by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
One of the most common objections recruits give to coaches is that the school is too far from their home.
The problem for coaches is that many of you either coach in regions that are highly competitive due to a large number of colleges in the area or in regions that have a lower quantity or quality of local talent.
And so, in order to meet roster goals and grow the strength of the program, coaches need to be able to effectively expand their recruiting territory. Knowing that when you try to do this there will be some push back, how can you overcome the distance objection? Here are two strategies:
1) Ask why they are excited about the distance
“What are you excited about most about the idea of going to school in _____________”
There are two things to pay attention for here. The answer is one. Does the recruit have some good reasons for wanting to go to school in your city or area of the country that is far from where they currently live?
The second thing to pay attention to is the tone of your recruit’s voice in their answer. If they give a decent answer but sound kind of hesitant or just not very excited, it could be a hint that they are just trying to give you the answer you want to hear and aren’t really excited about the distance.
We want to hear from the recruit sooner rather than later that the distance is ultimately going to be an overwhelming factor into their decision to choose another school over yours. Because then we won’t waste as much time on that prospect and can focus more on the ones that are serious about our school.
The same kind of questioning can and should be asked to the parents.
“Why do you feel your child going to school _____ hours away from home in ________ is going to be beneficial for them?”
If mom or dad don’t seem on board with the idea, it might be a red flag to dig deeper into. If on the contrary, mom or dad see the benefit of moving further away from home or specifically going to school in your location, you might have a big advantage!
2) Tell stories
Even if you haven’t been coaching a long time, I am sure you have stories of current or former athletes that have gone through the same hesitations when it comes to distance that a current recruit might have.
Talk about those stories with the recruit and their parents.
How did the current or former athlete feel in the recruiting process?
What was their situation?
How did they ultimately decide to come to your school?
What was their experience like and why did they not regret their choice?
If you can tell stories that the recruit and their parents can relate to, it is more likely they’ll be willing to consider the distance. Even more so than some of the very logical reasons you might be giving them.
If you are able to, have the athlete or former athlete connect with the recruit to tell their story themselves. That can go a long way in relieving that objection with the prospect!
Want more training on overcoming objections and communicating with recruits? Invite the TCS team to lead a personalized training session on your campus! They’re effective, and proven to increase the success rates with the coaches we’ve taken through the process. For more information on how it works, click here.