by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
If a recruit didn’t respond to your initial contact, what do you do?
Do you try again? A third time? A fourth?
Or, do you give up? If they were interested, they would have responded, right?
If you take the stance of, if they don’t respond after the first or maybe second try, you stop reaching out, you will certainly save a lot of time. Which is a great thing.
But unfortunately, you’ll also miss out on a lot of potential recruits if you do that.
Recruits, especially the good ones, hear from a lot of coaches. It can be overwhelming. And so, some won’t respond right away, simply because of the volume of communication.
Others might not respond because the initial message wasn’t written well. It may have been too long, contained too much info, sounded insincere, or not contained a call to action.
It can also be difficult to distinguish what makes one program different from another. It is your job as a recruiter to help them with that distinction.
So, if you’re typically giving up on unresponsive recruits early on and it isn’t working for you, try these two things.
1) Try a different way to connect
Sounds obvious. But, if they didn’t respond to your initial email, or the second one, maybe there needs to be a different method of contacting that recruit.
If you have a cell number, shoot them a text. If they don’t respond to a regular text, send a video or audio text instead. That is different and can do a better job getting their attention.
If you have a home address, send a letter.
If you have parent or coach contact info, reach out to them to initiate the recruiting process with that athlete.
While many recruits will find a social media DM from a coach uncomfortable, as a last resort, why not try it?
Even look at the timing of your messages. If you’ve been emailing your recruits at 9:00am, try 6:00pm instead.
Don’t stick with what isn’t working. Mix it up.
2) Start telling your story
Like I said earlier, recruits have a hard time distinguishing what is different about the schools and programs reaching out to them. A lot of schools sound and look very similar.
So, if you haven’t given them reasons why they should be interested in choosing you or how you are different than other schools and programs, you can’t really blame them for not showing interest.
Start sharing. Every week, talk about one aspect of your college or your program that clarifies how it is different and shows why they should want to be part of it.
Some kids may just never respond. But, as you share your story, there will be many that didn’t initially respond who now understand why they should be interested in you. And the reality is, many other coaches who don’t read this article will continue to give up too early. Once the volume of coaches reaching out dies down, they’ll be able to better hear your story. You just can’t give up too early.
If you want more advice from Dan Christensen about how to manage your recruiting pool, you can set up a strategy call with him by sending him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.