Dan Tudor

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Like a High-Powered Google Search Engine for College RecruitersMonday, April 26th, 2010

National Collegiate Scouting AssociationThat’s what you could easily call the powerful prospect search engine that the National Collegiate Scouting Association has put together for college recruiters.

Like Google, coaches can find out verified details on prospects that they are looking to recruit, among other easy-to-use online tools developed by NCSA’s recruiting pros.

But you know what?  There are many additional ways that NCSA out-performs other technology sites available to coaches.  Things like:

  • Streaming online video. NCSA has pioneered a revolutionary way for coaches to view recruit videos as a way to recruit them from a distance.  You have to see it in action to understand what makes it so different
  • Former college athletes and coaches just a phone call away. NCSA has assembled a staff dedicated to helping you search out and identify athlete prospects that meet your specifications.  And unlike some other “recruiting websites”, you can call them…talk over your recruiting needs…and let them go to work for you.  Your cost?  Nothing…it’s a free service for college coaches (just register to get started).
  • Athletes who want to play. That’s important.  NCSA counsels their players carefully and determines which regions of the country they are open to hearing from, and helps coaches determine what division level the athete is best targeted for (and remember, they know what they’re doing…they are former college athletes and coaches).  Tired of chasing down prospects who aren’t going to be serious prospects for you?  Help cure that headache by using the pre-qualified, targeted prospects provided to coaches all over the country.

Are you using NCSA?  Why not?…It’s free, technologically sound, and earns rave reviews from coaches that use them regularly.

The next step: Register for free, and start recruiting athletes that may just be the perfect for you and your program.

Creating a GREAT Recruiting EnvironmentSunday, April 25th, 2010

Let’s break that title down:

  • Creating. Somebody has to do it, and it’s probably going to be you, Coach.  It’s a verb.  It denotes action.  And it’s a challenge to do.
  • Great. Would you say you are great when it comes to recruiting, the visit, your rapport with parents and athletes?  Why not?
  • Recruiting. That’s sales, Coach.  You’re a sales professional, like it or not.  Recruiting is selling.
  • Environment. That’s what I want to focus on today…the environment you can develop for great recruiting interactions with this next recruiting class you’re going after.

What have we found are the best ways to build that great environment that will put you in the best possible position to land the recruits you really want?  Here’s a basic list that every coach should make sure is happening at their program:

Make friends with your prospects (and their parents). I think this is the basis for every good relationship, including your recruiting relationship with your prospects and their parents.  What’s the best way to establish a friendship?  Spend time on everything that’s not about your program, your college, or their sport.  That’s the simple three step rule to live by.  Focus on creating rapport.  Find common ground.  By communicating conversationally, the atmosphere is relaxed and communication is more open. The conversation is natural, not salesy.

Entertain them and feed them. Do you find that when you’re eating with someone, that the conversation strays from recruiting and scholarships? The more personal the prospect and their parents are willing to be with you in a relaxed setting, the more likely you are to gain the “sale”. Can I make another suggestion?  When you have recruits to your office on campus, think about having some snacks on hand.  Fruit, cheese cubes, crackers, something to drink…not messy, hard to eat stuff.  Just enough to make sure they’re comfortable.  Food relaxes people.

Engage them. Talk about their present circumstance, their key motivators, and the core issues that are driving their current situation. Don’t probe, engage…ask…listen. By engaging, you will be able to elicit full answers, and exchange meaningful iinformation. Study-up on their situation before the on-campus meeting started, so that you don’t have to ask stupid questions. And because they already know you, and feel good about you, I am able to get truthful answers and ascertain key facts about their recruiting situation. We’ve also found that because this meeting is taking place in your meeting room, rather than theirs, they feel more open about sharing information.

