Dan Tudor

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Are You Understanding What Your Prospects Are Thinking?Friday, August 31st, 2012

Let me start with telling you something you probably (hopefully) already know:

Your prospects think differently than you do. I point this out because a surprising number of coaches that I talk to don’t realize it, and it’s killing their chances at being effective recruiters.

As a college coach, you get really concerned with your facility, your field, your court, and other “stuff” as you build-out your recruiting story for your prospects.  It needs to be bigger, better, and more modern to get the best athletes, right?  And, you need more money, too.  Otherwise, you can’t get the best recruits to come to your campus.

Wrong. In the majority of cases, that kind of thinking is flat-out wrong.

I can tell you that with 100% certainty because we’ve had the chance to personally interview hundreds and hundreds of your student-athletes over the years.  They’ve told us how they make their final decision, and what matters most to them.  And in the end, if you look at the data, it’s obvious that your prospects have different priorities than you do.  They value things differently than you do.  They think differently than you do.

Here are some of the most common examples:

  • They think how you treat them and communicate with them is more important than what your weight room looks like. Personal relationships rank higher than the stuff you have on your campus, time after time.
  • They think the way your team treats them during their campus visit will tell them if your campus makes them feel wanted. If your team doesn’t make them feel welcome, the prospect will almost NEVER sign with your school.  You can take that to the bank, Coach.
  • They think their parents are very important to the decision making process. This generation have given their parents the power to act as manager and agent.  If you aren’t recruiting the parents at the same time you recruit the athlete, you are making it harder on yourself than you may realize.
  • They think that you talk too much during your phone calls. Nothing personal, Coach, but if you’re doing most of the talking during a half-hour phone call with a prospect, you aren’t doing anything to help you in signing that prospect.  More time talking does not equal more interest from the prospect.
  • They think your letters and emails that promote your school are too bland, and too much about you. Most coaches start selling their school and their program (and themselves) way too soon in the process, without establishing a relationship first.
  • They think it’s great when you talk to them consistently. Don’t spill everything out at once.  Use a slow drip method to communicate.  A little bit at a time, time after time after time.  And like I just mentioned, make it more about getting to know them rather than selling yourself right away.
  • They think its GREAT when you write them personal, hand-written letters and post cards.
    They’ll read every word of a hand-written note you send to them.  They understand that hand-written notes take more of your time, which they think means you put a higher value on them than other recruits.
  • They think you give them too much to do during a campus visit. Cut out some of the meetings with department heads (if you were 17, would you really want to meet a department head?).  Cut out the non-stop meetings that rush them from place to place.  They think it would be great if you would slow down the pace of the visit and let them spend more time getting to know you and your team in a relaxed setting.

Are there exceptions to these rules?  Sure.  But I’ll guarantee you that more of the majority of the prospects you are recruiting, this is what they are thinking.

So now that you know what they’re thinking, let me throw out the big question: How does it change the way you will communicate with them and recruit them?

Here are some quick tips:

  • Simplify your communication with them.  Be more direct and to the point.  That’s what they want.
  • Along with simplifying your communication, develop a plan to communicate consistently and effectively.
  • Make it personal and focused on them.  Make it less about you and your school, especially as you begin to communicate with them.
  • Overhaul your campus visit.  Make it shorter and more relaxed.  Give them more time with your team, less time with Professor Schnizlehoeffer in the English department or the grumpy lady in admissions with the 45-minute PowerPoint presentation.

Now’s the time to start matching your communication with what your prospects are thinking, Coach.  Once you do, recruiting is going to get a lot easier.


 

What Your Prospects Want to Hear From You on September 1stFriday, August 24th, 2012

Every September 1st, most college coaches “officially” start to recruit their next class of Juniors.

And the question on every recruiter’s mind is the same:

“How do I make an incredible impression on the recruits that I really want to be a part of my program?”

