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Speed Up the Recruiting Process with This One QuestionMonday, July 30th, 2012

by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota

If you have read any of my articles, you know by now that I am all about finding new and better ways to do things that will give me a better return on my time and energy.

About a year ago now, I was listening to a High Performance Academy coaching call being led by Brendan Burchard, author of The Charge.  He was talking about productivity and how he starts his day out by asking the question “who do I need to reach out to today that will help me progress forward?”

He applies this question to all of his businesses; I now apply this question to my program and with recruiting.  For example, what club coach can I reach out to today and develop a better relationship with that could potentially help me with recruiting quality student-athletes to my program?  Or, what person on campus could I reach out to today to introduce myself or to thank them for helping me with something?

Answering and acting on this one question has single-handedly changed the pace and quality of recruits that we are now able to get to look at and commit to my program.

Here is how I do it.  On my way into work I think about who I can reach out to whether it be a coach of a team I saw over the weekend, a parent of one of my top recruits, a local business owner, a faculty member on campus, etc.  As soon as I get into the office, I turn on my computer and crank out a quick email to them.  I usually only write to one person a day and only give myself 10 minutes to try to connect and build a relationship with whatever person I am writing to.  I also do it first thing in the morning before I do anything else because I found that if I leave it until later in the day, there is a good chance that it won’t get done.

I didn’t notice much of a difference at first but over the course of the last year, spending the first 10 minutes reaching out to one person a day has really started to pay off for us.  These coaches are helping us get in contact with recruits faster, are now talking to recruits on our behalf which is helping to get them serious about us sooner, and it has helped us narrow down our recruiting pool because of the insights they are now giving us.

All of this and more is the result of developing the habit of consistently reaching out to one person a day first thing when I get to the office in the morning.  Coach, there is always somebody who you can reach out to.  Be thoughtful and strategic about it.  Like I said earlier, just this one question has helped to speed up our recruiting process and I know it can do the same for you.

Mandy Green is a frequent contributor to College Recruiting Weekly, and is a Division I head soccer coach.  Coaches around the country know her as a premier expert on organization and coaching, and is the developer of a soon to be released organizational system and calendar for college recruiters.

 

Strategies for Going Up Against Big-Name CompetitorsMonday, July 30th, 2012

In a society that looks to brands like Apple, Starbucks, or Lexus to give us meaning in life, we shouldn’t really be surprised that this generation of prospects are looking for the same feeling in the college that they end up choosing.  To put it simply, big name colleges find it easier to get the attention of a recruit at the start of the recruiting process.

There are a handful of big name colleges that instantly command the attention of a recruit.  If your college isn’t one of those big name schools, this article is for you.

As a college coach and serious recruiter, you probably already know the benefits (or challenges, depending on the college you coach for) of the name of the school on your business card.  And sometimes, it’s hard to get the attention of a recruit that’s sought after by some schools with big names.  So, a coach has two practical choices:  Give up, or compete.

And if you’re someone who wants to compete, we’re going to give you a few key points of emphasis as you develop a strategy for going after those recruits that aren’t excited about you or your college – and most certainly not excited about the name of the school you recruit for.  In fact, there are three primary points that we would recommend coaches need to pay attention to in battling for recruits being tempted by bigger name college programs.

Here’s what the “no-names” need to do, based on the research and recruiting conversations that we’ve been tracking for the past several years:

  1. First and foremost, you’d better be consistent. I realize that for some of you who are clients or have had us on-campus for a workshop, this advice is something you’ve heard before.  But let me underscore the importance of a consistent message when you are competing with a big name rival:  We find in tracking the interest levels of recruits being contacted by a variety of programs – large and small, big-name and no-name – if a smaller, lesser known program is more consistent than their bigger rivals, that program has an excellent chance of competing for, and winning, that recruit.  Consistency proves that you are serious about them in the most tangible way possible, through regular emails and written letters (really, really important in proving that you’re interested in them).  Even if they don’t read your materials right from the start, they’re noticing that you are contacting them regularly.  And over time, that will make a difference in how they view you.
  2. Act like a big dog. This one is tough for a lot of coaches at smaller or lesser-known schools, mainly because it involves a little big of acting.  One of the things that most prospects are looking for from a smaller, lesser-known college program is confidence.  If you as their potential coach aren’t confident on the question of why they should take you as seriously as a big name school they’re looking at, we find that this generation of recruits will sense that weakness and almost immediately relegate you to second tier status.  However, if you jump in and confidently and somewhat aggressively lay out the reasons they should pay attention to you, and develop a plan of action for them to follow as the recruiting process starts, you should be pleasantly surprised at the results.
  3. Explain why being the smaller name is the smarter choice. One of the critical elements that you will need to address as a college recruiter is explaining to your recruit why you, as the smaller, lesser-known college or program, is going to be the smarter choice for them.  That line of reasoning could be based on anything that would make sense to build a case around at your college: The academic reputation at your school, the more personalized coaching they’ll receive from you…whatever makes the most sense for you to stress to your recruit.  The point is, it needs to be something.  Your prospect, who is considering a bigger name school and has probably already assigned their “story” to that competing program, needs a logical reason about why they should keep you in the game.  Fail to give that to them, and watch how hard it is to get their attention later in the process.

