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Are You Creating the Right Kind of Urgency?Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

by Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services 


The topic for this week’s article is the result of a recent phone call I had with an admissions counselor who also happens to be a frequent reader of this newsletter. She reached out to me looking for ideas on how to create urgency and not pressure with her admitted students.

Her fear was that she was pressuring many of her undecided students too hard and that was having a negative effect on both future conversations (i.e. getting them to continue to engage with her) and the final decision. All she wanted to do, she told me, was to remind those students how much her school wanted them and to see when they felt they would be ready to make a decision.

Does any of this sound familiar? It’s a common challenge for admissions counselors, which is why I want to spend a few minutes today talking about some easy things that you can do to correct your approach if you’re facing a similar problem.

Let me start by saying that both Dan (Tudor) and I continue to see a lot of colleges and universities really push their internal timelines on prospective students, which in many cases creates bad pressure that ends up driving some of them away.

When you push a deadline on someone without having a prior discussion about it, it almost always comes across as you pressuring that person and creating an atmosphere of you versus me. That could include saying something like, “I need an answer by (insert date).” Now, I’m not saying that you won’t get students to deposit when you do it that way, but I would argue that your chances for melt significantly increase.

I talk a lot about being a partner in the college search process with a student/family because there is strategy and psychology behind that approach. You create the right kind of urgency by setting clear, long-term timeline expectations for the prospect as early as possible in the process.

For example, as you start to have early conversations with high school juniors in the coming weeks, I want you to help those students build out the next 8 to 10 months and what that will look like. It doesn’t have to be exact, and it’s okay if together you edit that timeline at some point. Just make sure that both you and the student/family are in agreement on the timeline. I would even go so far as to ask them after you build it out if they’re in agreement with everything you’ve discussed.

And if you’re near the end of the process and you haven’t built out a timeline with one of your undecided seniors, I would strongly encourage you do so immediately. You could talk to them about the timeline goals of your office, and ask what they feel is needed before a final decision about your school can be made.

Let me add one more thing. If a student isn’t willing to build out a timeline with you, I would start to question just how serious they are about your school and ask a few targeted follow-up questions.

Remember, it’s about the way they want this process to go, not the way you need it to go.

So, in addition to building out those clear, long-term timelines, here are four other very simple things you can do to create the right kind of urgency.

  1. Explain the WHY behind the urgency. Help the student/family understand why it’s in their best interests to keep the process moving forward. Give them logical reasons such as additional stress and having to complete multiple tasks in a much shorter timeframe.
  2. Ask them what big question marks still remain. This is particularly useful late in the process with admitted but undecided students. Go ahead and ask the student, or his or her parents, “What are the big question marks in your mind about our school that are making it tough to make a decision?” I’m not about to tell you I know what answer you’re going to receive because the reality is this could go off in a number of different directions. Whatever feedback they give you, analyze it and deduce if this is an objection that you can overcome or if the student is just having a hard time telling you “no.” You could also ask something like, “On a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of being close to making a decision, where are you at?” If they tell you they’re at an 8, then get them to verbalize why they’re an 8 and what they see as the final stumbling blocks or question marks.
  3. Talk about their next steps and be a problem solver. Building on #2, take the feedback you receive and come up with a solution for them or at least the next step. You could also tell the student you’re thinking it might be helpful for them to talk to someone who was in the same position recently (i.e. one of your freshmen) and faced a similar challenge. Ask them if making that connection that would be helpful…most will say “yes.”
  4. Use the right words and phrases in your recruiting communications. There are plenty of words and phrases that you can use in your emails, letters, and text messages to help you create urgency. They include – Fast, quick, close, soon, approaching, deadline, never, and don’t miss out. Each one of these will cause their mind to think urgently over time.

Was this article helpful? I’m always interested in hearing what you think. And, if you have a question about urgency or any other aspect of student recruitment, let’s start a conversation (or at least get one scheduled on the calendar). All you have to do is reply back.

P.S. Have you seen #TiersTalks on Twitter? I started it in 2018 as a way to give you a behind the scenes look throughout the week at key themes and insights from conversations I have with admission and EM professionals (including when I lead a workshop). You can check it out here.

Sister Jean Isn’t a Good Luck Charm, She’s a StoryMonday, March 26th, 2018

Sister Jean isn’t a good luck charm.

The nun who prays and cheers at every Loyola University-Chicago men’s basketball game didn’t become the focus of the 2018 NCAA Tournament because of ‘luck’. She doesn’t think so, and I don’t think so.