Provide some kind of real, tangible value. This is going to be defined differently by each coach that’s reading this.  And, that’s O.K…there’s no right or wrong definition of “value”.  Basically, look for something that gives to your prospect and their family before you ask them for something (like their commitment).  Maybe it’s a one-on-one meeting with the Athletic Director or President of the school.  Maybe it’s a list of workouts you’d suggest they do as they finish up their high school career (whether they sign with you or not).  In your next staff meeting, be the one that asks, “What can we give our visiting prospects that gives them something of value?”

Help them be a better athlete. Give them insights on how to train better.  How to train your way.  Even coach them up a little while they’re there.  Better yet, have your current athletes talk to them about what they’ve learned under you and how they’ve taken their game to the next level.  By the way, this might be the area where you can give them value.

Don’t settle for an “O.K.” visit.  Aim for GREAT! As we talk about in “Selling for Coaches”, our advanced recruiting guide for college coaches, you need to look at every possible area of your visit ad your interaction with them.  Why?  Because they are watching your every move, and making judgement calls along the way as to whether or not to buy what you’re selling.  They’re looking at you, your current team, your dorms, how many boring meeting they are forced to sit through in the admissions office…everything. When we are invited to a school to conduct one of our effective On-Campus Workshops for an athletic department, a big area of focus when we research the strengths and weaknesses of their recruiting experience is what happens during a prospect visit and why.  Start dissecting your campus visit now, before this next class arrives and finds it just “O.K.”

Ask for the sale after you’ve created an environment for them to buy. Once all the pieces are in place, don’t let your prospect leave campus without being asked for their commitment (assuming you still want them sign after the things you learn about them on the visit).  Not asking is one of the worse mistakes a coach can make.  It’s safe to say that there will be no other time during the recruiting process that they will be more inclined to say “yes” than at the end of an engaging, energetic, original visit with your team on your campus.  If you don’t know how to ask for their commitment effectively, and want to learn, come to our National Collegiate Recruiting Conference this Summer in Chicago (or reserve a copy of the conference DVD and conference notes if you can’t be there in person).

Your focus should be singular: Build a relationship before you ask them to “buy” your program.  Each one of these steps that I’ve outlined are components for building a relationship, not sales techniques.  Don’t put the selling them on your school ahead of connecting with them on a personal level.

We’re starting to schedule the 2010-2011 On-Campus Workshop tour schedule.  Interested in bringing Dan Tudor to your campus?  Click here for the details on how to make sure your athletic department is included in this coming year’s tour schedule.

The iPad for College Recruiters? The Experts Weigh In…Monday, April 19th, 2010

iPad review by Front Rushby Sean Devlin, Front Rush

So, everyone here at Front Rush jumped on the iPad bandwagon on day one and have spent the last week or so “stress testing” it for our coaches who are Front Rush clients. Our initial motivation was the geek factor and the hype, but we wanted to also share our thoughts from a recruiting perspective for coaches who might be thinking of using it in the near future.

In our view, the iPad is a sweet device when used for consuming information. If you are searching the web or watching videos (more on this later), the iPad provides a great user experience. When attempting to create information writing this article on my iPad, it is difficult and slow when compared to using a laptop or desktop.

The big question some coaches are asking us: Can it replace your phone?

Well, no. But…presumably, you could replace your iPhone or Blackberry when you are recruiting on location. The iPad is light weight (1.5 lbs) and compact in size (roughly 8 inches by 10 inches). It is certainly much more portable than your laptop and much easier to navigate than your small screened phone. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

1) If most of your onsite recruiting is outdoors, then you will have to deal with a glare issue. The iPad’s display is great when indoors but as soon as the sunlight hits it, the glare makes it very difficult to see. It’s not entirely unusable but the display quality (outdoors) is poor at best.

2) The standard iPad does not come with a 3G connection. This means that if you are not near a wireless router (or you are, but don’t have the username and password) you won’t be able to access the web. You can, however, shell out the extra $130 upfront plus the monthly $15-$30 on AT&T’s network to have web access from everywhere. With all of this said, if your recruiting does not require web access there are a number of apps in the app store for accessing your Excel and Word files.