Making that first impression is something you don’t get a second chance at, so here are some things to keep in mind as you begin communications with your Junior recruits.  And I’m not just talking about letters and emails that you’ll be sending out soon.  Your follow-up ongoing communication over these next few weeks will be almost equally – if not more – important.  Why?  Because they’re looking for who contacts them consistently early on…it’s an indicator of who seems to be serious.

So hear you go, Coach…here are the six things your prospects want to hear from you on September 1st (and every week on a regular basis) when you are communicating with them:

 

  • Be specific in what you tell them. Our study on how today’s prospects make their final decision tells coaches that today’s prospects value specific information about them, or about your program.  What did you like about them specifically? What do you see as the fit for them in your program specifically? What are you looking for specifically? Those are the questions that you need to answer for your prospect early on.
  • Don’t oversell yourself. Kids today can sniff out a fake more quickly than they can bang-out a text message to their BFF.  Be straight-forward and genuine.  One other thing: Take it easy on the statistics about your college, details about your conference, and what the geography around the school is like.  Those are some of the “boring” topics that they are most likely to gloss over as they read your initial recruiting messages.
  • Keep it brief. Long messages right out of the gate are most likely to be ignored, and that’s not what you want on the first day that you make contact with them.  Keep it short, sweet and to the point.  Tell them how you found them, why you like them, and what their next step should be in the process (in other words, how they should respond to you).
  • Have a call to action. That’s what gets them to respond to you!  You need to tell them what to do, and how to do it.  Open the door in the language of your communication to guide them towards what they should do next as a “next step” in the process.
  • Create curiosity. In our recruiting workbooks for college recruiters, we talk about the importance of making your prospect leave your message with unanswered questions, especially early in the process.  You want to create curiosity and prompt them to want more interaction from you…something that makes them want to go to the next step in their communication with you.  Ask yourself, “Are we creating curiosity in the way we talk to our new recruits?”  (Hint: Curiosity is not built by more information about you and your college, it’s done by giving them less information).
  • Tell them what to do next. This goes back to the “call to action” concept I mentioned a moment ago, Coach.  Want them to call or email you?  Tell them that, very clearly.  Tell them when to call, and let them know what you want to talk about.  Want them to reply to your email?  Be crystal clear and instruct them on what you want back from them.

Communication with your prospect should result in one thing, especially at the start of the recruiting process at the beginning of a new recruiting cycle: A response from your prospect!  Your specific goal over the next few weeks should be getting them to talk with you via email or phone.

To do that, the six things we just outlined are a good start to creating effective communication with your recruits, whether its the 1st time they are hearing from you or the 21st time.  Simply changing the tone of your messages can change the number of prospects you end up hearing back from this year, and get you off to your best start ever with a new recruiting class.

Note:  If you are a client of Tudor Collegiate Strategies, and you need help creating or updating your first contact messages, contact us immediately so we can do that for you in plenty of time for your first contact messages to be sent to this next class of recruits.

Want to know why our clients win more recruits and have stronger recruiting classes?  Click here.

 

Finally! A College Coach Specific Time Management SystemMonday, August 20th, 2012

by Mandy Green, University of South Dakota

I’ve taken all of the best time-management systems and tips on the market, and have synthesized them all into the Green Time Management System for College Coaches.

I don’t know about you coach, but I have tried a lot of different planners and time management techniques over the years. The biggest issue I have found is that there are no coaching specific planners out there. Nothing where I could keep track of all I needed to do: my recruiting and practice plans, to-do lists, phone calls, recruiting opportunities, meeting plans, and official visits—all in one place.

Finally, I stopped looking and decided to create my own calendar.

The calendar system that I have created and am about to share with you has evolved over my 14-year coaching career. I’ve created a goal-based, time-management system that has allowed me to be more effective with all of my recruiting tasks, my team, and my administrative responsibilities.  Because I am so much more efficient in the office since putting these techniques into practice, I now have more quality time and energy to go home and be a wife and mother.

2012 Green Time Management Planner for College Coaches

This is a college coach specific day planner that allows you to streamline and keep track of all you need to do for the year, month, week, and each day. This planner will help you organize and prioritize your projects and tasks, plan your week so you get your most important work done first, and help you keep track of your recruiting and practice plans, to-do lists, phone calls, recruiting opportunities, meeting plans and official visits—all in one place.

