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April 24th, 2018

If They Choose Another School You Should

by Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services 

     

Sometimes even your best isn’t going to be enough to convince an admitted student that your school is the “best fit” for them. The reasons will vary. Some will be legitimate, and some will make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Anytime you lose a student it’s important to self-evaluate and figure out the why behind that student’s decision…especially if it’s someone that you had penciled in as a “yes.” That’s what I’m going to help you with today.

In some cases the why will be something that’s out of your control. But more often than you might think, the answer has to do with changing your approach, improving a certain skill set, or correcting a bad habit. Figuring out the why and coming up with an effective strategy for the next time around is something that will help admissions professionals who are looking to climb the ladder.

Let me start by giving you three basic tips to help you deal with rejection:

1) Don’t overreact and become argumentative with the student (or parent).

2) Congratulate the student on their decision. Professionalism always matters. Word of mouth (i.e. a positive experience even though the student didn’t pick your school) is king and it can help lead to future deposits.

3) Never let rejection get you down. I see this happen a lot with admissions counselors during their first cycle, to the point where some develop a negative attitude and begin dreading future conversations. Always keep in mind they’re not rejecting you personally.

Now, let’s talk more about how to determine the why behind a student’s decision. I’ve talked a lot in this newsletter about what kind of questions to ask at different stages of the recruitment process. If you missed last week’s article about questions to ask undecided students, click here.

Determining the why behind a “no thanks” can easily be done if you ask the right kinds of questions. Often times the answers to those questions can be even more insightful than the ones you ask a prospective student before they’ve made their final decision.

So, here are seven questions you can ask a student right after they tell you they’ve chosen another school. I want you to ask them exactly like you see them below.

  • What was the number one reason behind you choosing that school?
  • Tell me about the feel of their campus and how it compared to when you visited our school.
  • Was there anything that almost made you pick our school?
  • When did you actually know that our school wasn’t the right fit for you?
  • What did your parents say about our school and your decision?
  • Did our school communicate with you too much, not enough, or just the right amount during your college search?
  • Can you tell me one thing that I could have done better to make your college search process less stressful?

Analyzing a recruitment process that ends unsuccessfully can provide incredibly valuable information that will be useful during future cycles. I encourage you to make time for this important step.

If your recruiting results this year aren’t what you expected, and you’d like help figuring out WHY, I’m happy to assist and get you some cut and dry answers. It won’t cost you anything but your time (no, me offering free help is not a misprint). Reply back to this email, and we will set up a time to connect.

Thanks again for spending a couple of minutes with me today!

April 23rd, 2018

When Your Prospects Say, “I Knew It!”

We all do that.

News comes along that either confirms our worst fears, or validates our deeply held beliefs.

And, we are actively looking for that news: With our favorite political candidate, the coach of our favorite NFL team we want to see fired, or the next coaching job we are chomping at the bit to apply for. We are always evaluating news, and seeking see how it confirms our natural personal biases.

What I’m saying is, we all want to be able to say, “I knew it!”

Your prospects are the same way. At the start, in the middle, and towards the end of the recruiting process, we’re looking for evidence that we were right in our initial assumptions. Nobody likes to be proven wrong: I don’t, you don’t, your prospects don’t, and your prospect’s parents REALLY don’t.

How does all of this affect you and your recruiting results? Through one simple concept:

The story you tell your recruit will either reenforce your prospect’s trust, or amplify their skepticism. You, as the coach and chief marketing executive of your program, are ultimately responsible for what that story is.