One more thing I’ll add to the to-do list we’re putting together: Start early.  As early as possible.  Smaller, lesser-known colleges should make a point of targeting prospects as early as possible for two reasons.  First, recruiting at higher levels is happening earlier and earlier, so you don’t want to be late to the game.  And second, you’ll get the chance to define yourself before some of your larger competitors begin the process.  In both instances, we’ve seen that approach work for the coach clients that we serve.

Being a coach at a smaller, lesser-known “name” school isn’t an automatic loss.  Far from it.  These three principles, executed with passion and creativity, can bring great prospects to your roster.  We’ve seen it happen over and over, and have watched these strategies work for the coaches that have implemented them.

If you are finding yourself going head-to-head with some bigger name schools, this game plan can help.

Want to bring our team of experts alongside you and your program to help you achieve the recruiting results that you need this year?  Email Dan personally at dan@dantudor.com and ask him to explain the Total Recruiting Solution plan, and how it can work for your program.  It might be the difference maker as you prepare to win this next class of recruits!

Google’s Nexus 7: A Good Tablet Choice for College Coaches?Monday, July 23rd, 2012

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

Another $200 tablet came out recently, this one by Google: The Google Nexus 7.

We decided to review it since we hear a lot of coaches being rejected by their respective university for the $499 iPad.  Since this one is a lot less, the question we wanted to answer was “is it worth the investment, or better to save up for the more popular iPad?

Well first and foremost, the device does not have cellular access so if that is a requirement, you can scratch this off of your list. If that is not a requirement, then read further.

The device is seven inches as opposed to the iPad’s 9.7 inches. Many have argued about this and it really comes down to feel. Walking around with the Nexus and consuming content seems very natural (arguably more natural then the larger iPad). This could definitely come into play while on the field or on the court, using your tablet to help you with note-taking or other scouting duties.

The Nexus 7 uses Google’s latest Android OS which is Jelly Bean, and let me tell you that Jelly Bean is much better than the OS most Android users are using which is Gingerbread. It is much cleaner, and much crisper than Gingerbread in the instances I personally have tested it. It’s almost like Google put in an effort to have a nice looking interface, which is going to be great for the coaches who use it. With that said, it is not as “silky” as the iPad. Putting the two devices side by side, the iPad is clearly much smoother with interactions.

The Nexus 7 uses the Chrome browser and for some reason, we have noticed that many pages don’t load properly. We even tested Chrome on the Nexus 7 vs Chrome on the iPad and iPhone and pages show up properly on the iPad and iPhone that don’t on the Nexus 7.  We found this kind of annoying.

We did find that many popular apps which are optimized for the Nexus 7 are quite nice, and great to use relative to their phone counterparts. Of course, we only have a small sample pool but apps like Instapaper, Flipboard, and Evernote work well. With that said, you do get full access to the Play Store.

So what is the overall impression? Well overall its a great device for he money. We will keep it around and use it to read articles and books from Amazon. But with all of the rumors an iPad mini about to be launched, keep in mind that you may have even more options to choose from in the ever-expanding tablet market.

Want more technical advice you can trust as you look for a recruiting contact manager that you can use for this next recruiting year?  Look no further than Front Rush.  Hands down, these guys are the best at what they do.  Take a look at who’s using them, and why they’re the #1 choice for college recruiters around the country.

