by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
When reaching out to a new recruit, the main goal is to get them to respond.
If they never respond, they’re never coming to your school. If they do respond, it is far from a guarantee that they’ll commit but that is where things start.
Getting that response isn’t easy though. High school students are generally not the greatest communicators. And if it is a good recruit, they’re probably hearing from a lot of different coaches which makes it extra hard to break through the noise and get a response.
There are two keys to getting this response that you need to have. One without the other is essentially useless. Here they are:
1. Get their attention
Yet, I still see so many coaches send the same, generic, boring messages to recruits. The kind of message that just doesn’t grab their attention.
What grabs a recruit’s attention? It is not how many majors your school offers. It is not random school rankings. It isn’t how many acres your campus sits on.
What gets their attention is your interest in them. Talk about them. Where did you see them? Why are you reaching out them? What did you like about them when you saw them play, watched their video, or checked out their recruiting profile?
When you make it about them, they want to talk to hear more about what you like about them. And if you can be sincere about your interest in them, it grabs their attention.
2. Ask them to reply
Alright, so we have their attention. Now what? What is the next step?
For them to respond!
But, how? What should they respond with and how should they get back to you? Are you asking for the reply and then explaining how they should do it?
Most coaches don’t. If you end your email with some version of “feel free to reply” or “let me know if you have any questions”, you’re not being direct enough.
The teenage prospects you recruit are nervous. They’re afraid of saying and doing the wrong thing. If you don’t make it clear what they should do, chances are they will do nothing.
Be very clear and direct.
“Reply back to this email and let me know you received it” or “Text me at 867-5309 and let me know what time tonight works best for a quick call”
This asks for the reply and then explains what to reply with to leave little room for uncertainty. If you grab their attention and then ask for the reply, your chances of them responding skyrocket.
If you’re reading this on May 17, 2022, Dan Christensen is doing a free webinar tomorrow on Effective First Contact Strategies. He will go over this topic more in depth there. If it is passed that date and you’re reading this, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and he can send you the replay or answer any questions you have about contacting your new recruits.