3) You can access full websites from your iPad and your iPhone apps will still work. Huh? Let me give you an example…Facebook. If you use the Facebook app on your iPhone, you can still use it on your iPad. But, it’s almost pointless as you can pull up the full Facebook site from the iPad and not really miss out on anything when compared to your laptop. The point being that the iPad allows you to use most parts of your full web-based recruiting app.

If you are big on watching recruiting videos on a computer, this is a gamble. We have seen more and more recruits posting videos on YouTube and for those, the iPad works great. Most other recruiting services that don’t use youtube or an HTML 5 video equivalent (sorry…that may be a little super techie!), the iPad won’t work. The bottom line is that some sites you you will be able to watch video and others you won’t…it really depends on the site.

Sending emails is straight forward. If you compare sending an email from your iPad to your computer, it is night and day. On your iPad, your typing speed slows down and your errors increase (this article is taking me quite a bit longer than usual to write on my iPad). If you compare the email sending on your iPad to your phone, it is equally night and day in the other direction. The iPad provides a much larger keyboard so that it is easier to hit the proper keys and have a somewhat keyboard like experience.

Basic web surfing?  It’s awesome – you may have to take one home for the night and try it to understand. It’s just awesome.

The pricing is determined by two factors. 1) The amount of storage and 2) If you require the 3G connection.

It starts out at $499 for 16GB. 16GB is enough if you are not storing movies, videos and a lot of songs. If you are just using apps, email and the web then you should be fine. However if you will store a lot of videos etc. then the cost goes up incrementally by $100 up to $699.

If you do require 3G access then the upfront cost is and additional $130 on top of the $499 plus the monthly $15-$30 for the access.

So with all of the above said, we love the iPad as a general consumer device and love the potential it could offer as an on field device. There are clear questions but these can only be answered from the trenches. If you are using the iPad now, or are planning on getting one, we would love to hear your feedback.

(Sent from my iPad)

Front Rush is more than just a web-based recruiting contact manager.  They’re built-in technology experts for their growing list of clients that rely on them to give them the edge in the hard knock world of college recruiting.  Want them to review your program’s technical expertise level, and make some free recommendations and assessments?  Email Sean Devlin at sdevlin@frontrush.com.

An Example of a Sub-Par Recruiting MessageSunday, April 18th, 2010

Actually, it’s a message about coffee.

But in defense of the title to this article, it is about a coffee place trying to recruit new customers in a busy airport terminal.  However, they missed the mark a bit on this one, as I explained recently during a session I lead at the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association convention.

Sub-par coffee signThis is a picture of the sign.  On the surface, it looks like a creative message, right?  “Unlike Any Coffee You’ve Ever Tasted Before.”  Wow!  Quite a promise.

So, why does it miss the mark?

First, it over-promises.  It also brags.  And, it is way more complicated than it needs to be.  Marketing guru Seth Godin, commented that a better alternative might be “The best coffee.”  Simple and straight to the point.

When it comes to recruiting, that’s a mantra you need to memorize before you create your next round of recruiting letters.  With this generation, simplicity is the key.

And even more importantly, you want something that will prompt a reaction (and action) from your prospects.  Going back to the coffee promotional sign for a moment, what about this message: “FREE TASTE TEST!  Are we better than Starbucks?”

Do you see what a difference altering the message makes?  Instead of a comment that really doesn’t effect me and make me stop and think as a potential recruit, that message engages.  It challenges.  It prompts action.  Don’t you think it would be hard to resist sneaking in and taking them up on their offer?

Most marketers – and most coaches – don’t do that, however.  They’ll settle for ordinary, or they’ll go over-the-top with promises that the average teenager can pick out as unlikely to be true.