Want to know what our research shows as what the top three enforcers of each possibility? Here you go, Coach:

  • How you showcase your negatives. It could be your locker room, your field, your recent history, or where you’re located. Whatever your program’s recruiting hurdle appears to be, how you define it – and even showcase it – to your prospects is going to go a long way towards either confirming their negative assumptions, or amplify their feelings that there might be another way of looking at your traditional negative. If you don’t make your case, who will? If you don’t re-define the way they look at your negative, who will? Lead with your negatives. That’ll give you the chance to define it for your prospect, and it will earn more trust with your prospect. Our research shows that this is highly effective, and something your prospects look for as a sign they can trust you.
  • How early you offer. This one is interesting, and kind of complex to take apart. As your prospects decide whether or not you should be one of the programs you visit, they’re looking for evidence you’re serious about them. As we discuss all the time in our famous on-campus recruiting workshops, parents and athletes use two primary criteria when they are telling themselves, “I knew it!” when it comes to if they should visit (or skip) a certain program: They’ll look whether the head coach is in contact with them, and they’ll look for an offer – either athletically, through other funding on campus, or even a roster spot. They need a reason to come to visit, and we find that the earlier that happens, the more ‘obligated’ they feel towards making you one of your visits.
  • How (and when) you ask them to commit. The greatest evidence you’re serious about a prospect? Asking them if they’re ready to commit. There’s a right way, and a wrong way, to do it. But the bottom line is this: When you do it, there are all sorts of good signals it triggers that tells an athlete, “I knew it!” in a good way. It’s proof you want them, and even if they aren’t quite ready to answer ‘yes’ to that question you ask, it verifies that there is good reason to be serious about you. Oh, and by the way: If you don’t do it, it also sends an “I knew it” signal…just not the kind of signal you want.

We are all constantly looking for evidence that our gut feelings are true. Take this approach if you want to send the right signals that move the recruiting process onto the next phase.

Looking for more unique strategies to up your recruiting game? be a part of this Summer’s upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference! It’s a one-of-a-kind event designed around the needs of coaches looking to become next-level college recruiters. Click here for all the information.

April 22nd, 2018

How Coaches Can Eat Healthier When They’re on the Road

by Mandy Green, Busy Coach

Eating healthy when you’re at home can be challenging enough with our demanding coaching careers and busy family lives. At least when you’re at home though, you can control what comes into the kitchen and what lands on your children’s plates.

But what happens when you’re not at home – when you’re traveling with your team, recruiting, or waiting at the airport? 

If we allow ourselves to opt for the faster and easier options because we are in a rush on the road, overtime poor nutrition can leave us over extended, overwhelmed, and overweight, which is obviously not ideal when we have a lot of people counting on us to bring our best every day.

While sticking to your good habits when you’re traveling can be tough, there’s no need to arrive home from your trip with a junk food hangover and 5 extra pounds. There are some simple, yet effective strategies that will help you continue to eat healthy, it just requires some knowledge and organization.

Here are five ideas to help you stick to your healthy eating habits when traveling.

Determine your food rules: A little planning about what your food rules are can go a long way when it comes to eating healthy and saving time while traveling. Before you leave, have the decision made about what foods are a big “no-no” for you and for your team, and what foods you’re willing to “slide” on. For me, a few no-no’s are chips, pop, hotel cookies, or candy. My “slides” are items fried like sweet potato fries. When you do that, you’ll spare yourself the stressful mental banter when opportunities arise and lessen your chances of experiencing any post-consumption “unpleasantness” the next day (and yes, I speak from experience.) You’ll also be able to plan ahead better about what kind of foods to bring with you and how much you’ll need.

Plan Your Snacks Ahead of Time: Whenever possible, arm yourself with healthy snacks for the car, bus, or plane so that you’re not stuck with the limited offerings available at gas stations, airports, or at the hospitality tents at the recruiting event. 

Dried fruits, granola, mixed nuts, apples, oranges, and cereals stay fresh and transport easily – especially with the array of cool, non-toxic containers available.  Invest in some reusable glass or stainless-steel lunch containers and pre-prepare your snacks in advance.  I also recommend checking out Love with Food. It’s a SUPER FUN way to get a box of surprise organic or natural snacks delivered to your door monthly.  And I absolutely love that with each box you buy, they donate a meal to a hungry child.  I really love that part!

