In a general sense, there are three stages for your recruiting pool. There is the original group of prospects that you reach out to. Then, there are the recruits that respond and are more seriously considering you. And finally, you have those that commit to your program.
One of the biggest problem areas for coaches is that transition from the initial pool to the more serious second stage of the process.
Getting a response is obviously the initial goal. But, then after that initial email response or initial phone call, there needs to be a strong level of engagement on the part of the recruit. Without it, your story might not really be heard, and that recruit won’t be able to really grasp why they should choose you.
So, how can we help ensure a higher level of engagement with your recruits? Here are two ways:
1) Clearly lay out communication expectations early on
What do you want from your recruits when it comes to their engagement level?
Well, whatever you just thought of, tell them that!
First, explain to them what your communication will look like. What should they expect from you? Emails? Letters? Phone calls? Texts? How often?
Then, let them know how you would like them to reply. If you want them to be replying to your emails, make that clear and ask them to be responsive to those.
It might sound unnecessary to let recruits know you want them to respond to emails. But, Coach, how well are they doing it when you don’t?
2) Communicate with a purpose
One thing that recruits say gets really old fast and even discourages them from wanting to respond is when a coach over and over again just checks in.
“Hey, Jimmy how is it going? How did your last game go? Is school going well? Awesome, well have a great week and we’ll have this same conversation again next week!”
Do your texts and phone calls ever look like this?
Yes, reaching out shows you’re thinking of them. But, it doesn’t really help move them closer to choosing you. There is no substance to “checking in.”
Instead, bring some kind of purpose to each call. Each text. Each email. What do you want to get out of that communication? And what do you want the recruit to get out of that communication?
Have a purpose. It will keep the conversation fresh and engaging for the recruit which will increase the likelihood they will keep responding and taking steps forward!
Want more strategies to create deeper, more engaged recruiting pools – specifically for you and your athletic department? Host one of our experts on your campus for an in-depth recruiting workshop. For the last two decades, we’ve trained thousands of coaches across the country how to recruit in a more advanced, research-based way. Get all the details here.