So, here are three quick rules to follow if you want to develop a more interesting, more action oriented (and less sub-par) recruiting message:

  1. Don’t overstate you and your program.  Empty bragging doesn’t get it done, especially in the beginning of a recruiting relationship.
  2. Keep your message simple and to the point.  An exercise that we usually suggest when we begin working with new clients and review the message that they’ve been sending out is to have them take one of their current form letters or emails and cross out everything that a prospect who is reading it doesn’t need to know right then to take the next step in the process.  Ask yourself, “what would my letters look like if I did that with my letters?”  You should, Coach.  It’s a valuable exercise that would show you just how much “fluff” you’ll find in your message to this “give it to me simple and straight forward” generation you are being asked to recruit.
  3. Ask them to take action.  Challenge them, and figure out what would entice them to interact with you in a real way.  If you can get them to take the free taste test, you might just gain a new customer.

Developing creative recruiting messages is not rocket science.  It is, however, ”science”.  There is a reaction that your prospects will have once you reach out to them with a safe – yet intriguing – challenge.

Think you can you get them to come in and try a taste in your next recruiting message?

How Wild Animals (and YOUR Recruits) Forage for FoodMonday, April 12th, 2010

If you want to understand how most of your prospects read and react to your recruiting messages, all you need to do is look to nature.  Levy Flight

Specifically, how wild animals forage for food.

If you plot the random course that they take to find new sources of food, the picture to the right is how it looks like.

Basically, here’s how it works: An animal will forage for food in a rather small area, but once it figures out that all of the nuts and berries are gone, the animal will head out in a random direction.  Then he stops, forages, and repeats the whole process over and over again.

It’s called the Levy Flight, named after French mathematician Paul Pierre Levy (but you probably already knew that).

Here’s why this should be important to you as a college recruiter…

The same mathematical principle is at work with your prospects with regards to your letters and emails.

We started noticing this same pattern in how today’s athletes react to recruiting messages.  Recruits will stay with a message for a certain amount of time until they realize that there isn’t anything new for them.

What happens after that?  Here are two of the disturbing possibilities:

  • They lose interest and wander off for good.  Probably towards another college program where the “food” isn’t running out.
  • They lose interest and wander off until you give them something else that will sustain them.  Still not good, because once you lose this generation’s attention, it’s hard to get it back.

In either case, you’re losing their attention.  Just like the animal isn’t getting nurished and sets off on a random path to find something different, so your recruits wander off in search of a college message that they’ll connect with.

So, how do you stop your recruits’ Levy Flight before it begins?  Here are a few easy starter ideas:

  1. Link your messages together. In other words, make sure your letters set-up the next email, and that the next email sets-up the next message, and so on.  When there is active anticipation of the next message you are sending, your recruits will be less apt to forage for food elsewhere.
  2. Ask them to reply. Sounds simple, yet most messages that we review for coaches don’t do a great job of eliciting a response from prospect they are talking to.  And yet, you want and need to hear back from them and ensure that they’re still happy to forage in your neck of the woods.  Tell them how, and when, you want them to get back to you.
  3. Keep the messages short and simple. “Short” meaning to the point…no flowery language, no long, winding sentences.  “Simple” meaning one idea per letter.  If you want to focus on all of the majors that your school offers, stick with that main theme for that message (or series of messages).  Don’t confuse them with multiple themes in the letters and emails you send them.

The goal here is to keep your prospects focused on your message, your school and your opportunity.  Things like inconsistency in your contact frequency, message content that focuses too much on your and not enough on them, and not giving them clear instruction on how to take the next step with you ALL open the door for leaving and looking for something better somewhere else.

And that, Coach, should be something that you fear and are not willing to tolerate.

This is one of the core principles that we use to construct logical, compelling and attention-grabbing recruiting messages for coaches and programs around the country.  Do you want us to work with you?  Email Dan Tudor at dan@sellingforcoaches.com and ask what the plan would look like for you and your program.