She became the focus of the tournament because someone told us about her in the form of a story. (And a best-selling bobblehead didn’t hurt, either)

That’s normal, by the way. The media covering any event is always looking for interesting, compelling or inspiring stories associated with the sporting event itself, because they want to make it more than just about the game. It makes for entertaining television. The 2018 tournament has become all about the story that nobody wants to stop talking about: Sister Jean.

The thing is, how this whole story unfolded (and stuck) offers some pertinent lessons for college coaches. For years, we’ve preached that telling your recruit a story is one of the key aspects to getting them to seriously consider you as one of their options. When I make the case that Sister Jean isn’t a good luck charm, that wasn’t a knock against her as a person, and the inspiration she provides her university’s team. I’m pointing out that she has been made a central part of an inspirational story we’ve told ourselves about the team, their amazing run, and the role she plays in the story that has evolved around the team’s play in the NCAA Tournament.

So if I were going to give you a roadmap of how you should tell that story, there’s no more perfect example than the story of Sister Jean.

You have to decide to tell your story. It starts there. The reason most recruiting plans don’t work? Nobody tells your story. Coaches most often revert to a list of statistics, facts and data that they relay to their recruit. Worse yet, most coaches stop telling their story way too early in the process, thinking (mistakenly) that once they actually begin speaking one-on-one with their recruit, they don’t need to continue telling their story. That’s an incorrect assumption that has cost coaches more than they know. Make a decision to tell your program’s story, tell it beginning sooner rather than later, and keep going.

There’s always more to tell. Like I mentioned, Sister Jean now has a popular selling bobblehead. Word is, she’s been a ‘thing’ all around the Loyola-Chicago campus for years. She regularly prays with students, and her pre-game blessing on the team her college is about to play includes her exclusive who-to-watch list for the other team.

My point is this: You can’t just tell one aspect of your program’s story. Just like Sister Jean’s story, your program has a lot of layers to it. In one exercise we regularly take athletic department coaching staffs through during our On-Campus Recruiting Workshop, we have coaches take one of their top objections they face in recruiting, and turn it into part of their positive story. Each campus is different, of course, but most staffs come up with eight or more topics, or answers, to the objection that they were convinced was going to stop them from getting the athletes they want – usually in a matter of two or three minutes. Don’t tell just one story, and don’t think for a second that I’d accept an excuse that ‘our program just doesn’t have that much going on.’ You do.

Look for the emotional connection. Just like Sister Jean at Loyola-Chicago, your program’s ’emotional connection’ might just be something simple that you experience every day on campus. That connection could be right under your nose. When you’re telling your story, ask yourself what the emotional connection is when you are about to write your message to your prospects. I’m not saying you need one every time (Loyola-Chicago does actually play basketball games, and they have to outmatch their opponents, and win the game…that’s factual and practical, not emotional) but it does require you focus on a central theme that ties into your recruit’s emotional motivation for putting you on their list and, ultimately, choosing you.

We look for emotion in today’s culture as a way to assign value to what we want to align ourselves with. Whether its a political cause, what brand of coffee you drink, or whether your favorite team has a 98-year old nun cheering and praying for your team. Emotion draws us towards something. The lack of emotion causes us to lose interest.

That’s bad for television ratings, and it’s bad for recruiting.

Sister Jean isn’t good luck. She’s a great person, with a big heart, and a great story.

Looking for creative ways to weave your unique story into your outgoing message to recruits? Make plans on attending this summer’s National Collegiate Recruiting Conference. You will be treated to some of the most creative ideas available, and come away with a new sense of mission and purpose when it comes to telling your story the right way to your next class of recruits. Click here to get all the information, and to register!

Recruiting Reminders From the NCAA TournamentTuesday, March 20th, 2018

by Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services 


A historic upset. Check. Buzzer beaters. Check. A 98-year-old nun becoming famous. Check. And friends of mine tearing up their brackets and uttering some choice words after a weekend that could only be described as complete madness. Check, check, and check.

If you’re like most people, you probably found yourself glued to a TV at some point last week between Thursday and Sunday watching this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament. I’m not going to lie. I spent almost the entire weekend with family and friends flipping back and forth between the four CBS/Turner channels.

While taking in all the action, some very important lessons and recruiting reminders for college admissions professionals surfaced. So, throughout the weekend I grabbed my MacBook Pro and jotted down a bunch of reminders just for you. Here they are:

Take the time to come up with better questions. So many sideline reporters are great at asking questions that produce the right answers. By “right,” I mean the correct answer that a smart, student-athlete or coach should give. Their answer won’t make any waves, will let them go on to the next question, and continue on until the end of the interview. This also describes many of the conversations that admissions professionals have with prospective students. If you don’t go deeper and think bigger with your questions you’re going to get a standard, vanilla answer. The problem with that is, you don’t really learn anything new about your prospect, and the end result is you aren’t able to move the process forward. I want you to ask questions that require extra thought, which then will produce insightful answers.

