by Mandy Green, Busy Coach
Are you paying attention to the questions recruits and their parents are asking you while you are recruiting them? All of you who have been in the profession for any length of time could probably rattle off 100 questions that recruits and their parents tend to ask each year.
My question to you though is are you using it to your advantage?
A month ago, I had a chance to sit in on a question and answer session at a College Soccer ID camp. Being the documenter that I am, I just quickly recorded all of the questions that the campers were asking. My intention for doing this is simple, I wanted to use it for my advantage. More on how to do that in a little bit.
Here were the 20 questions asked by the recruits and their parents to the 6 players on the current roster, the head coach, and the 3 assistant coaches who were there.
- Do grads get jobs right after college?
- What sort of academic support do athletes get?
- What did you like about the recruiting process?
- What did you not like about the recruiting process?
- To head coach: do you see yourself staying at this school?
- Are there certain majors that don’t work with being a Division 1 athlete?
- How close is the team?
- What is the biggest difference between club soccer and Division 1 soccer?
- How much does the head coach make or break your experience as an athlete?
- Does the team miss a lot of class traveling to games?
- What is a typical fall like? What about offseason?
- Do you have much of a social life?
- What are the benefits of being a Division 1 athlete?
- How safe is it to live in Youngstown?
- How close are all of the athletes? What is the support of other athletes at games?
- What does the team like to do together outside of soccer?
- What made you choose this school over other options that you had?
- What are some things that you like about the campus?
- Who did you rely on to help you choose the college you were going to go to?
- How did you keep in contact with coaches and how often?
We were only there for about 45 minutes so certainly, there are a lot more questions that would have been asked had we been there for longer. To me, paying attention to these questions is recruiting gold.
I can’t tell you how many coaches that I talk to every month who say that they just run out of things to say to a recruit, they just don’t know what to say after the first few messages, or they don’t even try to figure out what they should be posting on social media to help with their recruiting.
In 45 minutes, I got to hear 20 different things that this group of campers and their parents were wondering about. To me, I can answer 1 question a week and that is 20 weeks’ worth of messages. I also now have at least 20 social media posts that I can create.
If I had been totally on top of things, I would have voice recorded the conversation. From the audio, I could have taken word for word what the players answers were and used it to craft more conversational messages to recruits using what sold the players on going to that school. Same things apply to the very conversational answer the head coach gave as he was answering questions.
Once I had crafted a really good answer to their questions, I would then save it into a frequently asked recruiting question folder as a template. Anytime a different recruit asks the same question from that point on, I can just go to the file and cut and paste my answer to save a lot of time and be able to give a great answer each time.
I have said this before, but it is worth repeating, if you find yourself answering from scratch the same questions over and over, you are really wasting a ton of time. Write it well once, save it, and reuse your answer, tweak as necessary.
As a recruiter, I figured out that I can get more in control of the recruiting process if I just paid attention to what recruits and parents were asking. Once I knew what they wanted, I could craft 1 message that proactively answers their questions. As a result of being more proactive with the content I was sending out and talking to recruits about, now I wasn’t just reacting to an objection that just had been uncovered. I can proactively tell them how to feel and get them to feel a certain way about it.
I could go on and on, but hopefully you get the idea.
Most coaches know the questions recruits and their parents ask, but because they do nothing with them, I feel they are making their jobs harder. You are here coach reading this newsletter. Use this to your competitive recruiting advantage coach.