 

7 Essential Elements for Your Recruiting “Story”Monday, July 23rd, 2012

I use the word “story” because at the heart of any good recruiting effort is the need to effectively engage your prospect through your ongoing communication, and get him or her to buy-in to your program’s story.

Storytelling is an art, whether you are by a campfire or in front of a prospect – and as a college coach, you need to be a serious student with a goal of becoming a master storyteller.

A story is not a lie.  It’s not a tale.  It’s a chapter by chapter explanation of who you are, what you want them to do at your school, and why they should want to be a part of it all.  That’s the foundation of a great story.  And as we spend more and more time on campuses and working with college coaching staffs on an up-close and personal basis, we are constantly reminded that good stories told by smart coaches are usually going to be the difference makers between a coach who wins a top recruit, and the coach who finishes second.

  • The letters and emails that you write…that’s part of your story.
  • The phone calls that you make…that’s part of your story.
  • What is said about your school or you online…that’s part of your story.
  • When a prospect comes to visit your campus…that’s a part of your story.

You can’t overlook one area of your overall story or presentation and expect success.  Especially when it comes to the top athletes you really, really want for your program.

So in looking at programs we work with, and see what they did right this past year on a consistent basis, here’s my list of the seven things YOU need in your recruiting presentation if you’re looking for an increased degree of success with your next recruiting class:

  1. Develop a belief in your school and your program. It pains me when I hear a coach tell me privately that he or she doesn’t think their school can compete with others in their conference.  What you absolutely need as a part of your overall recruiting presentation is a heart-felt belief that your school, your program – and you as a coach – are the best option for your recruit.  Assume that you are going to sign the athlete when you first start talking to them.  Today’s prospects want to compete for coaches who are confident (not cocky, confident).  If you don’t display passion about you and your program, don’t expect them to be passionate about the idea of coming to compete for you.
  2. Focus on helping your recruit – and their parents – reach their objectives. Not a focus on selling your school right away.  Not bragging about your program’s conference championship two years ago.  Not showing off your new building.  Instead, help connect the dots and show them how you (and your school, and your program, and maybe even the new building) will help them reach their athletic and academic objectives.  An easy way to make sure you’re doing this is by taking a look at each facet of your recruiting process and explain how whatever you do helps your recruit reach their objective.  “But Dan, what if I don’t know what their objective in college is?”  Ask.  It should be one of the first questions you’re asking as you start your initial phone and email contacts with a new recruiting class.
  3. Tell them you have some ideas on how to help them. Do you know how original you’d be if you would just come to them with tangible ideas for them instead of bullet-pointed athletic department brochures?  Kids will always stay engaged if you give yourself away and get them to connect with you through ideas about them.  Not you, them.  Develop a list of ideas about how you can develop their skills, help them reach their goals, and what your plan for them is on your team if they decide to choose you.
  4. Try to ask one amazing question at the beginning of each new type of contact. One for your first letter, your first email, your first phone call, and when you first meet.  I’m talking about a question that makes them stop and really think about the answer before they give it to you.  Whenever you ask a question they haven’t been presented with before, that’s a sign of a great presentation – and a sure sign that they’ll stay engaged for the rest of your story (for a free list of some of the past articles we’ve developed on the right questions to ask, click here).
  5. Don’t “need” the recruit. Prospects and their parents have become increasingly adept at sniffing out desparation, and it’s not something that they view favorably.  If you find yourself “pressing” for prospects – especially at the end of your recruiting cycle – then you need more prospects.  We have a client who is heading into these upcoming months with nine prospects that are “A” rated recruits.  They only need to sign two this year.  Two years ago, their list was 1/3 the size it is now.  Do like they did and assess your needs and make adjustments in the numbers so that you aren’t begging at the end.  And even if you are a little desperate as you’re reading this article, don’t let your prospect get the feeling that you’re in that position.  Trust me, it’s not a good look on you, Coach.
  6. Ask for the sale. If you’ve taken part in one of our in-depth On-Campus Workshops for your athletic department, you know this is a familiar mantra we preach to college recruiters.  You’re recruiting them for a reason: You want them to play for you.  So, once you know in your heart that they’d be perfect for you – and you’re ready to hear a “yes” from them and follow-up with all the commitments that come along with possibly hearing that answer – ask them to commit.  Even if they say “no, not yet,” they’ll remember you as a coach that is passionate about them and that wants them for their team.  You might even be surprised when you get that immediate “yes!” from a prospect you really want….if you consistently ask.
  7. Be 100% focused 100% of the time. Are you smiling and confident?  Your prospect is watching. Are you and your staff wearing school polo shirts?  Your prospect is watching. Are you prepared for their visit and engaged with them individually, or are you thinking about what went wrong at practice yesterday?  Your prospect is watching. They are judging you as much as they are judging your school and your program.  Every part of your interaction with them matters, Coach.  Pay attention to the details and stay focused, because that non-verbal part of your story is just as important as the words you use in communicating with a prospect.