Want more live instruction on this topic and more?  Join your fellow coaches from around the country at this year’s National Collegiate Recruiting Conference in Chicago.  Click here for all the details on attending our biggest conference ever, or if you can’t make it then click here to get the entire conference on DVD.

Speaker and Topic Lineup for 2010 National Collegiate Recruiting ConferenceMonday, April 12th, 2010

The following is the schedule line-up for the 2010 National Collegiate Recruiting Conference in Chicago, Illinois on July 16-18, 2010.  Speakers and session schedule is subject to change:

Friday, July 16

Welcome

Keynote speaker – Ari Fleischer, Fleischer Sports Communications

“Recruiting in 2010-2011: What You Need to Know”, Dan Tudor

Group Introduction – Networking

Saturday, July 17

“Web Recruiting Management Tips”, presented by Front Rush

“Recruiting and Program Communication Strategies”, presented by Fleischer Sports Communications

“How to Read the Body Language of Your Recruits”, Dr. Jennifer Senchea, St. Cloud State University

“Adapting Your Recruiting Strategies to Changing Times”

“Athlete & Parent Recruiting Panel Q & A”, presented by National Collegiate Scouting Association

Sunday, July 18

“Dartfish Technology and Recruiting”, presented by Dartfish

“Social Networking Secrets to Recruiting”, Dan Tudor

“Building Your Recruiting Plan for the Upcoming Year”

Wrap-up

Schedule not complete…check back often for speaker and session updates!

To register for the 2010 NCRC, click here.

To reserve your complete conference speakers on DVD, and the conference notes, click here.

Body Language and RecruitingMonday, April 12th, 2010

Dr. Jennifer Senchea, an expert in body language and what it means in communication, is one of the session presenters at the upcoming 2010 National Collegiate Recruiting Conference.

She’ll be teaching coaches in attendance how to recognize and read non-verbal cues in the body language of their recruits.  We asked Dr. Senchea how college coaches can use the proven science of body language communication to better understand what their recruits are telling them, and how to maximize that knowledge during the recruiting process:

How is non-verbal communication relevant to college coaches who have to recruit prospects as a part of their daily job?

“Communication and persuasion are central issues in any recruiting interaction.  Coaches hope to represent their schools with confidence and positivity, while conveying their willingness to form relationships with potential athletes and their families.  Communication scholars generally agree that roughly 70% of any message (ex: “we’re a great match for you,” “I like your son/daughter,” I have the authority and know- how to take care of your athlete.”) is communicated through non-verbal channels.  In other words, what you say is less important than how you say it.”

As far as the athletes’ body language, what are some “red flags” that coaches might notice that would signal dissatisfaction from a prospect or their parents?

“Nonverbal cues – like body language for instance…eye contact, posture, gestures - reveal three relational states: Power, liking, and responsiveness.  By watching how a parent communicates, a coach can make educated guesses about whether she or he is liked by the parents, whether the family is responsive to the offer, and whether the parents feel subordinate or superior to the coach and their program.  For instance, a comfortable posture, limited eye contact, and relaxed facial expressions suggest a parent feels confident about other options.  Decreased proximics (backward lean, turning of shoulders, raised chin) and decreased eye contact often indicate dissatisfaction.”

So what will coaches come away with after they go through your session at the 2010 NCRC in Chicago?

“I’ll teach those coaches to recognize the nonverbal cues that signal important cues such as liking, responsiveness, and status.  At the same time, this session will help them signal openness and connection in the way they communicate with potential athletes and their families.”

One Simple Trick to Get More Prospect ApplicationsMonday, April 5th, 2010

Apply Now!by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

When sending out emails and communicating with your recruits, every interaction counts. When sending out branded email templates with your emails, we usually recommend keeping the number of links low and pertinent. With that said, it always comes down to the motivation behind the email.

