Dan Tudor

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February 12th, 2018

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Getting Prospects to Reply to Your First Recruiting Message

What gets you to respond to a text message from someone you don’t know?

What gets you to take a chance on a new restaurant you’ve heard about near campus?

Why do you engage with a stranger who comes up to you and asks for directions?

And, why do those cheesy informercials offer you two of their product at the end of their pitch, instead of just one?

All of the answers to those questions relate directly to the simple things any coach can do if they want to increase their response rates with their initial recruiting messages that they send to their recruits.

In each of the every day examples I just outlined, there are two critical elements: An interaction, and a response. Those same to critical elements exist with every first recruiting message that a coach send out to a new recruit. And yet, a coach usually breaks the rules that his or her marketing counterparts follows almost religiously. If you want to get more responses from your initial batch of new recruits, do the same things that each one of the people in those examples do.

Here’s how:

  • When you get a text message from someone – or an email, or a voicemail, or any other incoming message – what prompts you to respond?¬†Studies suggest that we are more apt to reply to something that doesn’t sound like an advertising message. Many, many initial messages that coaches construct jump right in to ‘selling’ their school. What I’m going to suggest is that you be patient and take a long-term approach to selling your school to a prospect. Most aren’t ready to take in sales-related messaging from a coach right away.
  • We all like a little mystery. When things are too well defined right away, we get the feeling that there’s nothing else we need to engage with the sender. Our immediate questions have been answered, so there’s no reason to pay attention any longer. Of course, I’m being a little dramatic…I’m not suggesting that applies to every one of your prospects. However, it does apply to enough. So, how do you include a little mystery in your messaging? Hold back. Don’t tell them everything about you, your program, or your school. You can also hint at things to come in the future that you want to talk with them about, which will stand a good chance of keeping them engaged with you as things move forward.
  • Do a quick one-two punch to disrupt their expectations. Most coaches your prospect will hear from are going to get an email, letter or phone call that states all the basics about their program, and then they back off. I’d suggest sending two back-to-back messages to your prospects initially, each one of them different than the other. So if you send out a letter first, send a follow up email that quickly continues the narrative that you had in the first message. The key is to link the first two messages so that your recruit understands you’re actually talking with them, not just at them. It makes a difference, Coach.
  • Pay attention to the way you construct your messages. That includes your letters, emails – even your phone calls. They all have a structure to them…an “architecture”. And there’s a right way to construct that message if the goal is to get a response from a new prospect that you want to communicate with after the initial contact.¬† To learn about the four primary ways you should structure your messages in order to get immediate responses, listen to our special podcast message right now that outlines the strategy that we see work for coaches all over the country.

Getting more responses from your new prospects isn’t rocket science. But it is recruiting science. And if you want to have that science works for you as much as possible, start by implementing these simple yet effective strategies right away.

Want to learn more insider strategies that are working for college coaches all over the country? Make plans to be a part of our upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference this Summer. It’s for serious college recruiters only, and will change the way you approach recruiting. Register to save your seat, or bring your whole staff!

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