Now that you have my list, here’s a quick mental homework assignment I’d love for you to invest the next five minutes in doing: What three or four things can you do right away to improve your overall recruiting presentation?  Write down those changes on a card or piece of paper, and put it up on your wall in your office.  Don’t take it down until you’ve followed your own advice and made those changes to your presentation.

Those seven guiding principles can help you form the basis for a really effective recruiting story, which will help you make a big impact on this next recruiting class you’re starting to contact.

 

3 Keys to Effectively Handling Your “B” RecruitsMonday, July 16th, 2012

Much of a coaching staff’s attention is centered around bringing in as many top caliber “A” recruits as possible.

It’s the “A” recruits that grab headlines.

It’s the “A” recruits that propel a team to win championships.

It’s the “A” recruits that make it fun to be a college coach.

But we all know who really makes up most of a typical college team roster: The “B” recruits.

They’re solid, but not superstars.  And interestingly, as we’ve studied and tracked the recruiting process with this group of prospects, they have a very unique way of approaching the coaches who are pursuing them, and make their decisions much differently than your “A” recruits will.  Of course, each individual recruit will be a little different than the next, but there are some keys that we see being essential for coaches to keep in mind as they develop their own individual strategies for securing this important group of recruits:

  1. Your “B” recruits are hyper-aware of how you’re treating them. Why?  Because most of these “B” prospects know that they’re in the second tier of the prospects you’re considering.  They’ll try to fake it, but instinctively most of them know that they aren’t in your top group.  Because of these facts, they are always looking for a change in your tone, your language and the level of attention you’re giving them.  I’m not saying you need to accommodate that hyper-sensitivity; rather, be aware of it.  And if you find a recruit who you are ready to move on, just be aware that they’ll usually respond faster and more enthusiastically than your “A” recruits will.
  2. Your “B” recruits will usually make commitments more quickly. Not exactly earth-shaking news, right?  In fact, for many coaches, this is what drives them crazy about this group of recruits.  Sometimes, they’ll press you for a decision much sooner than you’d like, and (because of that hyper-sensitivity that we just talked about) they’ll be looking for the security of a decision as soon as possible.  The mistake I see many coaches make?  They don’t balance their pursuit of their “A” recruits with a steady stream of solidifying their “B” class.  That’s why you’ll see a healthy amount of programs end up with lackluster recruiting classes…too many swings for the fences, not enough stand-up doubles.  What we see effective coaching staffs do is find a balance that works for them based on previous recruiting classes, and the patterns of signings that have made up those classes.  That’s not always possible, of course, but if you have a “prototype” class that you’ve recruited to your program, look at the breakdown of the “A” and “B” recruits and create a game plan for this next class.
  3. Your “B” recruits will change direction quickly and without warning. One of the things that we prompt our clients to protect themselves against is the idea that their positive conversations with their “B” recruits means that they can hold off on moving towards a decision with them indefinitely.  Because of the earlier points that we made – their sensitivity to how you’re treating them and their inclination to make decisions more quickly than your “A” recruits –  we find that they are more quickly to change their allegiances at the drop of a hat.  This factor is probably responsible for more lost “B” prospects than any other: A coach is having great conversations with a recruit, doesn’t move the recruiting process forward, and is surprised when that recruit suddenly commits to another program.  This fact is a two edged sword: On the one hand, you need to be on the look-out to protect your standing with that recruit, but it also gives you a chance to come in late with “B” prospects that other coaches aren’t effectively shepherding through the process.  Whatever the case, you need to make sure that you take into account this big factor in the personalities of these “B” recruits.