Technology is your friend

Finding good places to eat that meet your teams or your nutritional needs can be challenging and very time consuming (gluten free or vegan).  Although most big corporate chain restaurants now provide nutrition information, independently owned restaurants usually don’t.  I don’t know about you, but part of the fun for me when traveling is finding those one-of-a-kind places that you can’t find back home.

There are a lot of apps that can help you locate healthy eating options no matter where you are.  If you have some time before you leave home, check out one of these apps- Healthy Dining Finder,  Eat Well, or Good Food Near You. With a little research and a GPS, you’re instantly connected to restaurants that share your food needs and values.

For example, the Healthy Dining Finder website currently lists healthy menu options from tens of thousands of restaurants around the U.S.-including lots of independently owned and find dining establishments.  Nutrition professionals review and analyze menus according to criteria posted on the Healthy Dining Finder website, where you can search the database by location as well as price.

The Hotel

Search for hotels that offer a mini-fridge in the room. Not only will you be able to house health-promoting foods in your room for easy access, but you’ll also save big money by bringing your own snack foods which can add up quickly on recruiting trips or when trying to feed a team.

If you’re looking at a few different hotels, search each one in google maps prior to booking to see how close they are to surrounding grocery stores and markets. The closer they are, the easier it is to make a stop or two throughout your trip. You can grab simple things like bottled water, or even perishable items like fruit or veggies and dip.

Lastly, do some research on what the hotel breakfast has to offer (especially if it’s free!) Stocking up on hard-boiled eggs or fruit from the breakfast buffet can serve as breakfast or snacks during your trip. Call the hotel ahead of time, or check reviews on Trip Advisor for the hotel (specifically search “breakfast”.)

The Arrival

Whether traveling in your own car or by bus, plan to stop at the grocery store just before reaching your hotel or at some point shortly after you arrive to get items you weren’t able to bring. This is also the time to pick up large bottles of purified water that will last you throughout your trip.

These options are all simple and don’t require a ton of upfront time to get set up.  The upfront time spent on finding healthier food options will save you a lot of time on the backend, and you will go home feeling much better because you stuck to your healthy eating habits. 


What are your tips for eating healthy on-the-go? Please respond to this email at mandy@busy.coach and share your tips.  I’d love to hear them.  Thanks in advance

April 17th, 2018

Ask Your Undecided Students These Questions

by Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services 

     

Thanks for checking out this week’s newsletter. I’m sending good vibes your way as you finish putting together your school’s next class of new students.

Last week I received a bunch of emails from admissions counselors looking for advice on how they could move their undecided students to the “yes column,” or at least one step closer towards making those deposits.

In three different emails I was given the scenario of a student being “90-95% sure” or “pretty sure” that they were coming, but the student then told the admissions counselor in the same conversation that they were going to wait a little longer to make sure. My replies to each admissions counselor were the same. I explained the importance of immediately setting up a phone call with the student and asking a specific question about their uncertainty (ex. “Can you help me understand what’s preventing you from making your decision right now?”).

Keep in mind that at this point in the process it’s less about “selling” to your undecided students and more about asking the right questions that will get them to provide insight or answers to their decision making process and current mindset.

With that in mind, here are a handful of questions that have worked well with this group of students. You can ask them just like I’ve written them, or you can tweak them a little depending on the situation. And let me reiterate that if you want to talk about specific situations you’re dealing with, or you want to ask for context about any of the questions below, I’m happy to help you. Just reply back or click here to send me an email.

  • What does your decision making process look like?
  • What’s your timeline for making a decision?
  • What’s left on your to-do list before you make a decision?
  • What’s the biggest thing you’re scared of right now?
  • Is there anybody else besides your parents that you’re leaning on to help you?
  • What are your parents saying about making a decision?
  • Do you and your parents agree on which college is the best fit for you?
  • Have you and your parents talked about choosing a school that costs more?
  • Is your decision going to come down to which school gives you the biggest scholarship?
  • If you were going to tell me that you’ve picked a different college, what do you think the #1 reason would be?
  • What do you like the most about our campus and the atmosphere here?
  • Can you see yourself living here on campus?
  • What do you want to see us talk about next?
  • Are you feeling like you’re ready to commit to <School name>?

