Ever listen to a song and start tapping your foot to the tune…even though you’ve never heard it before?
It’s probably because its using a beat that’s been used before in other songs. Dozens and dozens and dozens of other songs you’ve listened to in your life, and have probably forgotten about.
You’ve just fallen for a secret tactic in the music industry: They want to get you sucked-in to a new song by giving you a taste of something that you’re already familiar with.
What I’d like to suggest to you today is that you employ the same subtle messaging in your communication with prospects.
Here’s why it works…
Our brains (your teenage prospect’s brain, included) loves to be able to predict what’s coming next. We do it all the time: Try to guess the end to a movie, guess the next play in a football game we’re watching…we love to be one step ahead. As I mentioned a moment ago, so do your teenage prospects.
And, like us, they also want to be intrigued by new, exciting information. Actually, let me rephrase that: They don’t “want” it, they need it.
The challenge, of course, is giving them those two ingredients: Something new and exciting, as well as something familiar and comfortable. However, if you can mix those two things effectively – like we try to do for our clients – then the results can be stunning.
So let’s aim for “stunning” today…here are a few important rules as you begin the process of creating the delicate mix of these two critical parts of any good recruiting communication piece:
- Watch for too much familiar information. For example, grab a few of your recruiting letters and emails. Do they all sound the same? Do they seem to all sound alike and look alike? Do they seem to be saying the same thing? That’s what you could probably define as “too familiar”. Time to come up with some new stuff, Coach. Quickly.
- At the same time, watch out for too much “new”. My four year old son loves candy. He’d eat it all day long if he could…its fun, tastes good…come on, who doesn’t like candy??? Me, for one, if that’s all my four year old son eats. He’ll bounce off the walls, and then hit the sugar low. He gets fussy. So do your prospects when all you feed them is new, exciting, over-the-top, exclamation point filled messages. A little bit is nice, but it needs to be balanced with the “meat” of solid, interesting facts that they can file away as a reason to take a serious look at you and the program you offer.
- Develop a good beat. I mentioned the music analogy earlier, remember? When you go to create a new message, look for a balance between the candy and the meat. One short paragraph about something exciting, one short paragraph that follows about something logical and sound. You should almost be able to tap your foot to it if it’s balanced correctly.
- As you get towards the end, invite your prospect to join in the tapping. When you have them entranced and tuned-in to your message, the last thing you should want to do is end the foot tapping by saying something bland like, “so if you ever have any questions, feel free to call me at your convenience.” That’s not a “call to action”, that’s begging for forgiveness. When you have them marching to your beat, it’s the perfect time to ask them to do something specifically for you. “Email me and let me know if…” Or, “Have your parents call me before the end of next week. The best number to reach me at is…” Be specific, and prompt them to take action.
If you want some more ideas on how to create original ideas for your messages, campus visits, and phone calls, visit the resource section of our website. You can also access all of our past newsletter articles here…just scroll down the right hand side of the page to look up past articles by topic or by date.
Make a commitment to re-energize your recruiting messages ahead of this next recruiting class. Work on creating that “beat” and watch how your prospects respond.
Taking a psychological and scientific view of developing an irresistible recruiting message is the focus of the upcoming National Collegiate Recruiting Conference. If you’re a coach who wants to dive deep and really understand how today’s athlete receives information – and how to adjust your program’s recruiting message – reserve your seat now to attend!