by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
Recruits will not choose a school when they don’t trust the coach.
This is true 99.9 percent of the time. And so, if you want a recruit and their family to choose your school to attend and your program to compete for, building trust in the recruiting process is critical.
These teenagers being recruited have a lot of fear. Fear about whether they can afford college. Fear about if they’ll get into their top schools. Fear about if they’ll fit in with their future team.
And this fear drives them to be hesitant. Specifically about what coaches are telling them. “It all sounds good, but is this coach telling me the truth?”
If you want to earn that trust and make your recruits feel you’re telling them the truth, do these two things:
1) Talk about the negatives
No school is perfect. No program is perfect. And recruits and their parents know it.
So, when a coach tries to paint this perfect picture and ignores any possible downsides to going to their school, a prospect will never be able to fully trust what the coach is saying.
It might feel awkward. And I am not asking you to completely devalue your college. But, when you can share something that tends to be an objection for recruits, they’ll start to trust everything else you say.
Maybe your school is typically pretty expensive. Your recruit knows it because they see the price on your website. You be the one to bring it up.
“So, Hannah as you’ve probably seen on our website, the full cost of attendance here is $60,000. Which can be a scary number to think about. And while the price you actually pay will be much lower after financial aid and scholarships, I am guessing we won’t end up being the cheapest option of all the schools you consider. I won’t pretend we will be. But, I will also encourage you not to just look for the cheapest option. Because as with anything, more value usually comes at a higher price. And throughout your recruiting process, what I want to do is share what that value is here at Tudor University and why I feel in the end you’ll see it is your best option.”
This is just one example. But, you’re both sharing something that will probably be an objection and spinning it in the way you want which helps them both trust you and overcome that objection.
2) Be consistent in your communication
Recruits are always gauging how interested coaches are in them. How consistently you communicate with them is something they look at to understand your interest level.
When a coach is inconsistent at reaching out or responding, recruits will start to think that coach isn’t that serious about them. And even worse, if other coaches are consistent, that inconsistent coach looks even less interested.
So, to be consistent you need a plan. What will you be sending out every week or so as part of your outbound recruiting message?
Do you have templates of how to respond to your recruit’s questions? Because they’re typically the same questions every year. If not, it will take you a long time to craft emails from scratch all the time which can lead to inconsistent response times.
Now, don’t confuse frequency with consistency. Recruits don’t necessarily lean towards the coach that communicates the most. Too much communication can be overbearing. And it is also often hard to maintain. Which leads to inconsistency.
Be strategic and plan for consistency. It will build trust with the recruit and their family that you’re interested and will be someone that is available for them once they join your team.
Want some more ideas for how to build trust? You can email Dan Christensen at email@example.com to set up a strategy call to hear more.