If you ask a question and the answer you get doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, ask them one of these follow-up questions:

  • What does that mean?
  • Can you help me understand that a little better?

If the student gives you a vanilla answer, and you want more context, go ahead and ask them WHY what they just told you is important to them.

You should also consider asking any question with a “because” in it. In our work with admission departments around the country, we’ve found that “because” is a powerful motivator for this generation of students.

One more thing – Whatever you do, don’t just run through a list of questions robotically. As you’re getting feedback from the student, be sure and add something of value to the conversation. Otherwise your conversation will come off as scripted, and it’s unlikely the student will truly “open up.”

After you ask one or more of these questions, let me know how it goes. Good luck!

P.S. It’s crazy how fast my newsletter community continues to grow! I can’t thank you enough for all the support. If you know somebody who could benefit from being a part of it but isn’t right now, have them send me a quick email to jeremy@dantudor.com that simply says “sign me up for your newsletter.”

April 16th, 2018

7 Ways Managing Your Time Makes You a Better Coach

by Mandy Green, Busy.Coach

As I continue to train coaches on how to manage their time better so they can be their best for their career, their team, and for their family, I’m finding more and more that everybody hates this topic.

These are pretty common responses I get all the time when I tell coaches or business professionals that I can help them get higher quality work done in less time with less effort:

“There is no way I can manage my day any better than I already am because I have so many things to do.”

“I am being interrupted all of the time or I have all of these obligations.”

“It is hard to believe that I could actually have harmony in my life, so why even bother trying to do better with my scheduling each day?” 

This is my typical response when I hear these things-

“If you don’t have a high level of focus or discipline to work on the right things, you are wasting time and things are taking longer to finish so as a program, you are probably working a lot more hours than you need to, which is taking away your free time to spend at home with family and friends.”   

Here are a few other good reasons you should focus on learning to manage your time more of a priority this year:

You can accomplish more with less effort

Better time management can help you do more of what you have to do –- faster. This doesn’t mean cutting corners or a decrease in quality. You just do what you have to do quicker (office paperwork) so you can do what you want to do sooner (coaching your sport or going home to spend more time with your family).

You feel calmer and more in control

When you don’t have control of your time, it’s easy to end up feeling rushed and overwhelmed with all there is to do. And when that happens, coaches tend to work harder and longer which leads to burnout and fatigue.  Once you learn how to manage your time, you no longer subject yourself to that level of stress. Besides it being better for your health, you have a clearer picture of the demands on your time.

Free time is necessary

Everyone needs time to relax and unwind. Unfortunately, though, many of us don’t get enough of it. Between office responsibilities, recruiting, family responsibilities, errands, and upkeep on the house and the yard, most of us are hard-pressed to find even 10 minutes to sit and do nothing.

Having good time management skills helps you find that time. When you’re more structured, focused, and disciplined to get the right things done, you’re going to get more done in less time. You accumulate extra time throughout your day that you can use later to relax, unwind, and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

You have more energy

Your ability to manage time has a direct effect on your energy levels.  Strange but true — the act of finishing tasks often brings a level of satisfaction and energy that makes you feel good. The importance of time management here? It will help you do more of those endorphin releasing activities.

Become more successful in your career

Time management is the key to success. It allows you to take control of your life and career rather than following the flow of others. As you accomplish more each day, make more sound decisions, and feel more in control, people notice. Your team will notice that you are more organized and have more energy to lead and run your practices.  Your administration will notice that you are happier, more organized, and will see it in your team’s results. 

