by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
As a college coach, you are recruiting athletes to pay money to come play for your team and get a degree from your school.
That amount is going to be a big factor in their decision.
Because that is the case, you need to be able to talk about cost early on. I never want a coach to get to the end of the recruiting process with an athlete only to find out that the cost is more than they can afford.
Now, a lot of recruits will be able to afford your school but will need to be convinced the experience is worth the cost. Others simply won’t be able to pay for your college, no matter how much they like you.
Here are two tips for how to navigate the financial conversations more effectively:
1) Involve the parents in these conversations
A lot of the time, mom and dad are the ones signing the checks for their kid’s college education.
If they don’t understand the cost of your school or why it is worth that much, that creates a huge roadblock to getting that athlete.
Sometimes the athlete doesn’t know the whole financial picture. The parents do. If they’re not involved in the conversation around money, you as the coach won’t understand the whole picture either.
The financial conversation can sometimes be an awkward one when it involves the coach, the parents, and the athlete. The parents might feel bad about being limited in what they can afford for their kid’s education. There are times when talking about the money with just the parents can actually be more productive and get you more honest feedback.
Don’t leave the parents out of this conversation!
2) Help lead the conversation
Where do you start the conversation? Do you simply ask the family what they can afford? Do you ask them how much the other schools they are looking at cost?
Try this. Have your prospect, or better, your prospect’s parents fill out your school’s net price calculator.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. It isn’t accurate. You don’t want to scare them away by thinking they’ll have to pay more than they might actually have to.
That is fine. Let them know this. Tell them it won’t be 100% accurate since it is just a calculator. Maybe there are some things you know the calculator doesn’t factor in. Talk about that.
But, still have them fill it out. And once they do, set up another conversation to talk about it.
Ask about their results. If the number they got, give or take a few thousand, was the final cost of attendance, would that be in the ballpark of what they are able to pay? Is that number similar to what they’re seeing at other schools they’re considering?
While the calculator might not give them the exact number, it gives you something to use to start the conversation.
If you’re able to offer athletic scholarships, this is the time to factor that in and explain how that process works.
When you take the lead in having an early, honest, and informative conversation around the money and involve the parents, you’ll reduce the friction cost can cause in their final decision.
If you are having challenges talking about money or other objections recruits have, Dan Christensen and the team of recruiting experts at Tudor Collegiate Strategies can help. You can email Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about this article or what it would look like to have our team work with your staff this year.