If you have been a follower of Tudor Collegiate Strategies and the advice that we give, you probably already know that we advise coaches to do little to no selling on the first phone call.
It can be a turn off for recruits. They don’t love being sold over the phone. And if the first call ends up being a coach giving their sales pitch, that recruit will probably not want to take the second phone call.
Instead, make that first call about the recruit. Where did you find them? What do you like about them? And then lay out what will happen next.
But, there are some key pieces of information you can and should try to get from a prospect on that initial phone call. Here are two of the questions you should ask to get that important feedback:
1) “What kinds of schools have you already crossed off your list?”
This is essentially the opposite of the question, “what kind of college are you looking for?” Which typically gets you a very scripted and unhelpful answer.
Instead, we are asking what kind of college they are not looking for. This kind of feedback will immediately give you an idea of how serious they might be about your school.
If you coach at a small school and your recruit responds by saying they have crossed off several schools that are similar in size because they are too small, that might be a red flag. Ask them for a little more feedback. “Why is that?” or “what about a small school doesn’t seem right for you?”
Before you commit many weeks, months, and even years recruiting this athlete, let’s find some potential objections right away. It may lead to you not recruiting that athlete anymore, and that is OK.
Or maybe you solidify the fact that your school will be perfect for them!
2) “When do you see yourself making your decision?”
Woah, woah, woah. Should we talk about the end of the process in the beginning? Doesn’t that put pressure on the recruit?
Yes and no.
Yes, we should talk about the end of the process in the beginning. Why? Two reasons.
One, if your recruit plans on making their decision very soon, you should know that! Do you have 6 months to recruit them? Or 3 weeks? Don’t get surprised when they make a decision when you were not expecting it, if you don’t talk about that decision.
Two, if your recruit has no plan for when they want to make their decision, that opens the door for you to lead them. Talk about your timeline and what they will need to do in order to make a decision before you finish that class. Many recruits are lost when it comes to making their decision, be a leader and guide them!
And no, this does not put pressure on a recruit. In fact, when you can talk about the end of the process in the beginning, it will reduce the pressure they might feel at the end.
When it gets to crunch time and you need a decision from them. If you come out of nowhere and give them some kind of short deadline later in the year, that will catch them off guard. If recruits know about that deadline well in advance, they find it much more helpful and respectable.
Try these two questions next time you talk to a new recruit!
Dan Christensen is one of the trusted experts on the Tudor Collegiate Strategies staff who works with coaches around the country to help them develop and manage their recruiting plan. You can contact Dan with questions about this or other topics at firstname.lastname@example.org.