Check your watch, Coach. Especially when you make your next recruiting phone call.
Once you hit the 10-minute mark when you’re talking to a prospect, you’ve crossed a line that’s pretty dangerous in terms of the effectiveness of connecting with your prospect. That advice comes from interviewing nearly two thousand college student-athletes at college campuses around the nation as a part of our On-Campus Workshop sessions. And their answers to our questions can give serious recruiters some big ideas on keeping their recruiting phone calls short and sweet.
The basic rule I’m recommending that you follow is simple:
Keep your recruiting phone calls to ten minutes or less.
What we found from conducting our surveys on campus was that most prospects get bored with recruiting calls that go past that mark. Many mentioned that they will put their phones on speaker so that they can do other things while you are talking. Or, they’ll just engage you in a polite conversation until it comes to an end.
Their biggest complaints from today’s generation of recruited athletes center around long recruiting calls taking them away from studying, delaying them in texting friends or spending time on social media, and being too “sales” focused…coaches that were more interested in selling their schools early on than getting to know the prospect and asking interesting questions.
So what should you do in the ten minutes that they’re giving you? Here are some ideas:
- Don’t talk about your school unless they ask you about it. For coaches and programs who are one of our Total Recruiting Solution clients, we recommend that they don’t try to “sell” their recruits on anything about their school for at least the first several weeks of recruiting them.
- Make the phone call about them, not about you (or your school, your program, or you). Come up with a list of great questions that are original and all about them. Focus on establishing the relationship with your recruit instead of on selling them right on your program right away.
- Only talk about you, your school and your program IF…they ask you about it. If your prospect is curious enough to ask you about you or your program, then you can talk about it and “sell” all you want. According to our surveys, the time limit goes out the window and you can take all the time you want so long as they are the ones driving the conversation.
Observing the ten minute rule can completely change the way your recruits view you.
Oh, and if you are reading this and worrying that the length of the phone call is going to hurt your chances of signing the recruit, fear not: About nine out of ten prospects confided in us that the length of the phone call made no difference in their overall interest in the school. However, they did rate regular frequency in phone calls as a sign that a program was serious about them.
The big idea to take away from this research is that there is a definite right way and wrong way to execute successful recruiting phone calls with this generation of recruits.
Try following these simple but proven rules the next time you pick up the phone to talk to your prospect.