Overcoming a prospect’s objections is a tough challenge, even if you happen to know what those objections are. Most coaches struggle with identifying the real reasons one of their recruits tells them no…and it’s one of the most frustrating parts of their jobs.
But I got a phone call from a coach who became a client a few weeks ago with a bit of a twist to the traditional objection question:
“What do you do,” he asked, “when you know there’s something a prospect isn’t telling you, but it’s obviously something that’s going to keep him from choosing your school?” Call it a gut feeling, or something else, but sometimes a coach just “knows” when something isn’t right with one of their prospects.
It’s actually a great question…and that’s a tough one to overcome, no doubt. So to provide you with a map to guide you through the complicated maze of figuring out how to address your prospects’ real objections, here are a few proven strategies you might want to try the next time you have a recruit come right out and tell you that they’re “not interested”, or give you that gut feeling that they’re holding something back from you and not telling you about an objection they’re thinking about:
- First, ask them what they mean by “not interested”. Does it mean that they aren’t interested in playing college sports? Not interested in the offer you have for them? Not interested in going to college in your part of the country? Asking probing questions is the key to getting to the heart of their lack of interest. You’ve got to get them to be specific, so that you can give them an answer that helps redirect their interest back towards your program.
- If you think they might be holding back an objection from you, you’ll need to do even more probing. Try asking your prospect to give you three reasons a prospect would have a problem with you or your program. By taking them out of the equation (you’re asking about another prospect, not them or their views) it might free them up to give you answers that will, in fact, be their feelings toward your program.
- Next, try to get them to them to clarify the general answer they gave you. “Do you mean you already know what our offer is going to be?” Or, “Have you already read about our program’s success but have decided that it doesn’t matter to you?” Or maybe, “How did you become familiar with the part of the country that our school is located in?”
The point in asking these types of questions? Get your prospect to clearly clarify what they mean by their objection, and how they came to feel that way.
Next, you’ll want to focus on trying to solve the problem and overcoming that objection. That is the goal of any conversation when an objection arises, and what we spend a lot of time on in our recruiting guides for college coaches. A problem-solving discussion might start something like, “I understand…so, if a full-ride offer was on the table, you’d take a serious look at us?” Or, “I see. So, if I could show you how well you’d fit into our championship caliber program, you would keep an open mind and consider us?” Or, “If we were able to show you how valuable a degree from our school is out there in the real world, would you give us another look?”
Again, my strong recommendation to you is to be a problem solver. Your prospect may not be raising an objection as much as he or she is reaching out to have their problems solved. Most of your competition still tries to hard sell a prospect by throwing out a lot of sales-oriented bullet points and trashing their competition (that would be you, Coach).
Approach things from a different perspective, and stand out from your competition: Deal with objections with the frame of mind that you are a problem solver, and your prospect is someone in need of help solving that problem.
Whether they come right out and state an objection to you, or they hold back and make you dig for it, overcoming objections is THE biggest challenge you face as college recruiter. If you learn how to effectively deal with objections, you’ll build a long, successful career for yourself at the college level.
We’ve written two advanced recruiting workbooks for college recruiters. Have you read them? If they aren’t in your library, they need to be. Click here for all the details.