Most college recruiters make great efforts to tell their recruits to commit to them.
Today, I’m going to show you that you might be taking the wrong approach with your prospects by doing that.
And there’s science to back-up what I’m about to reveal to you.
It has to do with the very subtle difference between telling your prospect to commit to your program, versus asking them if they will commit to your program. And the research that’s been done on the topic tells us that it’s smarter to ask – and get them to predict or visualize that commitment – if you really want that prospect in your program.
Here’s how it works:
When you get your prospect to make a verbal statement about their intent on a future action – such as whether or not they see themselves living in your dorms, playing on your team, and coming to your college – they are far more inclined to follow through with that commitment. That research is one of the reasons we focus on starting conversations between our clients and their prospects, and focus on having their prospects commit to do things like reply to their email or come and visit their campus.
It’s those small commitments that can signal real interest from a prospect.
So, here’s what I’d recommend you do as you prepare for this next round of messaging to this class of recruits you’re targeting:
- When you have decided you want a prospect to start getting serious about you and your program, ask them about their intent to commit to your program. This is an important step: Just asking the question can have a big impact on your prospect. Don’t tell them to commit…ask them if they are probably going to commit.
- Try hard – really, really hard – to get some kind of affirmative answer. The science shows that if your prospect gives you a positive statement, more than likely they will evenutally act on that statement.
- If you can get them to make that statement in some kind of public way – in front of their parents, or while they are on campus with some of your team – it drastically increases the liklihood that they will commit to you.
- If they don’t respond in a positive way on the first try, don’t despair: Asking consistently over time in a professional, collaborative way can build a feeling of trust over time and get them to understand that you’re serious about them and want them in your program.
So, the lesson here is pretty simple: Instead of spending time just telling your prospect how great you are, make sure you ask them if they see themselves as a part of your program. It’s a better way to gain a commitment from this next class of prospects!
Want help in putting together the right message for your prospects, with just the right balance of information and direction in the plan? We can help. We work with coaching staffs all over the country and help them plan their recruiting campaigns, and even help produce text that they use in their letters and emails…text that works better because it’s based on research and proven science (like the principle we just outlined in this recruiting article).
For more information, or to talk with Dan Tudor about becoming a client of Tudor Collegiate Strategies so we can develop a plan for you, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.