Great college recruiters look at their entire recruiting plan, and make sure they are managing their entire prospect list from start to finish.  While your “A” list recruits are without a doubt must-have incoming athletes that will make you or break you, a healthy foundation of those “B” recruits will probably determine your long term success as a coach.  Your “B” prospects are greater in numbers, and usually include the difference makers that you need to enjoy long-term success.

Mapping out an effective recruiting plan isn’t easy.  It’s even harder if you don’t have the research and team of experts in your corner helping to guide you through the process behind the scenes.  Want help with your next recruiting class?  Get in touch with Dan Tudor directly at dan@dantudor.com and ask him to tell you how we work one-on-one with college programs around the country.

Why Good Things Come in 3′s for Your ProspectsMonday, July 9th, 2012

Each month that goes by, it seems like we hear from more and more coaches that are trying to “crack the code” when it comes to connecting with today’s teenage prospect – especially this time of year, when you’re trying to build a relationship with a new set of recruits.

I don’t know if this piece of advice will be the answer to all your problems, but I do know that this simple technique you can build your call structure around gives you a great chance of making your point - and making it stick – with your prospect.

It’s all about “the power of three”.

It works in writing, and it works in phone conversations.  It works because everyone – you, me, the coach in the office next to you – really likes things grouped in threes.

The three natural elements (wind, earth, fire), the three aspects of time (past, present, future), the Christian Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Ghost)…all are based around the number three.  Our minds are naturally is drawn to things grouped in three.  One of my favorite movies when I was a kid?  “The Three Amigos”.  One of my favorite TV shows growing up?  You guessed it…”The Three Stooges”.

And, your prospects are no different.

They want your ideas about you and your program grouped in threes. Now, they aren’t going to come out and tell you that, but they are wired just like you and I.  And if you’re interested in getting a better response than you’re currently getting, using this concept is highly advised.

Here’s how the concept works.  Lets say that you’re trying to talk or write to your prospect about your program’s great year-around training program.  Where as you might normally talk about the program’s reputation once and then expect your prospect to connect the dots themselves, try this line of reasoning with them that groups your argument in a group of three:

“Our strength and conditioning program was rated tops in our conference.  We’ve earned a reputation of taking an athlete and making them better than everyone we play.  In fact, we did a test over a four year period and our football program was able to raise our average athlete’s speed by 9% by the time they graduated in four years.

One of our graduates, Josh Grant, who got drafted after his four years here told ESPN that our strength program was the reason he was able to attract the kind of attention that he did.  He came in as a slightly above player and left here as one of the best our school has ever seen.

And the great part is, our head trainer has added a whole new component to our in-season training program.  It really gives our athletes the edge against our opponents.”

Here’s what you want to do:  Put your strongest proof at the top and devote the most time and attention to that point.  It has to be all about getting them to sit back and take you seriously.  The next paragraph should be about half the length of the first, and the next paragraph should be about half the length of the second.

When talking to them or developing your written recruiting communication, make sure you vary the proof that you offer them.  In the example I gave you above, I started with a strong statement that statistically told the recruit why our program was #1.  Next, I gave a proof source of the success with the program and what it did for him.  Thirdly, I offered up proof that the program is getting even better than it had been before.

This technique has been used for decades in business marketing strategies, and it keeps on working for advertisers, politicians, and sales professionals. It works because it meets our wired need for a group of three in the reasoning we present to recruits and their parents.

It’s the best way to present an idea to a recruit and have it stick.

Knowing how to present an idea effectively is the first step towards really connecting with today’s recruits.  If you liked this idea, you’ll love the other 197 tips, techniques and skills we teach recruiters in our two cutting-edge recruiting workbook guides.  For more information on these two guides, click here.

“Retracting” an Email: A Fool’s GameMonday, July 9th, 2012

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

From time to time, we will get a question from a Coach asking how to “retract an email” that was already sent.

In other words, they sent an email and realized there was a typo, or it was sent to the wrong person, or it was sent too early. We will then explain that this is impossible because there is no central “email” location that handles all the email in the world. Instead, once an email is sent an email is sent*.

We typically get a counter argument like “My Microsoft Outlook allows me to recall an email” or “My Gmail allows me to pull back a sent email”. Because of this, we decided to set the record straight and explain what “recalling an email” really means and to assertively state not to rely on this “functionality” offered by some other email services out there.

