And make no mistake, every time you recruit an athlete, you’re making an argument:
- You make an argument as to why they should pay the tuition at your school so that they can play for you.
- You make an argument that your style of play is better than other options they might be considering.
- You make an argument that they should make your campus their first visit.
- You make an argument when you ask them to commit.
Here’s the problem many coaches – and people in the professional world – make: They “argue” with their recruits, and their recruits’ parents, from their coach’s word view.
You have deadlines to meet, applications to turn in, schedules to keep, classes to sign. One of the main teaching points we make in our on-campus recruiting workshops is that many coaches get so wrapped up in the procedure that their school uses to recruit and accept an incoming student-athlete that they forget one important aspect of the recruiting and decision-making process:
Your prospect doesn’t usually care about your process.
Coaches will often times argue from their point of view, rather than empathetically from the prospect’s point of view.
- So, when you make an argument as to why they should pay the tuition at your school so that they can play for you, it might be a better idea to understand how their family has planned to pay for college (or if they have at all).
- When you make an argument as to why your style of play is better than their other options, consider associating that style with what they’re playing now on their club team – and if they like it or not.
- If you want them to come to your campus first, talk to them about what other campuses they’re lining-up visits for – and then create a visit that’s specific to their wants and needs.
- When you ask them to commit, make sure you explain why you like them, what you see as their plan for them, and let them know that you really want them.
Author and marketing guru Seth Godin says, “Marketing is the empathetic act of telling a story that works, that’s true for the person hearing it, that stands up to scrutiny. But marketing is not about merely sharing what you, the marketer believes. It’s about what we, the listener, believe.”
I couldn’t agree more.
So, here’s a simple three step plan for you to revamp pretty much any argument, recruiting pitch, or conversation with your prospect:
Define what you want to tell them from your point of view. Before you can react with empathy, you need to narrow down exactly what it is that you want to tell your prospect. Be specific.
Reverse sides; how is your prospect going to hear your argument? Think worst case scenario here: What is the least positive way they would hear what you’re telling them?
Re-craft your argument that takes your prospect’s worldview into account. Any argument, recruiting message, or sales pitch you’re hoping to make needs to focus on “what’s in it for them”. Nothing to do with your priorities, deadlines or process…everything to do with their perspective, hopes, dreams and fears.