by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
Do you feel that your recruits are being honest with you about their interest in your program?
I am sure you’d like them to be! But, the reality is that recruits will often tell coaches what they think the coach wants to hear and not what the recruit is actually thinking. How can you get more honest feedback from your prospects?
Earn their trust!
The best recruiters are able to gain the trust of their recruits (and the recruit’s parents). This trust leads to deeper conversations and quicker decisions.
What are some ways you can build trust with your recruits? Try these two things!
1) Talk about imperfections
Yes, you read that right!
One thing that causes recruits to not completely trust a coach is when that coach tries to make everything sound perfect. Their school, their coaching abilities, how good they think the recruit is.
These kids are not oblivious to the fact that no school is perfect. They also know they are not perfect athletes. Don’t be the coach that tries to tell them this.
Instead, be the one to bring up some of the commonly perceived negative aspects of your school. This will allow you to potentially alleviate some of their concerns but also show that you want to be honest with them. This will open the door for them to reciprocate.
The same goes for their abilities. If you only talk about how great they are, they might think you’re just buttering them up. Which you are. But, you also want to prove to them you can make them better! Talk about your plan for their improvement which includes where they might be currently lacking. They know they aren’t perfect and pretending they are doesn’t help the relationship.
2) Ask about their fears
Every recruit has fears. Every recruit’s parents have fears.
Just like you shouldn’t avoid talking about imperfections, don’t only talk about what your recruit is excited about.
They have worries and questions about their college decision. Ask about them! Be someone that shows support and helps solve problems. They will appreciate the guidance and your conversations will get more real instead of just skimming the surface. You’ll get closer in your relationship or at least learn what each of you needs to know in order to move on and not waste each other’s time!