Many coaches, particularly in Division III have a close tie to the admissions department. Your motivation is not just in recruiting but also in increasing the number of applicants to the school in general. It would be nice if you could accomplish both tasks at once, right? It would also be particularly nice if you could show admissions an increase in applicants (and you didn’t hear this from me, but we have had coaches who had their recruiting software come out of the admissions’ budget solely because they could!)

So…how? How can you increase applicants but also achieve your recruiting goals?

Simple trick: When sending out emails, especially branded email templates like the one’s we produce for our clients, simply put an “apply now” link in your email. You can even ask your recruits to click it. This suggestion can work wonders in increasing applicants.

You simply ask the question, provide an easy way for recruits to get to the application page, and track the results.

If you think about the pure numbers of recruits that your emailing, especially at the Division III level, there is huge upside to providing one simple link and asking for a response.

There are lots of technology options for coaches to choose from when it comes to recruiting management software.  Why do we recommend Front Rush?  Simple…the legendary client support and service, and the industry leading value pricing.  See why some of the nation’s leading college coaches insist their program uses Front Rush…click here!

3 Core Principles for Overcoming Prospect ObjectionsSunday, April 4th, 2010

Coaching harard!Facing a prospect objection isn’t just inconvenient and frustrating.  For a college coach, it may also be a job hazard that can trip-up the best laid recruiting plans.

Why?

Because if your prospect’s objections aren’t being overcome throughout the recruiting process, they are probably not going to sign with you and your program.

It’s nothing personal, Coach.  But the way they’re wired makes it almost impossible for them to commit to something that they aren’t sold on, and they certainly aren’t going to come compete for you if they have downright negative vibes about you, your team or your program.

Since coaches are preparing to deal with the objections in a new recruiting class, I wanted to give everyone three core principles to take into a recruiting situation with them when it comes to facing, and overcoming, their initial objections.  Here they are:

PRINCIPLE #1:  You should want to hear objections from your prospects, especially the ones you really want.

Whenever I talk about that when I work with coaches in an athletic department during one of our On-Campus Workshops, I often get puzzled looks.  “I want people to object to something about our campus or our program???”  Yes, Coach, you do.

An objection usually indicates that they are actively listening, processing the information that they are seeing themselves or hearing from you, which is the first step in them reaching a decision on whether or not to come to your school.

Think about it: When was the last time that you signed a prospect that didn’t have questions, concerns or firm objections to something you talked to them about:  Your dorms, their role on the team, the amount of (or lack of) a scholarship offer…most coaches face objections all the time.
When you hear an objection, it’s a classic “buying signal”.  It means you are one step closer to getting them to see it your way.

So, your attitude should be one of “alright, now we’re getting somewhere!” as opposed to “oh brother, here we go again”. Think about it, Coach:  How often have you signed an athlete that had zero questions and objections while you were recruiting them?  Not many, I’d bet.  Like I wrote in our two recruiting guides for college coaches, if they aren’t serious about you, they won’t take the time or emotional investment to object to what you’re telling them.

This is a huge, life-changing decision that you’re asking them to make.  Don’t be surprised if you hear them (or their parents) bemoan the details along the way as they come to grips with the realities of recruiting as opposed to their unrealistic expectations of their “perfect” college program.

PRINCIPLE #2:  When you hear an objection, your initial reaction and re-direction is key to keeping them listening to you.

If your prospect takes the time – and the “risk” – in verbalizing something that they see as not fitting in with their view of college sports or college life, you’ve got a serious prospect on your hands.

The next step is the second principle of overcoming objections that I’d want any of my clients to take, and that is to make their prospects, or their prospects’ parents, feel comfortable voicing more objections.  Through your reaction, body language and words, let them know that it’s o.k. not to love everything about what they’re seeing or hearing from you and your college.

