No matter what division level you coach, no matter what sport you recruit for, and no matter how experienced you are at recruiting this generation of student-athlete, every single recruiting situation boils down to this:
Who is it that you’re trying to reach? The answer to that question can’t be “everyone”. So what’s your answer, Coach?
Do you have your prototype recruit defined? Do you know who is right and who is wrong for you and your program? If you don’t, how in the world can you target the right message to that group?
How are you going to tell them your story? Have you decided how you’re going to make them aware of who you are and what you can offer them? And more importantly, what form does that message take? Social media, letters, emails, phone calls…the mix you provide is critical.
Understand what I’m saying. Our research tells us very clearly that each method holds different meanings for recruits: Social media, for example, is perfect for showcasing your team’s personality to your prospects. Letters, on the other hand, really underscore the level of seriousness that you have towards that recruit, in their eyes. Use a good mix of messaging when you plan out your recruiting story.
What story are you telling that is worth repeating? One thing that we can tell you with a great degree of certainty about this generation of prospect is that they are attracted to a good story. They respond to marketing, if done correctly.
Average stories, with vanilla story lines, told in a mildly interesting way doesn’t go viral. It doesn’t get shared, nor does it get talked about. The bar is high for you, Coach. But if you can give them something different than the other coaches are, you’re going to win more prospects than you lose.
Is that story fitting their worldview? Understand that your prospect has specific fears, biases, and desires as they head through the recruiting process. And if you don’t adapt your message along with way to that specific recruit’s worldview, you’ll start losing them.
This part is important: In order to keep them engaged the deeper you go into the process, you need to find out what their dreams and fears are, and then develop a more customized message specific to their set of beliefs. The best recruiters do that regularly (which is why they get the best recruits).
Speaking of fear: What are you doing to alleviate it? Every single one of your prospects that you lost in last year’s recruiting class said no to you and your program because their was a fear that was unresolved, and an objection that went unanswered.
Do you know what your prospects’ fears are? If you don’t, how can you answer his or her fears?
When do you want them to move forward? In other words, when you want them to take action, do they know it? And if they do, what’s holding them back?
One of the concepts that we teach in the recruiting workshops on campuses around the country is the idea that your recruit is either moving towards you, or away from you. They never stay neutral…they are always moving. Are they moving in your direction? And, are you controlling that action or is it a random result?
Why should they say yes? What is dad going to say to his friends when they ask him why his daughter or son chose your school, and your team? What is the prospect going to say when they go to high school with your college’s t-shirt on? Are people going to be impressed, or is he going to get funny looks and get asked “why them”?
If you don’t think this plays a major roll in how a final decision gets made, you’re fooling yourself.
How well you do with the first six points we’ve made is going to determine whether or not they’re able to answer this last critical question.
You can get one-on-one help in developing your story, and determining what the right approach should be for your program. We help coaching staffs around the country, and we can work with you and your program, too. Click here to get more details and take the first step towards defining what your story should be through our special client Total Recruiting Solution plan.