The saying “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone” comes to mind when I talk about the fear of loss.
And just as the saying suggests – that there is an added appreciation of something once you don’t have it any longer – there is could be a valuable benefit to you by implementing the “fear of loss” into your recruiting message.
“Fear of Loss” is a successful, long-standing sales technique that is used by politicians and advertisers alike. Essentially, it’s the introduction of the negative idea of “loss” into the mind of a buyer – in this case, your recruit – to cause action.
As humans, we react more passionately to the idea of losing something. Science backs that up, as illustrated by “Roger Dooley, the author of “Brainfluence” on his Neuromarketing blog:
If I gave you $50 with the following two choices, what would you do? Keep $30, or gamble, with a 50/50 chance of keeping or losing the whole $50.
An experimenter posed that question to subjects, and found that 43% of the subjects chose to gamble. Then the options were changed to: Lose $20, or gamble, with a 50/50 chance of keeping or losing the whole $50.
Same thing, right? In fact, though the dollar amounts are the same, with these options, 62% of the subjects chose to gamble. Expressing the first option as a loss caused a 44% jump in the number of people avoiding that choice! (The purely rational choice, of course, would be the non-gambling option, since the average value of the gambling choice is $25 vs. the certain $30.)
This research, published in Science and described in Dean Buonomano’s book “Brain Bugs”, exhibits two key points:
To underscore the importance of loss aversion in humans, the researchers found that over the course of a series of decisions like this, 100% of the subjects gambled more when the other choice was posed as a loss. Although individual variations existed (some subjects gambled a little more, others a lot), it’s quite surprising that every single one was influenced by the way economically identical options were framed.
So, how do you ethically and professionally put this idea to work in your recruiting message? Here are some quick ideas that we’ve seen work for our clients:
There is, of course, an inherant risk in this strategy: You might lose the prospect. Your positioning might not work, and it may give them the open door they need to permanentaly reject you.
However, if you’re willing to risk that outcome (an outcome, many coaches would agree, would have happened whether or not this strategy was in play or not) it’s an effective way to get an indication as to what your recruit is thinking, and just how important your program is to them. It’s an effective indicator of their thinking, and just how much your school means to them.
I often point out that this generation of prospect that you are recruiting can define what they don’t want in a school, program or coach instead of what they do want. The “fear of loss” principle matches-up with this trend, and can give a coach some incredible insights inside the mind of their recruits.
What’s your answer to that question, Coach?
Because more and more, what you do during the next few weeks is going to determine whether or not you get those prospects.
Late Winter and early Spring, for many coaches, is sit-by-the-phone-and-sweat-it-out time. For many coaches who aren’t able to offer full scholarships, your financial aid and admissions department are working their magic to try and put together packages that will lure your prized prospects to campus in the Fall. And, even if you’re a high level Division I coach who signed his or her recruiting class months ago, there is a time period late in your recruits’ decision cycle where this question applies at some point:
Your teenage prospects and their parents are trying to figure out if – and how much – you care.
Respected business marketing guru Seth Godin makes the same point when it comes to what we look for as adults:
“We’re hyper alert to the appearance of caring. We want to do business with people who appear to care, who appear to bring care and passion and dedication to their work. If the work expresses caring, if you consistently and professionally deliver on that expression, we’re sold.
The truth is that it’s what we perceive that matters, not what you bring to the table. If you care but your work doesn’t show it, you’ve failed. If you care so much that you’re unable to bring quality, efficiency and discernment to your work, we’ll walk away from it.
And the irony? The best, most reliable way to appear to care when it matters–is to care.”
It’s probably hard to argue against this line of thinking. The vast array of our research shows that prospects are looking for who cares the most from start to finish. Especially when they’re on campus, followed closely by how coaches treat them at the end of the process.
So really, we’re faced with a simple yet challenging question: How do coaches show their prospects they care more than their competition this time of year?
After reviewing some case studies of the clients and athletic departments that we serve and help get those prospects that they have at the top of their list, here are four basic strategies that we see working on a consistent basis:
This isn’t an exhaustive list, of course, but each one of these basic strategies have proven to work in the past. Why? Because as your recruit is trying to figure out how to “break the tie” between you and the other programs recruiting them, what you do over the next few weeks is going to help them do that (by the way, if you want a great way to set-up a tie-breaker to your advantage for your next recruiting class, click here)
Use this time of year to prove that you care more than the other guys. It may be even more important to your prospect – and your prospect’s parents – than everything else you’ve done to this point!