Inside the Green Time Management Planner for College Coaches you’ll find forms, checklists, logs and information sheets for:

  • Yearly Goal Setting Form
  • 2012, 2013, 2014 Yearly Calendars
  • Airline, Car, and Hotel Toll-Free Numbers
  • 2012 Expense Forms
  • Car Mileage Forms
  • Monthly Goal Setting Page
  • Monthly Goal Setting Tracking Forms
  • Monthly Master To-Do List
  • Monthly Recruiting Tracking Forms
  • Monthly Progress and Reflection Pages

On the Daily Pages you will be able to:

  • Schedule your appointments and track your time
  • Keep track of your daily To-Do List
  • Write out your Practice Plan
  • Make meeting and additional notes
  • Keep track of your recruiting calls
  • Keep track of your official or unofficial visits for the day

2012 Green Time Management Workbook for College Coaches

Being more productive in the office often comes down to having a good, clear system. You need to be able to capture, organize, prioritize, plan and take action on all of your projects, tasks and activities each day. The Green Time Management Workbook for College Coaches is a combination of the best and most useful time management techniques out there and is made specifically for college coaches. This system that I have created will help you execute and get things done more consistently. It will lead to predictable results and valuable feedback that you can use to make improvements. The action exercises in the workbook will help you develop your own personalized coaching productivity system. It will help you understand the principles that make it work, and find the right tools to help you implement it. This book will show you practical strategies, techniques, and tools that can help you do your work more quickly, effectively, and efficiently. Therefore, helping you make your vision and goals a reality.

In the Green Time Management Workbook for College Coaches you will:

  • Learn about the time management mistakes you may be making now
  • Through action exercises, you will develop a clear picture of your vision and goals
  • You will learn how to map out your coaching, team, and recruiting plans for the year
  • You will learn how to schedule your day so that you have the time you need to work on your top priorities

Once you are clear about what you want and your plan is in place, you will be in control of your time. This will help you be less stressed and a little more sane. Organizing your schedule and recruiting smarter isn’t rocket science. You can do some real simple things to start off the new school year more organized and effective. Are you ready to make some simple – and smart – changes to the way you manage your time and recruiting this year?

For more information, email Mandy Green at mandy@mandygreencps.com or to purchase the Green Time Management Workbook and Planner go to www.mandygreencps.com.

 


The “SW-9 Formula” for Recruiting Success – Part TwoMonday, August 20th, 2012

by John Brubaker, Author and Performance Consultant

Two weeks ago we published the first part of this article. Here is a quick look at Part 1 and the first 4 steps of implementing the SW-9 Formula for selling yourself to your recruits:

Whether you realize or not, as a recruiter you are in sales and the number one thing you are selling is yourself. A prospect needs to be sold on you before they are ever going to be sold on your program or university. Your sales are lost or gained long before you ever meet with the prospect to “close” them. The sale is first made to yourself.

Click here to read all of Part 1 and the first 4 steps to using the SW-9 Formula. The final 5 steps are detailed below.