Lesser-known schools can and will beat bigger name brands. This happens every year in the NCAA tournament. Why? A big reason is a lot of the smaller schools have players on their team who had the opportunity to pick a well known, bigger name school during the recruiting process. The reasons why they didn’t vary, but when a coach (or in your case, you or your admissions colleagues) offer consistent, personalized messaging that creates connections and explains why your school is the smarter choice based on the student’s wants/needs, it won’t be an automatic loss when you go head to head with a bigger name school. Far from it.

The importance of social listening. The UMBC Athletics Twitter account had approximately 5,000 followers prior to Friday’s game against Virginia. 72 hours later after their historic upset, and a close loss in the second round, that number stands at just under 110,000. Social listening gives you the ability to take all those new conversations and followers and develop important insights and opportunities for engagement.

This generation values authenticity. A lot more people know who Zach Seidel is today. In case you’re not one of them, let me explain. Zach was in charge of the UMBC Athletics Twitter account during the NCAA tournament. Part of the reason their follower count spiked so much were Zach’s genuine, down to earth, and at times quite humorous tweets. There’s an important lesson for you here. Zach’s tweets weren’t just a play by play of UMBC’s two basketball games. He did an outstanding job of both informing (sharing facts about UMBC) and engaging. His tweets were consistently authentic (silly, funny, and snarky), and that helped bring national attention to his school. Make sure your social media posts aren’t just a repeat of things on your website, and take the time to engage authentically with your followers.

Capitalize on big moments. In keeping with UMBC as our case study, from the end of their game last Friday to Sunday morning, the school’s bookstore store received about 3,500 online orders – almost as many as the total for the entire previous year. The school is also in the process of trying to trademark “Retrievers,” “Retriever Nation,” and “16 over 1” because they want to keep the conversation going long after the tournament ends. Leveraging attention and emotions immediately after any successful event is vital. Create powerful content (storytelling) with the help of videos and photos that is relevant, helpful, shareable, and drives action. You could also offer discounted or free merchandise to show your appreciation.

People are your secret weapon. If you don’t work at Loyola University Chicago, you probably didn’t know who Sister Jean Dolores-Schmidt was before last Thursday. She’s the 98-year-old team chaplain who has since become one of the faces of this year’s NCAA tournament. Long after this year’s tournament ends many of us won’t remember the score of a particular game, but we will remember people like Sister Jean because of her spirit and passion for her team…plus it’s hard to forget a 98-year-old nun. On your campus you have one or more people like Sister Jean (aka micro influencers) who are memorable and can help you make emotional connections with prospective students and families. It could be current students, faculty, staff, or your alumni. It might even be someone who lives in your surrounding campus community. Make it a priority to find those people and tell their unique stories. This generation of students continues to make it clear that when a college representative can help them make a connection it’s extremely beneficial when it comes time to make their final decision.

Consistency matters from start to finish. Cincinnati led Nevada by 22 points with 11:37 remaining in the game. Then the Bearcats got comfortable with their big lead, and Nevada proceeded to outscore them 32 to 8, winning the game by two points. Consistency from start to finish is so important when it comes to winning in the NCAA tournament. Very few leads are truly safe. Similarly, just because your deposits are up or you’re ahead of your projections doesn’t mean the work stops or slows down with that group of students. Develop a melt plan that involves consistent communication to your committed students (and their parents) and continues to demand interaction until the day they arrive on your campus.

If you’ve got a question about this article, let me again remind you that I’m only an email, call, or text away. You can email me here or connect with me on Twitter at @CoachTiers

3 Ways to Be Exceptionally ProductiveMonday, March 19th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

The most productive people do a lot more than just stay busy.  Many coaches stay busy. After all, checking items off a to-do list isn’t hard.

What’s hard is checking the right things off your to-do list, completing the right projects, and getting the right stuff done. That’s when you go from busy to productive — and in the process become indispensable to your programs success.

Here are 3 things highly productive people do — and why that makes them so valuable:

1. They always start with goals.

Effort without a genuine purpose is just effort. Effective coaches don’t just have a strategic objective of what to do–they know why. They have a long-term goal. And they have short-term goals that support their long-term goals.

