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August 20th, 2012

The “SW-9 Formula” for Recruiting Success – Part Two

by John Brubaker, Author and Performance Consultant

Two weeks ago we published the first part of this article. Here is a quick look at Part 1 and the first 4 steps of implementing the SW-9 Formula for selling yourself to your recruits:

Whether you realize or not, as a recruiter you are in sales and the number one thing you are selling is yourself. A prospect needs to be sold on you before they are ever going to be sold on your program or university. Your sales are lost or gained long before you ever meet with the prospect to “close” them. The sale is first made to yourself.

Click here to read all of Part 1 and the first 4 steps to using the SW-9 Formula. The final 5 steps are detailed below.

Part 2 of 2


  • Stick With It: When faced with rejection remind yourself that a bend in the road is not the end of the road. Did you know that half of all sales people give up on a prospect after the first time they are told no? And another 30 percent give up after the second no. Interestingly enough, research indicates it takes five no’s by a single prospect to get them to say yes. By simply sticking with it you will outperform a majority of your competitors. Make it a game and think of the first several no’s a prospect tells you as being early in the game. Remember games are won in the fourth quarter; you just have to get to the fourth quarter to be in a position to win. Those fourth and fifth no’s take place in the fourth quarter so stick with it.
  • Stop Worrying:I encourage my clients to take up yoga or meditation as a way of eliminating worry and managing stress. They tell me “No way John, I can’t meditate”. In reality, they already are, as are most of us. Worrying is really meditating and focusing on the things we don’t want.  As a society we’ve gotten pretty good at focusing on what we don’t want, worrying about problems instead forming of solutions. Once you realize sales is all a numbers game you can let go of your worries and focus on solutions. Often times in our professional lives when we are experiencing what feels like the worst thing possible at that moment in time, it turns out to be the best thing that could happen to us. Remember it’s a bend not an end.
  • Someone’s Watching: Coaches want to see how resilient a player is after experiencing adversity, how much class or sportsmanship they demonstrate after a loss and how much humility they have when they are blessed with success, fame and fortune.  The same can be said for people watching you do your job. Observation does wonders for our self-awareness and behaviors. Take the approach of an athlete, they know recruiters, opposing coaches and agents are all watching to see how they respond to situations.  That someone watching might be your protégé, a potential prospect, your next potential employer, another recruiter or even your son or daughter. In this day and age of camera phones and social media it is not unrealistic to take the approach that you are always on camera. What do you look like on camera? Humble and hungry or like you are resting on your laurels.
  • Stay Well: You are not useful to your team or institution if you are not taking care of your physical and mental health. As physical educators you should have a keen awareness of mind, body and spirit. You are your own most important recruit and if you don’t take care of yourself you are limiting your effectiveness as a recruiter. This is particularly important in terms of your mindset. Keeping a positive mindset in the recruiting process is the ultimate competitive advantage for you and your program. Two great reasons to stay well:
    • Dr. Martin Seligman’s research on sales professionals found that positive, optimistic sales people outperformed pessimistic ones.
    • The Heart Math Institute discovered that positive emotions like appreciation and gratitude facilitate greater performance in athletes.
  • Swing Wisely: Working harder isn’t always the answer. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is but more often than not working smarter is the better approach. To win the recruiting battle you don’t have to be a lot better than your competition, you just have to be a little bit better. Using the analogy of baseball, what is the difference between a baseball player with a .250 batting average and a player with a .350 batting average? It’s more than 100 points.

It’s the difference between a Hall of Famer and an average player. It’s the difference between millions of dollars of salary and the league minimum. It’s the difference between endorsements & fame vs. obscurity. If you look at a 162 game season, where a player gets four or five at bats each game, the difference between .250 & .350 is only 1.7 hits a week.

It’s the little things that make a big difference on the field and in recruiting. Working hard and doing the little things right every day add up. Little things win big games, so swing wisely.

About the author:

John Brubaker is a nationally renowned performance consultant, speaker and author. Using a multidisciplinary approach, Brubaker helps organizations and individuals develop their competitive edge. Brubaker is the author of The Coach Approach: Success Strategies Out Of The Locker Room Into The Board Room and co-author of the book Leadership: Helping Others To Succeed.


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