Part 2 of 2


  • Stick With It: When faced with rejection remind yourself that a bend in the road is not the end of the road. Did you know that half of all sales people give up on a prospect after the first time they are told no? And another 30 percent give up after the second no. Interestingly enough, research indicates it takes five no’s by a single prospect to get them to say yes. By simply sticking with it you will outperform a majority of your competitors. Make it a game and think of the first several no’s a prospect tells you as being early in the game. Remember games are won in the fourth quarter; you just have to get to the fourth quarter to be in a position to win. Those fourth and fifth no’s take place in the fourth quarter so stick with it.
  • Stop Worrying:I encourage my clients to take up yoga or meditation as a way of eliminating worry and managing stress. They tell me “No way John, I can’t meditate”. In reality, they already are, as are most of us. Worrying is really meditating and focusing on the things we don’t want.  As a society we’ve gotten pretty good at focusing on what we don’t want, worrying about problems instead forming of solutions. Once you realize sales is all a numbers game you can let go of your worries and focus on solutions. Often times in our professional lives when we are experiencing what feels like the worst thing possible at that moment in time, it turns out to be the best thing that could happen to us. Remember it’s a bend not an end.
  • Someone’s Watching: Coaches want to see how resilient a player is after experiencing adversity, how much class or sportsmanship they demonstrate after a loss and how much humility they have when they are blessed with success, fame and fortune.  The same can be said for people watching you do your job. Observation does wonders for our self-awareness and behaviors. Take the approach of an athlete, they know recruiters, opposing coaches and agents are all watching to see how they respond to situations.  That someone watching might be your protégé, a potential prospect, your next potential employer, another recruiter or even your son or daughter. In this day and age of camera phones and social media it is not unrealistic to take the approach that you are always on camera. What do you look like on camera? Humble and hungry or like you are resting on your laurels.
  • Stay Well: You are not useful to your team or institution if you are not taking care of your physical and mental health. As physical educators you should have a keen awareness of mind, body and spirit. You are your own most important recruit and if you don’t take care of yourself you are limiting your effectiveness as a recruiter. This is particularly important in terms of your mindset. Keeping a positive mindset in the recruiting process is the ultimate competitive advantage for you and your program. Two great reasons to stay well:
    • Dr. Martin Seligman’s research on sales professionals found that positive, optimistic sales people outperformed pessimistic ones.
    • The Heart Math Institute discovered that positive emotions like appreciation and gratitude facilitate greater performance in athletes.
  • Swing Wisely: Working harder isn’t always the answer. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is but more often than not working smarter is the better approach. To win the recruiting battle you don’t have to be a lot better than your competition, you just have to be a little bit better. Using the analogy of baseball, what is the difference between a baseball player with a .250 batting average and a player with a .350 batting average? It’s more than 100 points.

It’s the difference between a Hall of Famer and an average player. It’s the difference between millions of dollars of salary and the league minimum. It’s the difference between endorsements & fame vs. obscurity. If you look at a 162 game season, where a player gets four or five at bats each game, the difference between .250 & .350 is only 1.7 hits a week.

It’s the little things that make a big difference on the field and in recruiting. Working hard and doing the little things right every day add up. Little things win big games, so swing wisely.

About the author:

John Brubaker is a nationally renowned performance consultant, speaker and author. Using a multidisciplinary approach, Brubaker helps organizations and individuals develop their competitive edge. Brubaker is the author of The Coach Approach: Success Strategies Out Of The Locker Room Into The Board Room and co-author of the book Leadership: Helping Others To Succeed.


Getting Your Prospect Ready to Be AskedMonday, August 13th, 2012

The headline may have caused you to do a double-take.

What do I mean “getting your prospect ready” to be asked?  Asked for what?

A commitment.  You may not have realized it, but the more you prepare your recruit to be asked or a commitment to your program, the more likely you’re going to get a favorable response.

There is actually a lot of psychological research to back-up the idea.

Coaches focus on preparing their athletes for all of the different phases of the recruiting process, so this concept is really no different than any other strategy we’ve suggested in the past.  However, I don’t think many coaches have thought about getting their prospect ready to say “yes” in the way we’re suggesting here.

The latest research on how best to accomplish the idea successfully was conducted by Polish professor Dariusz Dolinski, as reported in the latest issue of Neuromarketing:

The concept of asking for a small, easy to grant, favor in advance of a bigger request is often called the “foot in the door” technique. Past research has shown that when the initial request is more demanding, if a subject agrees to it then the probability of fufilling the second even more difficult request is higher. Of course, more complex or time consuming initial requests are likely to have a lower initial success rate.

Dolinksi used the “favor on the street” experiment often used in past research of this type. But, instead of a merely simple request, the experimenter asked the unwitting subjects to perform a task that was simple but unusual: to tie his shoe (offering the explanation of an injured back). The unusual tasks, even though simple and quick, had the same lift on on subsequent requests as more complex ones.