In short, they have a strategic purpose–and that purpose informs everything they do. That’s why remarkable people appear so dedicated and organized and consistently on-task. They’re not slaves to a routine or their to-do list; they’re simply driven to reach their goals and quick to eliminate roadblocks and put aside distractions that stand in their way.

When you are driven and prioritize your work in this way, you’ll find it’s easier to stay focused and be effective.

Even so, once they establish a goal, productive people don’t focus solely on that goal; instead …

2. Then they create systems.

As a coach, your goal is to build a successful program. Your system consists of your Step-by-step processes for recruiting, practices, operations, etc.

A goal is great for planning and mapping out what success looks like; a system is great for actually making progress through more efficient daily execution toward that goal.

Productive people know a goal can provide direction and even push them forward in the short term, but eventually a well-designed system will always win.

Everyone has goals; committing to a system makes all the difference in achieving that goal.

3. They let their goals make their decisions almost automatic.

Tim Ferriss described in a podcast how Herb Kelleher, the CEO of Southwest Airlines, makes so many decisions every day. Kelleher applies a simple framework to every issue: Will this help Southwest be the low-cost provider? If so, the answer is yes. If not, no.

Productive people apply the same framework to the decisions they make. “Will this help me reach my goal? If not, I won’t do it.”

If you feel like you’re constantly struggling to make decisions, take a step back. Think about your goals; your goals will help you make decisions.

That’s why productive people are so decisive. Indecision is born of a lack of purpose: When you know what you truly want, most of your decisions can — and should — be almost automatic.

Coach, I hope that it gets you thinking about how you are currently working and encourages you to tweak and keep tweaking until you find that magic zone where you crush every work day.  If you want to know more or even have me take you through this process, I invite you to check out my upcoming Win the Day Academy.  Click the link to learn more or go to www.busy.coach or email me at mandy@busy.coach.

Are Your Admits Giving You These “Buying Signals?”Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

by Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services 


It’s that time of year again for college admission professionals…aka crunch time.

Everybody has their list of admitted students who have yet to deposit, and if you’re like most, you’re trying to connect with those students and figure out if your school is at or near the top of their list.

Let me start there first. If you’re burning up the phone lines trying to reach these students and you’re getting the silent treatment, click this link for your answer why, as well as some ideas on what you can do to change that.

Now, let’s talk more about your conversations with those admitted, but undecided students. What really surprises me when I talk to admissions counselors is how few of them are actively looking for signs or “buying signals” from students. Instead, they’re waiting for the student to offer up a direct statement one way or the other as to where things stand. Because of that, they often miss the signals that students create, many of which are in the form of questions and statements.

I want you to be able to pick up on those signals as early as possible which is why we’re spending time on this today.

With years of research data collected on how prospects make their final decision, Dan (Tudor) and I have identified several reliable signals that are given by a student who is either extremely interested in your school or ready to deposit/commit.

Before I share that information with you, let me reiterate the importance of being an active listener in your day-to-day conversations. Listening is such an important skill for all of us. And as it relates to this topic, the better listener you become, the easier it will be to spot these “buying signals” that I’m about to share with you. Here they are:

  1. The parents reveal what’s going on behind the scenes. During conversations with you they share details about other colleges they’ve been talking to or anything else related to the process of making a decision on whether or not your college is the “right fit” for their child. We’ve found that in a lot of cases the parents take an overly active role at the end of their child’s decision-making process with colleges they’re seriously considering. This is yet another reason why it’s so important to establish early and consistent contact with the parents of prospective students.
  2. They ask questions about cost or your school’s financial aid processes. That could be direct questions about payment processes at your school or even comments wondering how they would afford the leftover cost at a school like yours. This also includes objections or subtle arguments about cost as well. Each one of those questions and comments (by students or parents) is a serious sign that they are actively trying to figure out how they can afford your institution. If your school is no longer a serious option they won’t invest the time and energy into debating with you. Again, students who aren’t seriously considering your school will rarely, if ever, bring up cost. Students trying to picture themselves at your school will always bring up cost.
  3. They ask about upcoming Admitted Student Day events or other opportunities to come back to campus. When they do this, this is their way of telling you that your school made the final cut. It’s an especially strong sign if they go out of their way and ask to see specific things or talk to specific people during such an event.
  4. They ask the same question multiple times or in multiple ways. If they ask you to repeat something that you told them earlier, or if a subject comes up a second or third time during multiple conversations with them you should strongly consider “asking for the commitment.” This is almost always a sign that they’ve been mulling over a decision that’s in your favor.
  5. They ask detailed questions about a specific aspect of your school. These questions are somewhat rare, so when you get one, I would recommend you accelerate the process to whatever the next step happens to be. It might be a question like, “What percentage of your undergraduate students end up doing their Masters program at your school?” Or, it could be a “How do I” question like, “How do I know what my final cost will be?” Students rarely ask positive questions like these unless they’re already picturing themselves as a student on your campus.
  6. They ask if you can connect them with a current student. Typically this means they’re looking for confirmation to make them feel good about a decision.
  7. They give you other verbal “buying signals.” Parents in particular are really good at this. During an admitted student day, campus visit, or phone conversation, listen for comments like “Wow, I didn’t know that.”  Or, “Great, that’s what I thought.”  Statements like those are signs that they’re engaged mentally with what you’re saying and what they’re seeing.
  8. They ask you what the next step is. When a person is ready to make a decision they often won’t wait for you to tell them what the next step is. They’ll just come right out and ask you something like, “So what would I do next?”

