Whether you’ve already launched your recruiting campaign with a new group of recruits, or are feverishly getting ready for that all-important first contact, the start of the communication process with a new prospect can be a make-or-break proposition for college coaches.
Because so many coaches have been accessing our library of articles, and reaching out to ask questions about the right way to begin talking to new recruits, we wanted to create an easy-to-follow checklist for you and your staff to use as you begin the process of reaching out to your next class of student-athletes.
Adapt them to your specific needs at will, in an effort to make sure there’s something a little bit different – and special – in the way you contact your new prospects compared to your competition:
No selling. This isn’t new advice, but just a reminder when it comes to important advice we’ve seen as critical to successful early reach-out campaigns. Prospects you reach out to for the first time aren’t interested in being “sold” on your program or school yet…in fact, you can’t realistically do that in a first email, letter, text message or phone call. Don’t try. So, what should you focus on?…
Tell them where you saw them, and what you liked about them. That’s the top thing that kids want to know right away. And when you tell them, it helps you stand out from your competition. The “what you liked about them” is the most important: They want to understand the reason they might matter to you, giving them a reason to put you towards the top of their list.
Start with a question as early as possible. In your contact with them, whether it’s written or spoken, should include a question about their process for making a decision. Not “what do you want in a college?”…that’s a question that gets a vanilla, untrue answer much of the time. Ask a question about:
- Their timeline for making a decision
- Who is helping them make their decision
- Why are they looking at the type of schools they’ve put at the top of their list
- Things they know they don’t want in a college program
- What do they want to see happen first in the process of getting to know you