So, to persuade a customer to do something, consider starting off with a very simple but unusual request. You could try the same “tie-my-shoe” technique used in the research, but I’ll leave it to your imagination to come up with an approach that fits the individual situation.

If you buy into Dolinksi’s research, make the task as quick and simple as you can, just be sure it’s unusual or even a little startling. Then, some time after your prospect complies,ask for what you really want.

Here’s the take-away for recruiters who want to take this rather creative approach to getting their prospects ready to say “yes”:

  • Since it all revolves around getting your prospect to say yes to something you’re looking for them to do – a phone call, agreeing on a date to visit campus, or even – you don’t need to ask them for a favor in person.  Ask them to do something for you by email, or over the phone.
  • Ask for small favors often.
  • Use it as an indicator that they might be ready to respond to you positively.

While this might be a new technique for college recruiters to get their mind around, it’s a proven strategy in the business world.  Now, with new research that backs-up it’s effectiveness, you should feel comfortable trying it with your next group of recruits (when you’re ready to hear a “yes”, that is).

As you begin to recruit this next class of prospects, utilize the resources at www.dantudor.com.  Our resources – many of them free for college coaches – have helped guide recruiters towards their best classes ever, and make the recruiting process more manageable.  Let us help you be a better recruiter, coach!

Understanding the Recruiting Email Technology You UseMonday, August 13th, 2012

by Sean Devlin, Front Rush

Many recruiting and email applications will tell coaches when recruits are opening their emails, what links they are clicking, how many times they opened the email, if the email bounced or the user unsubcribed, along with some other bells and whistles. We often get asked how this stuff works when people use Front Rush or some of the other recruiting management products on the market, so we decided to explain the magician’s trick and walk you through the magic of email tracking.

So how does it work? Well, when an email goes out, the recruiting application adds a hidden image inside the email. This hidden image is commonly known as a “web beacon” and it does exactly that. When the email is received, and opened the beacon sends signals to the recruiting application, letting it know when the email was openened, how many times, if any links were clicked etc. This beacon is the workhorse behind the whole thing.

So what are the shortcomings? The issue with the hidden image is that if the recipient does not allow for images, or does not turn images on when they receive the email, the beacon is not actived (if you’ve ever received an email and your email client was asked you to “click here to enable images”). If the beacon is not activated, it can’t let the recruiting application know what is going on with the email. This eliminates one of the major legs of email tracking.

So how do you get around it?  (This is important, Coach!) The recruiting application can do a couple of things. First off, they can still track if links are clicked even if the beacon is not activated (I’ll save the technical reasons for another time). They also can improve the probably that when a recipient receives the email, that the images are automatically shown (this is the secret sauce of the recruiting application).

What about bounces? When an email bounces, the recruiting application gets a note back from the recipients email provider. This note will say something like “hey, this email address doesn’t exits” or “hey, this person’s inbox is full” or “hey, we are having some problems today, please send to us again later”. Typically, this will all happen in the background (automatically) so you don’t have to deal with it. Instead, you’ll get a signal somehow that says the last email to this person bounced.

Now you know, Coach!

When it comes to recruiting emails, Front Rush is the king.  They run the most reliable web-based system in the country, and are the #1 choice among college coaches who need reliable service and cutting-edge technology.  For more information, visit www.frontrush.com

 

The “SW-9 Formula” for Recruiting SuccessMonday, August 6th, 2012

by John Brubaker, Author and Performance Consultant

Part 1 of 2

Whether you realize or not, as a recruiter you are in sales and the number one thing you are selling is yourself. A prospect needs to be sold on you before they are ever going to be sold on your program or university. Your sales are lost or gained long before you ever meet with the prospect to “close” them. The sale is first made to yourself.

Prospecting, qualifying, rapport building, presenting and closing are all skills that take time to develop. No one is born to sell nor can you become an overnight success after simply taking a one day sales training seminar. What you can do to become a better recruiter immediately is to apply the SW-9 formula for recruiting success. It will help you make that first sale to yourself.