Speaking of next steps, the next step once you get one or more of these “buying signals” is to act on them right away. That action plan could include either what I’ve referred to before as a “trial close,” or if you get a really strong signal, your next step should be to ask them if they’re ready to deposit/commit. If this part of the process is something you need help with, email, call, or text me and we can set up a time to chat.

Beyond that, if you’re struggling right now with a specific subset of students, or you’re looking for ideas/strategies on a specific admissions/EM topic, go ahead and connect with me. The advice is free! I’m here to help you if you’re willing to ask me.

Good luck!

P.S. If you didn’t take the 1-minute survey that I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, please do that for me right now by clicking this link. Thanks so much.

We’re Good at ‘Now’, and That’s a Problem for RecruitersMonday, March 12th, 2018

Diets are hard.

I’m in o.k. shape, but I’ve gone through periods where I think to myself, “I can be in even better shape if I just watch what I eat, or skip a meal, every day for the next two or three months.

Things go fine at first, but after a week or two, I tend to struggle with the same thing most other Americans struggle with: The benefits that ‘might’ come later on just can’t compare to that piece of chocolate cake staring me in the face. And plus, lets be honest, celery doesn’t taste that good. Not good enough to wait ten years for the benefits of that sacrifice, anyway.

Same thing holds true for investing and saving. Turns out, most of us are horrible at it. So, we live for the now and trust in our future lottery winnings.

So, how does all of this relate to recruiting today’s student-athlete?

You’re in the same battle. But some of you don’t realize it.

Here’s what I mean:

When your athlete, and their parents, buy-in to the idea of competing for you and your program because of how it’s making them feel now, not the way it’s going to benefit them years – or even decades – from now. That’s a vitally important concept that every college coach needs to consider, because how you choose to embrace that idea I just laid out is going to drive the way you message your prospects moving forward.

At the core of it all is this question I’d want you to answer:

“How does my messaging to prospects, and their parents, need to change?” Because if they are making the decision based on how it makes them feel now, it calls into question the type of recruiting stories you should and shouldn’t tell them. Most people will move up all the perceived benefits and costs of something life a college education, or roster spot on your team, in the future. Instead, we do our best to try to experience them now.

Here’s what I believe that should mean to you when it comes to the messaging adjustment that needs to be made:

Understand that the parents often find it hard to define exactly what they’re “buying”. Even if you offer up full athletic scholarships – and especially if you don’t – parents are a part of the decision making process. Because they don’t get to personally experience what their son or their daughter does in college as a student-athlete, they usually need more definition from you as to what’s in it for them as a mom and/or dad. Coaches that fail to do that are finding parents reverting to the school that is the least expensive, the best brand that will get them approval from their fellow parents, or the school that is the closest to home. It’s critical for coaches to break through the parents’ natural tendency to focus on what feels good now, and make the case for your program’s benefits long term. If coaches don’t, they risk letting parents go the way of many in our population who give up their diets on a daily basis, and fail to save enough money for our future.

Understand that your prospects focus on the feeling you give them now, not (unfortunately) all of the logical reasons choosing your program and your college is going to benefit them in the future. Let me take a time out there, because it’s at this point where I get objections from coaches who just mis-read what I said, thinking that I don’t want you to give recruits all of the smart, logical reasons they should choose your program and school. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m encouraging you to work on giving them the best feeling possible as you are recruiting them, and when they are on campus. That’s how they are making the bulk of their decision. I’m not suggesting to you that it’s the smartest way to pick a college, but that’s how most do it.

