by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
One key thing that coaches need to understand is that their prospects make highly emotional decisions. And that includes their choice of college.
Yes, there will be logical factors that back it up, but ultimately, they make their choice based on feel.
So, when we come across objections from prospects that might make some logical sense, we need to approach them on an emotional level in order to overcome those objections.
Unfortunately, when we come across objections that have an emotional basis, they can be harder to overcome.
Recognizing the reasoning behind an objection is important. Here are two common ones that if you see an emotional attachment to them, it might be best to move on.
1) Your school doesn’t have their major
At most schools, there is a specific popular major, or two, or three that isn’t available for its students.
Engineering, nursing, psychology, and computer science are some of the common ones that not every school provides.
If your school doesn’t have one of these but you have a recruit that is interested in that area of study, that should definitely raise a red flag for you.
The key next step is to ask them why they want that major.
If they give some kind of response like, “I just thought it sounded cool and I can probably make a lot of money with it”, you probably can strategically overcome that and get them to take a different route. Or maybe there is a similar major that your school offers that might get them going in that same direction.
But, if instead there is some passionate reason behind their decision to choose that major, I would strongly consider whether or not to keep recruiting that athlete.
Maybe they want to be a nurse because they have family members who are nurses. Or, they had an experience when they were younger where they had to stay in a hospital for an extended time and the way the nurses treated them left a lasting impact, so now they want to give back in the same way.
That kind of mindset is highly emotional. At the end of the day, even if you make the case that you’ll treat them well and give them all kinds of opportunities athletically, if they aren’t able to pursue their passion for that major, they’ll probably never pull the trigger and commit to your program.
You can do a little more digging and talk with their parents or their coach to figure out if that really will be the dealbreaker. But, I want to avoid you wasting a lot of time and energy on a prospect that will just never change their mind.
2) Your school is too far from home
To be honest, I think most coaches don’t do a great job of recruiting out of their region. Part of the reason why is because they face this objection when they do.
When you hear this objection from a prospect, you need to ask the prospect why this is something that would hold them up.
You might get some kind of response about how all the other schools they’re looking at are closer to home. Or they’re concerned about the logistics of maybe having to fly back and forth between home and campus. They might even just say they’ve never thought of going to school that far away.
If this the case, I think a strong recruiting story can certainly get them to overlook these holdups.
But, if you hear something about a boyfriend or girlfriend that is going to be staying closer to home, that is when we start to get into the emotional side of decision making. Or maybe the recruit has a sick grandparent that they don’t want to be so far away from in their last few years. The prospect could have younger siblings that they’ve always taken care of, and they want to make sure they can come home quickly to be able to support them when needed.
Now we have a very relationship-driven response that will be hard to break.
Again, you can certainly keep digging. Ask some more questions or connect with the prospect’s parents.
But, I don’t want it to come decision time and the prospect loves you, and you love them, but they just cannot overcome the idea of leaving that family member behind. And now you’ve spent a lot of time and energy investing in a recruit that you probably could have safely assumed from the beginning that they would never come.
Asking why is always important when trying to unravel an objection that a prospect presents to you. Is it something kind of trivial or is their objection rooted in emotion?
I want you to be a smart, efficient recruiter, Coach. And sometimes that means you’re really good at reading red flags and acting on them in order to save yourself time to focus on more serious recruits.
Want a team of recruiting experts in your back pocket to help you with your recruiting approach throughout the year? Dan Christensen and the rest of the staff at Tudor Collegiate Strategies can be that for you. Email Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.