If you’re looking for more creative ideas to take into your next recruiting battle, you absolutely have to be at our next National Collegiate Recruiting Conference! There’s still time to sign-up, so click here for all the details! You won’t be disappointed.
by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota
Coaching your team and developing leadership starts with having a vision statement, then developing a plan to achieve it. That’s the starting point for every business that wants to be successful, and it’s a must for college coaches who want to build a successful program.
A vision statement answers the questions “What will our program look like 5 to 10 years from now?”
A vision is more than a destination. It is an inspiration, a motivator, and a rallying point for a team. Results matter, but they are often the by-products of an effectively created and communicated vision.
Dan Tudor, the founder of Tudor Collegiate Strategies, talks a lot about how recruits don’t care about your past or your present, they only care about how they fit into your future.
Coaches who consistently sign the recruits they want have mastered really good communication and a great selling message on how the program’s future expectations, goals, and aspirations will meet the recruit’s needs and help him or her achieve their goals.
Communication of a vision is the difficult process of inspiring your recruits to see the future reality which you see, and are committed to make happen for them. Communicating your vision will help recruits focus their energies to see that their real needs might best be met through your program.
So, how do you do it? Communicating your vision is talking about the future, evoking images and responses in the mind about what it is going to be like for them over the next 4 years while at your college. Communicate your vision so people can feel it, see it, and feel it.
When communicating and selling your vision to recruits remember the following:
1. Clearly articulate the vision of your organization.
2. Be enthusiastic toward your vision, and let others see your passion for that vision.
3. Repeatedly share the vision in various ways.
Concentrate on the “what’s-in-it-for-them” and the what’s-in-it-for-you will usually take care of itself.
Mandy Green is the head women’s soccer coach at the University of South Dakota, and a leading organizational expert in the world of college athletics. Coach Green will be speaking at the upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference on the topics of how to organize your recruiting and coaching life. Click here to get information on attending this one-of-a-kind event for college coaches!
by Sean Devlin, Front Rush
Last week, Apple made their iPad 3 announcement and like any good tech enthusiast, we were glued to our screens. Also, like every tech enthusiast, we are on the waiting list to get one. With that said, we wanted to do give you our initial impressions so that you can decide whether or not this new version of iPad should be in your future:
So what are the costs?
16GB is $499, the 32GB is $599, and the 64GB is $699. The GB is just how much stuff you can store on it. You only need a 32GB or 64GB if you are storing tons of stuff like video on it.
The 16GB with 4G cellular is $629 plus a cellular contract, the 32GB with 4G cellular is $729 plus cellular contract, and the 64GB with 4G cellular is $829 plus cellular contract.
Hopefully that clears a few things up, Coach. See you in line!
Front Rush is the national leader for technology and recruiting organization services designed specifically for college coaches. Their landmark recruiting organization contact management system is #1 with college coaches. Do you use it? Click here to find out why it works.
by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota
So you are probably thinking, how the heck can the vision that I have for my career and for my program help me save time in the office?
As you already know, your vision identifies where you want to go (as a program, as a team, with your career, and with your recruiting) in the next 1, 3, or even 5 years from now.
A problem I have found with the coaches that I work with is that a lot of them cannot clearly articulate what their vision is. Because they are not clear on where there program, recruiting and career ultimately will go in the next 1-5 years, they waste A LOT of time being indecisive and inconsistent because they have no foundation to go off of to guide their decisions.
Ultimately, your vision is the filter through which you sift every decision, from how to train your team to whom you recruit to how you spend your time in the office. Once your vision is solid enough, it will dictate every action you make, ensuring that everything you do takes you closer to your goals.
For example, let’s say your vision is to be considered a top coach in your conference, sign all of your top recruits, and be so organized that you get your work done during office hours so you have more time to spend with your family. If that is your vision, then how do you think that will dictate your actions? Will you get into the office late, spend the first two hours in pointless conversations, and then stay late to finish all of the work you have to do? Of course not!
So how do you create your vision?
Being clear on what your future looks like will help you make more productive choices and sound decisions in your present. Next week, we’ll talk about how all of this applies to your life as a recruiter.
If you are looking for more help in this area, keep an eye out for my new Coaching Productivity Planner Workbook coming out soon. I’ve taken all of the best time-management systems and tips out there on the market and synthesized them all into one Time Management System for College Coaches. Look for it shortly here on dantudor.com!