Here’s the take-away I want you to leave with here, Coach:

Your prospects are largely making a decision about their future based on how they perceive that future is going to make them feel now.

The question now becomes, “how does your recruiting message need to change to account for this subtle psychological shift in the minds of your prospect and his or her family?” Because what we’re good at is ‘now’. And that has an impact on the types of recruiting messaging that actually works with this generation of recruit.

That’s a really important question that you need to work on answering.

Two Simple Ways Systems Can Eliminate Coaching StressSunday, March 11th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

I have made some of my biggest breakthroughs with productivity only after I created systems. 

Over the next few weeks, I will share with you some of the very simple, but effective systems that I am helping coaches create in my Win The Day Academy that you can create for yourself to help reduce the time it takes you to do things.     

Effective self-leaders in every profession have systems for just about everything from work activities like scheduling, follow up, entering data, and sending thank you cards, to personal activities such as sleeping, eating, dealing with money, cars, and family responsibilities.

Those systems make life easier, and ensure they are always ready to perform.   Here are three examples of basic systems (the third one being the ultimate game changer):  

Daily Attire— One thing that can actually make your life easier and your mornings far less stressful: planning your outfit for the day the night before. Sounds simple enough, but how many of us actually do this? Not only will you be able to look more stylish/professional because you’ll know ahead of time how your outfit will look, but it will leave you extra time to hang out with your family or sleep if you so choose if you plan accordingly.

To make it work, take a few minutes to look at your calendar to see what is on your schedule.  Lay out the night before everything you will need for work, working out, and practice.  It sounds simple, but that extra 15 minutes that you save every morning adds up over the course of the week.   

Travel— We travel a lot as coaches.  Collecting the items we need for every trip can be time-consuming, inefficient, and ineffective, especially if you tend to often forget things at home or in your office. 

For me, after the third time of forgetting the charger for my computer and having to spend another $75 for a replacement (ouch) or ask the front desk for a phone charger, razor, or a toothbrush, I’d had enough. I assembled a travel bag containing every single item I need for my trips, and now I can leave at a moment’s notice because my bag contains everything I need to be on the road— business cards, toiletries, adaptors and chargers for my phone and computer, even earplugs in case my hotel room neighbor is a noisy guest.

You’ll know you need a system when you have a challenge that is recurring, or you find you’re missing opportunities because you’re unprepared. If you’re walking out the door with just enough time to make an appointment only to discover you’re running on fumes, you need a system for getting out the door earlier: pack your backpack the night before, have your clothes already out and ready to go, set the coffee maker, get up earlier, etc.

Said another way, wherever you feel like you need to get your act together, you need a system. A life without systems is a life with unnecessary stress!  

If you want to see more systems that I create and even go through my Win The Day Group Coaching program where I help you systematize everything in your program, go to Win the Day Academy.

P.S. – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. What do you do to make time for recruiting? Email me at mandy@busy.coach. If you want more tips about how to save time with recruiting, go to my website at www.busy.coach. 

P.P.S.  If you have found this article helpful, please share it with your staff or other work colleagues!  Studying time and energy management over these last 8 years and applying it to my coaching and recruiting has been a game changer for me.  I am committed to helping coaches get more important work done in less time so more time can be spent with family and friends.  Thanks!

It’s Time to Tell You How I Got HereTuesday, March 6th, 2018

by Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services 


My plan was to finish up an article I started about the “buying signals” that undecided students put out around this time each year. Then, while waiting on my flight home last night from Boston, I read a thank you email from an admissions counselor, and I haven’t been able to get her words out of my mind. So, I’ve decided that it’s time to tell you how I got here…how I became (among other things) the guy that sends you this newsletter every single Tuesday.

I’m sharing my story with you now because the conversation I had with that admissions counselor at last week’s Indiana NACAC affiliate conference resulted in a “BIG aha moment” for her (her words not mine), much like a similar conversation did for me back in 1993. My hope is this article will do the same for somebody else who really needs it right now…maybe you.

When I graduated from high school in 1994, the plan was to attend University and become a teacher. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it was because my mom was a teacher. Or, maybe it was also because my outlook on life (specifically my mindset) changed in 1993 after a conversation I had with one of my high school teachers, Mr. Boichuk. Looking back over the years, it’s become clear to me that the conversation he and I had was a big aha moment that helped shape who I’ve become, what I’ve accomplished, and what I will accomplish over the rest of my professional career.

