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The Most Two Most Important Things Your Recruiting Letter or Email Should DoMonday, August 16th, 2010

I ask it often when I’m in front of coaches when we’re leading a workshop on their campus…

“What do you want a letter or email to your prospect to do?”  Or, to put it another way, “What do you want the result to be?”

Here are the answers I hear most often:

  • “I want to see if they’re interested in us.”
  • “I want to tell them what we have to offer here.”
  • “I try to make them feel special and tell them how much we like them.”

All good answers.  However, there’s an even better strategy that we’ve found to work great over the years.  For those coaches who have signed on as clients, they see this strategy being used on a regular basis with great success.

It’s a strategy that is simple: When we create a message that will go to a recruit, we want them to reply to that message, and we want it to set up the next message.

Let’s breakdown each of those strategies, and why they are vital to your recruiting results when it comes to generating an effective recruiting campaign through the mail or electronically:

  • Get the reply. The point of a letter and email should not be to sell your program, or convince a prospect to choose your school based on what’s written in one letter.  The focus of each of your written communications should be to generate a reply from your prospect.  Most likely, that will be in the form of an email or a phone call.  Why is a reply so important as your primary goal?  Simple: You aren’t going to be able to ”sell” your program until a prospect feels like he or she can be comfortable interacting with you.
  • Set up the next message.  One of the most stark facts we gathered in our research study on how today’s prospect makes their final decision was the importance of the prospect knowing what to do next in the process.  When you send a prospect a letter or email, make sure that you let them know what’s coming next.  In other words, a letter that goes out next week should set up an expectation that another message is following in the coming days after.  They should be expecting the next step, not wondering when it will come…and the only way to do that is to very clearly spell out the steps that you are taking in the process.

It’s important to establish this system as early in the recruiting process as possible.  As many of you get ready to begin written contact with a new Junior class, make sure your letters and emails include these two important elements.

If you include them, and they are structured correctly, you’ll get results and response that exceed your expectations.

Did you know that you can get expert assistance in creating a focused, results-oriented recruiting plan for this upcoming recruiting year?  The pros here at Tudor Collegiate Strategies, lead by nationally recognized recruiting expert Dan Tudor, can revise your current recruiting messages, develop a new plan and messages, and assist you with your top prospects on an ongoing basis.

If you’d like to learn more, just email Dan Tudor at dan@sellingforcoaches.com with the subject line “Tell me more about becoming a client” and we’ll outline exactly how we work with a coach and their program, and why so many other programs choose to bring us in as a part of their program’s recruiting staff.

4 Great Technology Resources for CoachesSunday, August 15th, 2010

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

On a day-to-day basis, our staff here at Front Rush pays close attention to trends in the tech industry, not just related to recruiting but technology as a whole. Today, we wanted to share with you four great technology resources on the web that you can use to stay ahead of the tech curve as a smart college coach:

Mashable.com

Mashable is a blog that talks about the latest social media and tech news and trends. It covers everything from the latest Facebook upgrades to the top ways to measure your social media success as a college recruiter. The best thing about Mashable is that the articles are short and sweet so you can learn a lot in a little amount of time.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch is another blog dedicated to technology and the latest tech headlines. A lot of their posts are about new tech companies which makes it a great resource to find out about new apps for your devices. This is the first place that you will read about the next Twitter or Foursquare or Facebook.

Hubspot

This blog is the “how-to” list of social media. They teach the tactics and strategies behind social media and there are always gems that can be applied to your recruiting. Once a week they also have a podcast where they spend an hour focusing on the latest social media news and strategies.

Lifehacker

Lifehacker is a blog on real world application of technology. When we accidentally wrote on our white-board with a permanent sharpie marker, lifehacker showed us how remove the ink*. There are a lot of “life secrets” in this blog and worth checking out on a day to day that can make your life easier as a coach, not to mention as a human being.

*to remove permanent marker from a white-board, simply write over-top of your permanent marker with a standard white-board marker, and then erase both with a standard whiteboard eraser.

Want more expert advice from the pros at Front Rush, specifically when it comes to more effectively tracking and converting your high level prospect leads?  Start here.

What Yogurt Can Teach You About Creative RecruitingSunday, August 8th, 2010

The next time you open up a carton of yogurt, pay attention to how you feel.

There are some direct applications to your feelings at that moment and more effective recruiting as a college coach.

Let me back up a little…

According to a study by Dr. A.K. Pradeep, when researchers asked people to imagine eating a carton of yogurt, and answer what the most engaging part of the process was for them, most people chose grasping and removing the foil cover over the top of the container.

Think about that…it beat out choosing a flavor and enjoying the first spoonful of the healthy treat.  Most individuals enjoyed taking the foil off the most of all.

The same holds true for a lot of other products, as well.  Think about eating a potato chip.  Isn’t it the crunch of the chip that is most engaging about eating it?  It’s worked wonders for Rice Crispies…advertisers have built entire ad campaigns around the “snap, crackle, pop!” of that popular breakfast cereal.

Scientists calls this a Neurological Iconic Signature (NIS).  I call it one of the secrets you can use to make your recruiting much more effective this coming year.

Here are the three initial steps you can take:

  • Identify some things that might be an easily identifiable NIS within your program. Remember, it may not be the thing that you expect.  When we do our research for our TRS clients, one of the things we’re looking for is the NIS of that particular program.  It’s usually not the conference you compete in, or coaching honors that you’ve racked up.  It’s usually something that revolves around a feeling that your prospect experiences during the recruiting process.  What are some things that you can identify as unique positives that might be flying under the radar right now?
  • Focus on your campus visit. Like we talk about in our recruiting guides for college coaches, the campus visit is where all of the important initial first-hand experiences and impressions are felt by your prospects.  Within those few hours or two days, your prospect is looking for unique things abour you and your program that separate you from the rest.  If you don’t identify a NIS (or two, or three) then your campus visits risk being just average, instead of spectacular.  What are some things that you can identify as unique moments that could really enhance the experience your prospects have on campus?
  • Rely on the experts. Your players.  They know what to sell, and if you give them the right forum to talk about it, they’ll give you some great ideas.  Start by asking them, “Besides our facilities, the school and me as a coach, what are the things that really gave you a good feeling about coming here?”  Or, let us help by coming to campus and helping you develop that strategy for the upcoming year.  Either way, you need this information and apply it to your upcoming communication with recruits.

What struck me about this study by Dr. Pradeep was the fact that I had never thought about why I love eating my daily Yoplait.  But it’s true…ripping off that foil cover is part of the anticipation of a great tasting treat.

Which begs the question, what else am I influenced to do because of a hidden NIS that I’m attached to?

Even more important: What NIS triggers are all around you that can help you connect with your prospect more effectively?

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