You enjoy your life more

After all, that’s what it’s about, isn’t it? What’s the importance of time management in your life? The more value you put on your time, the greater your ability to learn how to do what matters so you can enjoy life more.

Managing how you use your time is a means to an end, but it brings enjoyment and satisfaction in its own right as well.

Accomplish your vision and goals

Time management is ultimately about working a vision backwards into strategic and scheduled chunks of time and tasks.  If you are not being strategic about what you want to accomplish in your life or with your program, then I feel you are just kind of doing random tasks each day and you find yourself doing busy work instead of work what is going to move your life, career, or program forward. 

Time management is not just about improving your efficiency at work. The efficient utilization of time gives you as a coach the opportunity to maximize your potential to do what it is they will do with their time. The efficient utilization of time improves efficacy, productivity, and personal satisfaction. Learning to manage your time, will so improve your life quality by whatever definition you choose as to make time management a high priority for completion. Schedule it now!

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April 10th, 2018

If You Want to Rekindle Their Interest

by Jeremy Tiers, Director of Admissions Services 

     

This time of year admission departments are either really happy with how their recruiting efforts are going, or they’re frantically looking for ideas on how to re-kindle interest from students who at some point this cycle demonstrated serious interest in their school. I’m referring to students who visited campus but never applied, as well as students who started but didn’t finish your school’s application.

There are a few reasons I think it’s smart to come up with a strategy to go after these two groups of students:

  • They’re already familiar with your school.
  • At one point it’s safe to assume that most probably felt there was a chance that your school might be that “right fit.”
  • Assuming they haven’t deposited to another school, they’re probably feeling a little anxious about their college plans for this fall.

So, how do you proceed with these students, get their attention again, and rekindle communication and interest in your school?

The easy answer is to communicate that your school will offer an extremely generous financial aid package if they complete their application by a certain date.

A lot of schools, however, aren’t in a position to do that, or they’d rather pursue a strategy that doesn’t include getting crazy with their discount rate.

Here are three basic ideas I’ve seen produce positive results that you should consider:

  1. Apologize for the lack of (or poor) communication. I know…it’s probably partly (or mostly) the student’s fault for not communicating with you. But as the person who is initiating the contact, and as the “authority figure” in this relationship, you need to be the one to apologize. It will take the pressure off of them and open the door for ongoing communication. I’ve found that this simple strategy works well for admissions counselors because it gives them a defined reason to make phone calls to these students.
  2. Call with lots of urgency. At this point, like it or not, phone calls are going to be the best way to offer personalized communication and have a serious conversation with these students. Assuming they answer the phone or choose to call you back (make sure your voicemail gives them a reason to), tell them that you’ve been waiting to hear back from them, but haven’t, so you wanted to be a little forward and push the process forward considering the time of year. Tell them that they’re a high priority right now and that your school believes they’re a great fit (be ready to offer some proof behind why you’re saying that). Make the next steps clear, and tell each student that the sooner they complete your school’s application and apply for financial aid, the better the financial aid package you’ll be able to offer them. I’ve worked with multiple admissions counselors who have found that creating a lot of urgency at this late juncture is enough to get the student (if they’re still undecided) to finally take things a little more seriously. Combine that with defined next steps and a counselor who’s willing to help, and what some might see as “pushy” ends up providing a sense of relief for the student…and a reason to finally end the process.
  3. Call with the assumption that they’ve deposited somewhere else, and offer your congratulations. If they’ve ended the process and chosen another school, you’ll come off as caring and thoughtful. Make sure you take the time to ask two or three questions about why the student choose the other school…this is extremely important and that information will be useful in future recruiting situations. If the student still hasn’t made a final decision, they’ll tell you, and the door may be re-opened. If you do get a second chance with these students, make sure your staff has a clear plan of how to take full advantage of it.

Oftentimes persistence pays off in recruiting. Try one or more of these ideas and you might be pleasantly surprised at the end result.

Good luck, and I’ll see you back here next Tuesday!

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