Ever watch the CNBC show, Shark Tank?
It’s one of my favorite television shows, along with The Profit. And just like the important recruiting lesson we gleaned from The Profit in a previous column, there’s a fantastic example of how to lead a prospect through the recruiting decision making process from the panel on Shark Tank.
As you watch it, don’t look at this business pitch from the Sharks for a piece of Bobbi’s “FunBites” business. Picture it as a fairly typical recruiting situation, especially late in the process.
And as you do, copy the strategy that Lori Greiner employs against her competition. Here’s the breakdown of the clip:
:00 Bobbi is nearing the end of the pitch, and she has offers on the table.
:21 Bobbi gets a smile and nod from billionaire Mark Cuban, who is counting on her letting him come in at the end and make her an offer that she won’t be able to refuse.
:42 Lori comes in with her offer. Whether it’s better than the other offers or not isn’t important. Note her confidence, and clarity. She feels her offer is the best, and she wants Bobbi to understand that.
:50 The noise starts. The other Sharks who have made offers all start talking at the same time, and you can see the confusion and pressure starting to mount for Bobbi as she realizes she’s going to have to make a decision. Confidently, Lori offers her rebuttal with a smile.
1:00 More noise, more pressure. How is she supposed to make a final decision with all of that noise and incoming information from all of the people that want a piece of her deal?
And then, Lori does what I would advise every college to do. If you want to try copying her word for word the next time you want a recruit to make a final decision in your favor, that might not be an unwise thing to do:
At the 1:12 mark, Lori makes her move:
“I’d like you to take my offer now, because I feel like you know whether or not you’d like to partner with me. So if you want to partner with me, I’d like you to say yes right now.”
It’s brilliant. Here’s why:
- She sets a fair, but very firm, deadline. The inventor has multiple offers, she’s heard all the pitches, and is now obviously struggling to make a final decision (sound familiar, Coach?)
- She uses the important word “because” to initiate action. If she didn’t, the recruit would probably seek out just one more good option, delaying the difficult final decision as long as possible (sound familiar, Coach?)
- She focuses on feelings, not facts. Her prospect has all the facts she needs to make a decision. But most of us make our decisions based on the way we feel about something (sound familiar, Coach?)
- She comes back to the deadline again. If she doesn’t, there’s no imperative for her prospect to make a final decision. There’s always one more offer to consider, and it’s intoxicating to be wanted by just one more good option (sound familiar, Coach?)
And, it works. She gets the deal at the 1:30 mark in the video.
Although, if you watched it until the end, you’ll notice that even after Bobbi “verbally commits” to Lori, the other Sharks keep recruiting her.
How does she keep the commitment? By smiling confidently, restating her position, and then doing something at the very end that more coaches need to put a focus on as it becomes more and more challenging as recruiting commitments get earlier and earlier: Lori tells Bobbi, “I know you’re a person of integrity” as the commitment sticks.
There are lots of ways to close a recruit, and lots of ways to construct the right language to elicit the feelings from your prospect. A multi-millionaire that has built and empire selling products on QVC just gave you another great option as you prepare to talk to your next high caliber recruits.
Have you been trained in advanced recruiting and communication methods? We now offer that resource for college coaches around the country, and will even certify the training to demonstrate your proficiency to your athletic director, head coach, or future employer. It’s called Tudor University, and you can get all the details about this fantastic training option here.