by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
There is a reason that companies spend so much time and money on branding and marketing. Creating and maintaining a strong reputation is so important to long-term success.
In college athletics, there are programs in different sports that have built reputations as powerhouses and because of that, they attract top-level talent.
Alabama in football. Duke in men’s basketball. North Carolina in women’s soccer.
At every division level and in every sport, there are these schools. But, because they are set apart, by default that means most of the other programs don’t have quite the reputation.
Some programs are strong and on the rise, but historically they just haven’t been on the big stage. Others are stuck at the bottom or middle of their conference and have no positive history to use to their advantage.
How do you bring in top recruits if you are not one of these well-known programs? Here are two strategies:
1) Use real life examples of success from your school and program
One question that recruits might have with a program with a less impressive history of success is just how well they can do there.
If the program isn’t historically producing winning teams and the best athletes, will they really help me become the best I can be? Will I be successful in my four years at the school? Will the school prepare me well for life after I graduate?
To help answer these questions for your prospect, use real life examples.
Who have been your most successful athletes in the program’s history? Which graduates have gone on to do amazing things in their careers?
Tell those stories.
Now, if you have none of those stories because the program is still young in its history or there just simply haven’t been many success stories from your team, use the rest of the school. Chat with another program in your department or talk with the alumni office.
Find real life stories that show students can come into your school and have success. Those stories will hold way more weight than you just telling a recruit they will succeed with you.
2) Connect with your prospect’s parents early
There are all kinds of great reasons to start communicating with your prospect’s parents early and continue to consistently communicate with them throughout the process.
But, with this specific objection, that communication is critical to overcoming it.
One reason being that the parents may be the ones driving your recruit to the more well-known program.
If this is the case, they’ll need convincing if they’re going to start having a positive influence on their child when it comes to your program.
If you wait too long to connect with them, you may never be able to overcome it.
Even if the parents don’t have a strong favoritism to some other program, by default, their opinions will probably end up favoring the school that looks better on paper or the one that they trust the most.
Early communication and a strong relationship with the parents can create that unique trust that provides them with the confidence to encourage their child to ultimately choose you over the program that might look better on paper.
Need help overcoming objections like your winning history? Dan Christensen and the team at Tudor Collegiate Strategies help over 500 programs around the country combat objections to win over top prospects. If you have questions about how he and our team can help you too, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.