Management consulting guru Peter Drucker once said “If you can’t explain what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”  There is some real wisdom in this quote for performers in any profession whether you are a college coach, an NFL quarterback, or a financial advisor. There is a tremendous amount of research which indicates that sales professionals who utilize a sales process consistently outperform their counterparts who do not. (This is regardless of the specific type of process and regardless of industry.)

I strongly believe that any good sales process begins with an understanding of the nine S.W.’s of sales.

  • Some Will: No matter how poor a sales person you are someone will buy from you. Perhaps you have a unique opportunity they see as a tremendous value or your product (institution/program) offers the best fit. Regardless of how you feel you may have botched the presentation, call or visit; there is someone who will buy what you are selling.

  • Some Won’t: You can be a world-class sales professional (recruiter) and some won’t buy from you. What matters more than the fact that some won’t is how do you respond to rejection. Is it the end of the road or a bend in the road? Do you perceive a “no” as meaning never or as meaning next?  An answer of no is not the prospect rejecting you personally, it often simply means you have not given them a compelling enough reason to “buy”. Think of no not as a word rather think of it as an acronym. No really means N.O. or next opportunity. Be willing to move on to the next opportunity, embrace the next recruiting call, the next home visit, the next meeting with a high school coach, etc. The next opportunity may be the next call with that same recruit or it may mean moving on to another on your list. These are the bends in the recruiting trail that make the job exciting. After making a bad play, don’t you counsel your athletes to focus on the next play not that last one? Take your own advice, it is the next opportunity you have control over not the last one.  Focus on the things you can control. How do the best recruiters deal with the many S.W. #2’s they face? The unreturned phone calls, the unopened emails, the unresponsive high school coach, the blue chip prospects who say no to your offer. The best of the best take an S.W. #3 approach to rejection.
  • So What: The best approach to rejection is to have what my colleague, sports psychologist Dr. Adam Naylor calls “intentional amnesia”. Great athletes have long term memories for success and very short term memories for failure. Great salespeople do the same. They don’t personalize rejection or objections. Instead they view them as feedback and an opportunity to improve.  In my role as a performance consultant, several years ago I determined that many of the best sales professionals I’ve worked with were competitive baseball players either back in high school or college. It makes perfect sense. Sales, like baseball or softball, is a game of failure and a game of averages. In baseball you will strike out way more times than you get a hit. A successful hitter will average three hits out of every ten at bats. Success is not measured by the individual at-bat, baseball is a long season and success is measured by the overall body of work or your batting average. Sales is the same way, it’s a game of failure where you are destined to face more rejection than acceptance.  You have to get a certain number of “no’s” in order to get to a yes. So why not embrace receiving a no with a so what mentality because it will move you closer to your next yes.  When asked what about what impact striking out had on him Babe Ruth responded “Every strike out brings me closer to my next home run.” You can take the same mentality in your recruiting. How? By realizing S.W. #4.

  • Someone’s Waiting: No matter what just happened, there is always another opportunity, another prospect, another appointment, another referral, another coach. When you leave the meeting, vent for a moment by letting ‘er rip with a nice big, loud four letter word….. N-E-X-T! Remember no is really an acronym for next opportunity; next prospect, next appointment, the meeting with the next coach. Psychologists have studied the power of both the primacy effect and the recency effect. It has been proven that primacy or being the first impression made, has a stronger effect than recency. Food for thought:  Are you the first coach to call that blue chip prospect on July 1st? Are you the first coach at their front doorstep to make the home visit?

Next week:  The final five  SW’s every coach needs to know when building a great recruiting approach.

John Brubaker is a nationally renowned performance consultant, speaker and author. Using a multidisciplinary approach, Brubaker helps organizations and individuals develop their competitive edge. Brubaker is the author of The Coach Approach: Success Strategies Out Of The Locker Room Into The Board Room and co-author of the book Leadership: Helping Others To Succeed.  He is also a featured speaker and consultant for Tudor Collegiate Strategies.

