiate Strategies in a relaxed, information-based setting.  Click here to reserve your seat this coming June!

9 Reasons Your Recruiting Class Didn’t Turn Out the Way You WantedMonday, March 15th, 2010

Something went wrong as you were building your last recruiting class.  And now, you’re feeling like your recruiting efforts are derailed heading into this next class.

It’s one of those times of the year where you start to wonder why your new recruiting class didn’t turn-out better, and you’re also trying to figure out how to make it better the next time around.

For some of you, it’s even more dire than that:

Many of you are worried.  Real worried.

The bottom line is that you don’t want the upcoming year to be as bad as it was this year.  Recruiting, afterall, is the lifeblood of any college sports program.  If you don’t recruit well, you don’t win.  If you don’t win, you might not have a job.  And even if they let you keep your job, its not as much fun walking around campus as it is when you’re winning.

So today, let’s not focus on what you need to do to be successful at selling and recruiting.  Instead, lets look at the reasons you might be failing when it comes to recruiting high school and junior college athletes that you want for your program.  I’m warning you, Coach…some of these statements are pretty straight-forward (and maybe even a little harsh).  But, think of it as a little “tough love” at a pivitol point in your recruiting year.

See if any of these struggles plague your recruiting efforts:

  • You don’t really believe in your ability to recruit. Believe it or not, a lot of coaches struggle with this.  They know they’re great coaches, but they hate recruiting and feel like they can’t get the job done.  If you don’t think you have the ability to recruit, get help.  Learn to sell.  Read our recruiting guide for college coaches, or make plans to invest in your career at the National Collegiate Recruiting Conference coming up later this Summer.  Do things that will raise your ability level when it comes to selling and recruiting.
  • You might be a little bit lazy and unprepared. Sound harsh?  It isn’t in the case of some coaches.  Many coaches I meet with don’t take recruiting seriously, and don’t prepare for it going into a new season.  A lack of preparation will equal mediocrity every single time…like not having a real recruiting game plan that is defined for the upcoming year.  Is it hard to be more prepared than your competition to recruit?  You’re darn right it is.  Start now to prepare yourself for the upcoming recruiting battles for this next class.
  • You don’t know how to accept rejection. Coaches tend to get down on themselves when an athlete rejects their offer.  Many develop a negative attitude and a defeatist outlook when it comes to recruiting.  Remember, coach:  They are not rejecting you, they’re rejecting your offer.  There’s a difference.  Don’t become bitter, and don’t lose your optimism.  Maintaining your confidence and belief in your ability in the face of rejection is key to succeeding in this business.
  • You fail to master the fundamentals of sales. I’ve said it many times: Like it or not, coach, you’re a salesperson.  Recruiting is selling.  Have you mastered selling skills?  Are you reading sales training materials?  Are you serious about developing this crucial aspect of your professional career?  If you answered “no” to any one of these things, that should be a red flag.  When we conduct a workshop on a college campus, one of the things that comes out of our focus group sessions with current athletes is that they felt like their coaches were not strong at overcoming some of the initial objections that they had when first considering a particular school.  The result?  They chose another program.  Learning effective selling skills is what will separate you from your competition the next time around…commit to learning.
  • You fail to overcome the objections of your prospects. This is the number one reason coaches fail when it comes to recruiting.  Why?  Because no prospect is going to say “yes” when you have failed to answer each one of their concerns.  Learn techniques to overcome objections, and you’ll find that recruiting will get a whole lot easier and more enjoyable.
  • You blame others for your mistakes or shortcomings. Recruiting isn’t easy, there’s no doubt about it.  But when you start blaming others for your recruiting failures, you’ve lost the psychological battle in selling.  Don’t blame your athletic director, your fellow coach, your facilities, your limited budget, the prospect’s parents…stop it.  The buck stops with you when it comes to your area of recruiting oversight.  Make it your goal to be the best recruiter in your athletic department instead of looking for the next scapegoat for a lackluster performance.
  • You can’t cope with change. Some coaches are creatures of habit.  And, they like it that way.  But change is constant in the NCAA and at your institution…new policies and procedures, new recruiting limits, new rules, new guidelines, new restrictions.  You know the drill.  To be the best, you have to embrace change and learn to succeed under new and changing circumstances.  Maintain your positive attitude – it’s essential to being successful in recruiting, and in life.
  • You fail to develop long term relationships. How many high school and junior college coaches did you really work at developing relationships with last season?  Did you expand your recruiting network?  Failure to develop enthusiastic advocates at the high school level is a common problem we see when we come in to help develop a winning recruiting strategy at colleges around the country.  Why is it so important to develop long term relationships?  Because you’ll have more eyes and ears out there eager to give you tips on who to watch and recruit.  Prep coaches are eager to give you that information…if they feel you’re partnering with them for the good of their program and their athlete’s lives.  Take the time to develop GREAT long term relationships this year with as many high school coaches as you can.
  • You aren’t persistent. “I’ll only recruit a kid if they call me first.”  Or, “I’ve already sent them enough information…if that’s not good enough, then we don’t want them.”  Those types of “take it or leave it, kid” statements from college coaches are foolish.  And the coaches who hold those attitudes won’t be coaching for very long in most cases.  Being professional persistent is a key to selling in the business world, and a big key to success in the college recruiting world.  Don’t give up.  Ever.

Hopefully, none of these apply to you.  But if they do, here’s an easy next step towards correcting the situation: Determine how to erase any of these bad habits from your work life as a recruiter and a coach.  Just one of these can cripple your coaching career, and make recruiting more of a chore than it needs to be.

We’ll be focusing on equipping and motivating recruiters this June at the National Collegiate Recruiting Conference.  All the details are here, but just in case you can’t make it to this year’s conference, you can still get all of the video from the event!  

Where to Go Recruit So You Won’t Get Beat-UpMonday, March 8th, 2010

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Have You Googled Yourself Lately, Coach?Sunday, March 7th, 2010

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Why the Little Things Go A Long Way with Your Team and Your RecruitsSaturday, March 6th, 2010

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The Super Bowl, Slug Bug, and Your Recruiting MessageMonday, March 1st, 2010

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Reality Check: How Are Those New Years’ Goals Coming Along?Monday, March 1st, 2010

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