You’ve scouted your recruit. You’ve made contact with your recruit.
Now, you want to begin selling your recruit on the idea of coming to play for you and your program.
And that involves persuasion.
Persuasion isn’t the act of “tricking” someone, and it doesn’t mean twisting their arm until they just give-up and relent to your way of thinking. Persuasion is the art of mixing equal parts logic and passion, and becoming impossible to say no to. You need the carrot and the stick.
If you meet a successful recruiter, you’ll find that they’ve mastered that art.
So, what makes up a great persuasive argument that you can make with your next class of prospects? Several research-based ingredients that I’ll bet you’ve never stopped to think about before:
People prefer cockiness. It’s true, both in real life and in recruiting. When looking to choose a coach to play for, our research clearly shows that athletes and their parents are desperately looking for a confident leader who can articulate a plan for not only for his or her program, but for their recruit as well.
Some of you reading this might object to the idea of being “cocky”. I understand. How about “insanely confident”? And I’m talking about whether or not your record would back you up on it. Recruits, in the middle of making this stressful decision, are looking for someone who they feel is confident about where their program is heading. Stop saying “I think”, or “I believe” when you’re trying to make your case. Replace it with “We will” and put some emotion behind it.
Want to do a better job of persuading your next class of prospects? Put together a plan to demonstrate that you’re the logical choice by flashing your cocky side a little bit.
Figure out whether you need to talk faster or slower. Did you know that it’s better to talk faster if your recruit is likely to disagree with you, or have doubts about your program? That’s because it gives them less time to formulate their own counter-opinions, and make it more likely that they accept your “insanely confident” conversation points as truth And, it also makes it less likely that their mind will wander and stop paying attention.
Are you talking to a recruit that is likely to agree with you, or is excited about you and your program? You guessed it: Slow your rate of speech down. (Want proof? Here’s an insane amount of research that backs up the points we’re making here, Coach)
Being persuasive involves giving off the right “feel” to your recruit, and how they take in what you’re saying counts a lot as they evaluate you and your program.
Share the positives and the negatives. Coaches that talk only about the positives associated with their school and their program are missing the boat. This generation of kids (and their parents) are looking for coaches that are demonstrating honesty in the recruiting process. As we’ve said in the past, it’s good to show your cracks to your prospects.
What many coaches miss as they put together a strategy for trying to persuade their recruits is the idea that kids and their parents are coming into the conversation with you only looking for the most exciting, most positive views of your program. On the contrary: Many prospects are assuming that you are trying to hide something. Don’t lend credence to that notion by not revealing what you need to improve upon, or one or two things that are big improvement goals for you as their potential coach.
Selling involves persuasion, and persuasion is an art form that most coaches don’t put much energy into perfecting. Before you begin speaking in-depth with your recruits, take these three proven persuasion-boosters and implement them into your conversation with this next class of recruits.
Need help with developing a persuasive story to tell your recruits? The team of experts at Tudor Collegiate Strategies will help you take a research-based approach to answer that question, and work alongside you and your staff throughout the year to make sure your recruiting class is second to none. Click here to find out how we do it (or email Dan Tudor directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk with him about it)