During my junior year of high school in 1993 I was really struggling to understand why I didn’t excel at certain things and why I hadn’t gained acceptance from certain peers. I was mentally beating myself up pretty badly. It all came to a head one day during a conversation with Mr. Boichuk, my history teacher. The gist of what he told me at the end of our conversation is as follows – You’re not going to be great at everything; Stop feeling sorry for yourself; Stop worrying about what you can’t do, and stop listening to people who tell you that you can’t do something; Focus on what you’re good at and figure out what you need to do to achieve what you want; You control your effort and your attitude…start believing it! I still remember that conversation like it was yesterday.

From that day forward it was a complete shift in mindset for me. I started believing in myself more. I stopped listening to people who told me I couldn’t do something, and I started really focusing more on what my strengths were, while also accepting my limitations. In short, I started to become self aware.

If you’re unhappy right now, or you want to move up the Higher Ed ladder like so many admissions professionals tell me they do, you may need to do the same. You may need to do a personal deep dive and become more self aware. That’s what I told the admissions counselor during our conversation in the conference hotel lobby last week after she shared with me that she felt she got passed over last fall for a promotion. In listening to her it quickly became clear that she was focused more on the past instead of looking in the mirror and considering that she might not be ready/have the skill set needed yet. Outside of being one of the more veteran counselors, I asked her to think about things she had done to prepare and position herself as someone who was ready for that opportunity.

When you truly become self aware, you’re able to more effectively manage your behaviors and emotions. The more you can do that, the easier it is to make real improvements that result in growth.

For me, the first big challenge came in 2004. I had played high school basketball but was always the last player to come off the bench and get into a game. After stumbling upon an opportunity to coach a high school all-star team at a summer event between my freshman and sophomore year of university, I decided that coaching was something I wanted to pursue further. I finished university and eventually made my way to Minnesota. After coaching at the high school level for five years (and working at that high school during the day), I felt I was ready to make the jump to the college level. Every single person outside of my immediate family and closest friends told me it would never happen because I didn’t play in college, let alone much in high school. Being self aware helped me to realize that even though I didn’t have the typical resume of most college coaches, what I did have and what I was really, really good at was being a genuine, caring person who could build relationships and connect on a personal level with both young people and adults. That ability coupled with my work ethic led me to develop thousands of relationships with all kinds of different people in basketball circles from the NBA down to the youth levels. The end result was an 8-year college coaching career that included helping recruit a young man who would eventually be named National Player of the Year; another who would become a school’s all-time assists leader; and I was a part of a Division II school’s win over a Top 25 Division I program.

Fast forward to 2014 and another opportunity presented itself simply because of a relationship I had built – Construct, manage and lead the college admissions division of Tudor Collegiate Strategies. It was a big challenge, but the opportunity to build something from the ground up and help people grow (like I had done in coaching) drew me in. For the first two years I was constantly told during my travels from vendors and others in the space that my chances of gaining any real traction were low. Some even went so far as to tell me that I was going to lose because I hadn’t worked directly in a college admissions office. But I knew deep down that I had a plan built on a tireless work ethic, patience, empathy, and the understanding of how to build and grow real relationships. Plus, I had gained a lot of knowledge from my time as a high school college and career advisor, and as a college coach I had worked closely with admissions offices at multiple schools.

Beyond that, I knew that there would be failures along the way, and I was okay with that fact. I was going to learn and grow from every single mistake.

The results continue to speak for themselves. Our company continues to grow at an incredible rate, and last year we helped multiple schools achieve record freshmen enrollment. Clients are seeing growth both as institutions and as individual admissions professionals.

I take great pride in what we’ve built to this point, but my fuel and the biggest thing that keeps me pushing forward and motivated every single day, is knowing that tomorrow I may have another opportunity to help someone else grow or maybe even help them have their big “aha” moment.

The feeling I got when I read that thank you email from that admissions counselor is hard to describe…it was just so exhilarating. It’s the same feeling I had in 2016 when an admissions counselor I didn’t know asked me to be his mentor after I finished leading a workshop, and it’s the same feeling I get every single time somebody thanks me for an article I wrote or tells me that they tried a strategy I recommended and it worked.

Again, the biggest reason I’m sharing my story today is to remind you about the importance AND the power of self awareness. We all have strengths and weaknesses. You need to be okay with yours, whatever they are. When you’re honest with yourself, who you are and where you are in life, and you’re willing to put in the work to get to where you want to be, you’re on the path to becoming the best you.

Please use this article as a reminder or as motivation to change. And if you’re already in a great place in life but you have a colleague or friend that isn’t, I encourage you to forward this on to them. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I really appreciate it!