This is crucial because you want to open up the lines of communication further, and keep them open throughout the process.  What we find when we are researching this subject at universities across the country is that today’s teenagers aren’t comfortable communicating with outsiders they don’t know, and are apt to internalizing things that don’t match their view of what their “perfect” college should be like.  To help open those fragile lines of communication, make every effort to treat objections as “normal”:

• “Oh, we get that all the time.  That’s an easy one to answer…”
• “One of the players that came here in our last recruiting class felt the same way about the on-campus housing.  But now that she’s here, what she’s discovered is…”
• “Hey, that’s a really good observation.  Before I talk to you about it, are there any other big worries about us on your list?…”

You want and need a steady line of communication flowing to you throughout the process.  Treating it like you are comfortable with talking about it, and letting them know that you don’t think less of them for bringing up what they might view as a sensitive topic, is going to go a long way towards making (and keeping) a connection between you two.

PRINCIPLE #3:  MIX LOGIC, EMOTION AND INFORMATION AS YOU RE-DIRECT THEIR OBJECTION INTO A SELLING POINT.

Unfortunately, this is the hardest principle to master for most college recruiters.  However, once you recognize it and react to it, actually answering their objection and giving your prospect a new frame of reference in how to view that objection is absolutely key in the process.

So, here’s what I want you to do after you’ve addressed the first two principles that I talked about:

• Use logic to answer their question or objection by telling them how they should think about a particular issue.  What I am suggesting is that they may throw out an objection that is not based in fact at all; rather, it is a picture that they’ve painted over time in their own mind.  Understand that in most cases, when an objection is raised, they are listening to whether you confirm their current line of thinking, or if you correct them with a new line of reasoning. Logical, fact-based information is needed to replace their own misconceptions about a particular issue.
• Use emotion to begin to re-direct their objection.  You see, many of the athletes we interview based their objections on emotion: How they feel about the other athletes during their visit…the feel of a college campus on a tour…determining whether you would be a “good fit” for them as their future coach. To answer them, use emotion to your advantage: Talk about the way you’d see them fitting in to the team’s personality if they can get past a certain objection…show them what game day will feel like in order to prove that your program is just as good as a competitor.  There are lots of ways to answer an prospect’s emotionally-based objection by using emotion yourself.
• Use information to re-direct their objection.  Do you know when the best time to have an informational conversation about one of your big objections is?  Before they bring it up…especially if it’s an objection that is “the big one” that almost every recruit asks about or would notice during a visit.  Here’s an example: We began work with a coach who became a new TRS client four or five months ago.  One of their big objections was the condition of their on-campus housing.  It was 30 years old, and looked it.  The coaching staff we are working with avoided showing the housing to prospects altogether – big mistake, because kids must see where they’re going to live.  Our answer, with the help of the athlete focus group we assembled for two hours during our initial visit, was to take the focus away from the structure and center the attention on the incredible social atmosphere that existed in the dorms…one of the big plusses of their campus experience, according to the athletes at that school.  So, we talked about it right out of the gate when we put together their first series of messages…we didn’t hide from it, we used information to tell them how they should think about their housing, and what to look for when they saw it on a campus visit.  Most importantly, we did this before it became an objection in the mind of the recruit…make sure you define the objection for them at the start, instead of having to try and change their mind later.  That’s a key factor in successfully re-directing an objection, and turning it into a selling point in college recruiting.

This area of recruiting is where the rubber meets the road, in most cases.  Nearly all of the time, your recruits are going to have questions or objections that will pop into their mind during the process. It’s not a matter of “if” that happens, but when (and how often).

Your job is to hunt down those objections each step of the way, and re-direct them using these three principles that we’ve put to work ourselves in our daily work with our clients.  Apply your own unique situation and challenges to this step-by-step approach for answering objections, and watch how it changes the outcome of your recruiting.

Want more techniques and in-depth ideas on overcoming objections?  It’s going to be one of the main focus areas at this Summer’s big gathering of advanced college recruiters, the  National Collegiate Recruiting Conference in June.

It’s our biggest and best conference yet, and it’s a great way for you to prepare for a new year of winning the most important game you’ll play – recruiting!

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