First, lets start with Microsoft Outlook which many college coaches still rely on.  With Outlook, once an email is sent, there is an option to “recall this message”. PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T DO THIS. You see, when you click that button, Outlook doesn’t actually “recall” the message (again, its impossible). Instead, what it does is send another message to the recipient that states that you want to recall the original. Well being human, and having the curiosity that most of us humans have, most people who receive that message will specifically look at the original. That “recall this message” button is really like a “Hey I messed up the original email so please read it and see my mistake” button.

Secondly, lets look at Gmail. It has an “Undo” button (if you turn it on). This undo button gives the impression that once an email is sent, you can “Undo” and have it come back or cancel it. This also is misleading, although it is a little more functional than Outlook’s version. What actually happens is that when you hit “send” in Gmail, they delay sending for a couple of seconds so that you have an opportunity to click “Undo”. Its almost like a countdown before it actually gets sent. This is more functional because the email never gets to the recipient but it becomes a bit of a hazard if you start to rely on it. Especially when you make the mistake I have made before and used an email client that does not have “Undo” when I am used to the “Undo” and sent some poorly formatted emails.

So hopefully, that clears things up if you’re a coach who is an email warrior. There is no “recall this message” functionality that really works. When an email is received by the recipient, they own it. If you could retract an email, it would be the equivalent of going into their phone or computer and stealing it back.

*The one exception is that in an internal network where you are sending an email from one colleague to the next, the system admin could set up rules that would allow for the retraction of an email. This is only under very unique circumstances.

Looking to be a High Performance Coach? Take a Time Out!Monday, July 2nd, 2012

by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota

Too many coaches these days have to retire early for health-related issues because they don’t take enough time off to be able to sit and enjoy life outside of their sport. Coaches are increasingly working longer hours, over the weekends, and skipping breaks in an effort to cram more work in.

Working hard is important, but you also need to take time to step back, evaluate, and re-energize yourself in order to be effective during the day and also so you can have sustained energy over the course of your career. Without enough time-off or time-for-yourself, you will eventually experience mental and physical fatigue, which will lead to a decrease in your quality of work, a lack of focus, and possible burnout.

More than that, your health may suffer and eventually you’ll reach a crisis point where you’re forced to take time off simply to regain your health, let alone enjoy life.

No matter how busy you may be Coach, taking breaks where you completely separate yourself from your work during the day will help to your clear head and will rejuvenate your mind – usually resulting in increased productivity.

Many studies have revealed that workers who take breaks are dramatically more productive during the day as opposed to those who do not. After a break these studies show that your performance levels increase dramatically so that you can tackle tasks again with renewed vigor and finish them accurately. Mistakes are also made more when you do not refresh your mind and body.

Stephen Covey, the best selling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989), has dedicated the final segment of his book to the subject of rest and rejuvenation. In his last chapter, titled “Principles of Balanced Self-Renewal,” Covey illustrates the importance of regular regeneration with the story of a man who exhausts himself trying to cut down a tree with a dull saw. “Taking time to sharpen the saw” he calls the seventh habit, which “surrounds the other habits [...] because it is the habit that makes all others possible.” Taking enough time to renew our strengths and resources is necessary to preserve and enhance the greatest asset we have, ourselves, Covey says.  This does not only include our physical health, but also our emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being. Obviously, they are all intertwined and dependent on each other.

There are two break times that I am going to encourage you to take: Daily and every 90 days.

Schedule regular breaks into your busy day
In the morning when you are planning your day, schedule a 15 minute break time every 45-60 minutes to get up and move around.  It doesn’t have to be much, but you have to break your attention to keep your attention.  It is like refreshing your browser every 45 minutes.  These mental and physical breaks are appointments you make and keep with yourself that will allow you to perform consistently at higher levels throughout the course of the day
I would highly encourage some moving and stretching exercises to get your blood flowing. If you work mostly inside with no windows to open like I do, you should go outside for a little sun and fresh air. Go get some water, eat a healthy snack, go to the bathroom, etc.  Whatever you decide to do during this time, the point is to completely break away from what you were working on for a few minutes to clear your mind and rejuvenate your body.