If you’re interested in receiving my weekly admissions email newsletter where this article first appeared, all you have to do is send me a quick email that says “sign me up for your newsletter.” I’d love to have you join this growing community!

P.S. I thought you might enjoy this picture I took yesterday at sunrise during my flight to Boston.


The Secret to Writing Your Recruiting Messages FasterMonday, March 5th, 2018

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

As College coaches, we write a lot.  We write to juniors and seniors we are recruiting or have already committed, we write to parents, or we are writing to youth coaches who have players we want.

If you just sit down and try to come up with a brilliant message that will get opened, read, and returned, you may find yourself wasting a lot of time staring at a blank screen as you try to figure out what to write.

Also, if you don’t have a lot of experience writing recruiting messages or are not a very good writer, it can feel incredibly time-consuming.  But more importantly, if you don’t have a strategy or workflow, I have found it takes even longer. So what I want to do today is to share what I learned from Michael Hyatt, author of Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World.”

Michal Hyatt uses a 10 step process to write his blog posts quicker. I highly encourage you to try when you have to send out your next batch of recruiting emails. I know that it will help to speed up the recruiting writing process.

  1. Start writing the night before.  Come up with what you want to write about and then rough out the details. The idea is to just get the process started and then let it simmer in the background of your thinking as it sits in your subconscious  I’ve found that helps me so much. If I just sit down and try to write, I sometimes end up just being stumped, looking at a blank screen not knowing what to write about.
  2. Use your downtime to think. I want you to think about when you get your best ideas. Usually our best ideas happen when we’re relaxed. That’s why a lot of good ideas come to you in the shower and other places. By starting your recruiting message the night before, in your downtime until you actually write the email, you can purposefully be thinking about the next set of messages that you could send out.
  3. When it is time to actually write your recruiting messages, go offline. Put yourself in a distraction-free environment where your phone and email notifications are turned off.The thing that kills writing recruiting emails and turns a 30-minute process into a 7-hour process is when you’re allowing yourself to be bombarded by social media and other kinds of interruptions.
  4. Turn on some music to get into a creative mindset.  What kind of music will get you focused and creative?
  5. Give yourself a time limit and then set a timer. I have found this helps a lot to create more urgency and helps to keep me focused on the work at hand.
  6. Use a template. Writing recruiting emails can go a lot faster when you have a premade writing template that you are following.  By following a certain skeletal structure I’m not having to create that from scratch every time or having to guess what the flow of the email I am creating is going to be. For great ideas on what should go into your template, go to www.dantudor.com.
  7. Write without editing. Coaches can get stuck and it really slows them down if they’re editing as they go. Try to just write without interruption as fast as you can and just try to get it all out.
  8. Then go back and edit.
    1. Look to eliminate redundancy
    2. Try to eliminate complex sentences and make them simpler and more straightforward.
    3. Ask yourself if there is an easier or simpler way to say that or a simpler word to use?
  9. Add the pictures or links. We try to put in a lot of links to get recruits to keep going back to our website.  Or sometimes we use a lot of pictures to paint a picture of what it would be like to attend our school.
  10. Send to a colleague to preview. There are things they might pick up that you wouldn’t pick up otherwise.

Now, these 10 steps may work great for you.  If not, hopefully at least I have you thinking about how you could tweak this to find a formula or process that would work for you.  I think the important thing is that if you can define a process for yourself, no matter what that is, and then spend the next several weeks optimizing that so you know exactly what the steps are, it’ll be much faster for you to get in the groove and be productive with writing.

My hope in giving you this process as well is that it will take a little bit of the stress out of writing recruiting letters for you, because it can be very stressful. And when we get stressed about it, we actually end up procrastinating or putting it off, and then those consistent recruiting messages we are supposed to be sending never happen.

So no matter what kind of writer you are, come up with a system. It doesn’t mean you can’t deviate from the system from time to time. I do. But at least you have a track to get you started and a way to get your recruiting messages out that works for you 90% of the time.

If you want to see more systems that I create and even go through my Win The Day Group Coaching program where I help you systematize everything in your program, go to Win the Day Academy.

Hope you have a productive rest of the week!

Mandy Green

P.S. – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. What do you do to make time for recruiting? Email me at mandy@busy.coach. If you want more tips about how to save time with recruiting, go to my website at www.busy.coach. 

P.P.S.  If you have found this article helpful, please share it with your staff or other work colleagues!  Studying time and energy management over these last 8 years and applying it to my coaching and recruiting has been a game changer for me.  I am committed to helping coaches get more important work done in less time so more time can be spent with family and friends.  Thanks!

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