He is a graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and he also earned a master’s degree in personnel psychology from FDU. Brubaker has completed his doctoral coursework in Sport Psychology at Temple University.  www.coachbru.com

 

Six Strategies for Making the Most of Personal Recruiting VisitsMonday, August 6th, 2012

Whether it’s on your campus, or in their home, a personal visit is number one on your prospect’s list for determining if your program is the right one for them.  Our ongoing focus group research on campuses around the country rates the face-to-face communication you have with a prospect will determine what kind of chances you have at signing them to play at your school.

So, once you get in front of them, what’s your strategy?

What do you need to do to prepare for the visit, and make sure that its successful in leading the athlete seriously committing to your school?

Here’s a list of seven things you need to make sure you have as you head to your face-to-face meeting with the prospect you really want to sign for this upcoming class:

1. Print out their personal and athletic information as you develop your strategy. Google your prospect’s name, as well as their parents names.  Look them up on Facebook, and see if they have a Twitter account.  Many coaches, in an effort to get an idea of what the family’s financial situation is, look up house values on zillow.com.  Get all of his or her information in one place – what you’ve printed from the web, the questionnaire that they filled-out, the transcript…everything.  If you use a recruiting web management tool like Front Rush, you can organize all of these documents for each athlete online, as well.  Go in prepared with everything you can find on them.  These are the pages that frame your ideas for how your your program are best for your prospect.  Use this info to create an individual approach for each prospect.

2. Be prepared to find out, and talk to, the real decision makers. Just because you’re talking to the prospect doesn’t mean you are talking to the primary decision maker.  If you are a Division III coach,  I can guarantee you that in most cases, the parents are heavily involved in making the final decision (after all, they are paying for it!).  Are you a Division I coach?  Guess what: The parents are heavily involved in that decision, too.  It might be their dream to have all those travel teams and club practices pay off with a big D1 scholarship.  My point is this: Make sure you get a personal meeting with EVERY decision maker involved.

3. Come up with at least five non-sport questions to ask your prospect. Be curious, and show them that you’re really interested in digging in to what makes them tick beyond athletics.  For example, you might ask “What kind of schedule do you have to keep focused on to earn a 4.2 grade point average?”  Or, “How in the world did you have time to volunteer at a hospital and also play three sports?”  Be amazed in front of them, and make it all about them. This will give you an opportunity to create meaningful dialog with the prospect and – more importantly – connect with them in an area beyond just sports.

4. Have two ideas that the prospect will benefit from. Something that they’ll get that’s meaningful for them by signing with your program.  Most coaches ignore this aspect of their recruiting conversations with prospects, and don’t bring enough ideas to their recruits. If you bring an idea to your on-campus meeting or visit to their home, it shows you’ve prepared, and it shows you have genuine interest in helping them with big picture ideas.

5. Bring your laptop or iPad, and make sure it has Internet capability. This gives you the ability to access any information you need in seconds.  Sounds basic, I know, but a laptop computer should be part of your aresenal for any home visit.  “But my school doesn’t provide me with a free laptop or tablet.”  Then plan on purchasing your own.  This is your coaching and recruiting career, and it’s your responsibility to give yourself the tools you need to be successful.  If you don’t have one already, get a laptop, iPad or other type of tablet and start using it to help you be a dominant recruiter.

6. Have written or video testimonials to support EVERY claim you make about your program. Keep those testimonials handy on your laptop or tablet. This will enable you to show and PROVE, not just show and tell. Video testimonials are easier than ever: You don’t need expensive equipment, and you don’t have to be a technology expert to put together a great personalized view of your program through they eyes and words of your current team.  Having other people back-up your claims in their own words.  It’s powerful, Coach.

Can I wrap-up this list by telling you what your overall goal should be for a personal visit with your prospect?  Here it is, Coach:  Show them the value in your program, not the sales pitch as a college recruiter. Be prepared to show the recruit how they gain and succeed from committing to your school.

Looking for more resources as a serious college recruiter?  We’ve got a number of resources that have proven to be helpful tools for coaches.  Visit our online resource center here.

 

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