Every 90 days, take a vacation
Every three months, go completely off the grid and take a break from your email, your phone, and from social media.  You can go somewhere different or just stay home but the point is to get away from work for a few days to physically and mentally rest and rejuvenate.  To confess something to you: As I am writing this article, I have been at my parent’s home in MN for the last 2 days.  I have been swimming in the neighbors pool with my 2 year-old, taking long walks, gone to a few garage sales, watched a  movie, but mostly we have sat out on the deck and relaxed watching the ducks in the pond behind my parents house.  I am very aware that I have a lot of unanswered emails, and some work is piling up, but I wouldn’t give away these rest days for the world.  After a couple of days resting, I am always amazed at how much more motivated I am to get back to work.  My focus is better, my energy is renewed, and I get 10 times more work done in the office right after I have come back from one of my mini vacations.

Coach, taking extra time off renews your energy and gives your body and mind much needed rest. When you do take this time off, you will find that you use your time more wisely when you are at work.

12 Ways to Evaluate the Recruiting Phone Calls You’re MakingMonday, July 2nd, 2012

When it comes to recruiting phone calls, I find coaches either love them or hate them.

Regardless of which group you fall into, very few coaches adequately analyze the content of their recruiting phone calls to teenage prospects, and determine what they could do better the next time.

To help coaches get over that hurdle, I’ve developed a list of twelve key areas of solid recruiting phone calls.

Walk through the list, and ask yourself the question I’m throwing out to you in each question:

  1. Did you make your prospect feel wanted? How?  Could you prove it if you had to?
  2. Did you tell your prospect why you’re seeing them as someone that might be a good fit for your program? That’s one of the key things that our research says they’re wondering about as you begin contacting them.
  3. Did you keep your initial phone call short and to the point? Or, did you drag it out and spend a lot of time bragging about your program?  If you did spend a lot of time selling your program, you risk boring your prospect and causing them not to remember the key details and selling points that you want them to.  There’s time for selling, but it’s not at the beginning of the phone call process.
  4. Did you give them the chance to ask questions? You need to create specific space in each call dedicated to making sure your prospect can open up and respond to your questions, and ask questions of their own.
  5. Did you make them laugh? If you didn’t, research shows that you failed to engage one of the primary ways we connect with each other (that includes you, and your recruit).
  6. Were you able to get any missing information that you needed? Stuff like their parents’ email address, missing sports info, etc.?  Make sure you do that the next time.
  7. Did you ask them who else they are hearing from?
  8. Did you tell your prospect why you needed them to come to campus soon? And, if they indicated that they might be open to that, did you nail down a specific month and week that you could talk about reserving for their trip to your college?
  9. Did you ask your prospect what they see as the next step in the process? This is a biggie, Coach.  When we begin work with coaching staffs, one of the first question that we often help with is determining where each of their prospects is at in the recruiting process.  One of the easiest things I can recommend doing is…are you sitting down?…here it is:  Ask them.
  10. Did you remember to send a follow-up email or text message to your prospect after you talked to them? Did you know that the vast majority of your recruits wonder if you “liked” them after the call, and would love to hear feedback from you?  Now you do.
  11. In that email, did you ask a question so that you could have a safe relationship-building message exchange this week? If the answer is no, you’re missing an effective way to get them comfortable with the idea of talking to you.
  12. If you are at the point where you see them on your team, and know that they’ll be an impact player for you, did you ask them if they felt like they were ready to commit? Most coaches would answer “no” to that question, and that’s o.k….that kind of direct approach often goes against the gut instinct that coaches like to rely on.  Just realize, many prospects want the process over and done with and will be interested in an offer or opportunity with your program.  And, the recruits that we conduct focus groups with consistently say that when a coach asks them for a commitment, it tells them two important things:  First, there is no doubt that they are wanted by that coach and program.  Second, it’s a great justification for them to schedule a visit to campus; if there’s an offer on the table, even if they weren’t interested before, that fact usually compels them to seriously consider coming to campus to talk to you about it.

Is that an exhaustive list?  No.

But it is a list of the most common things that we would love to hear coaches talk about with their recruits.  Why?  Because if a coach covers each of the thirteen areas that I just listed, it almost guarantees them of being the most interesting coach that is calling them.

If that’s your goal, you now have a research-based checklist to work from as you get ready for the next round of phone calls that are coming up.

Did you know that one of the things we offer our clients is ongoing review and training for their phone calls sessions with recruits?  We love helping our clients win on the phone.  If you’re wondering what being a client is all about, email Dan Tudor directly at dan@dantudor.com for a complete overview of the program we’ve developed for college coaches.

 

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