by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
Well first, Coach let’s make sure we have established that your prospect’s parents NEED to be hearing from you.
Why? They play a huge role in your prospect’s decision.
The parents or other guardian figures are helping your recruit fill out applications and plan campus visits. So, if you want to up the number of recruits doing those two things, you need to communicate with those people.
But, the parents are also giving their opinions of the schools their kid is looking at. And helping that athlete narrow down their choices.
So, mom and dad’s opinion of you, your program, and your school matters. A lot.
What is that opinion based off? Reputation? What others are telling them about you? What they find on your website?
Absolutely. And especially so, if you are not telling them what they should think about you.
What I want for you, Coach, is your communication with the parents of your prospects to help define for them who you are and why they should want to send their child to your school. Not the other influences that are largely out of your control.
So, what exactly should your prospect’s parents be hearing from you? Start with these two:
1) How big of a check are they writing?
Your prospect’s parents want to know about the financial picture. And they want to know about it early on.
They can find the sticker price on your website. And they can probably learn a little bit about financial aid and scholarships from your admissions website. But what is it really going to cost?
They want to hear that from you!
Will their athlete get any athletic scholarships? What is the ballpark figure they should expect to pay each year?
When you don’t talk about this with the parents early on, you’re not helping them be comfortable with the idea of even pursuing your school as an option. Why apply, visit, or encourage their athlete to keep in touch with you if they don’t know if they can even afford it?
And they might even read into the fact that you’re not talking about the money as a reality that the cost is too high. So, right away they aren’t trusting you.
Is it always easy to talk about the money? Of course not. Especially if you are an expensive school with minimal aid available.
But, Coach, I know that you know, it is often the hard conversations that are the most valuable.
2) What is the payoff?
So, let’s say we’ve talked about the money. Mom and dad know they’re probably going to have to pay about X amount of dollars to send their child to your school.
Now the question for them is, “well, is that going to be worth it?”
What is the outcome of their child going to play for you and get an education at your school for that amount of money?
When you communicate with your prospect’s parents, talk about how you, the professors, and other support staff will help that athlete get an awesome job after they graduate.
Talk about how your leadership as their coach, will prepare them to be a leader in their career or in their future family.
What other ways do you prepare that athlete to be a better overall person after they graduate? That outcome is important to mom and dad. So, make sure you talk about it!
Need help creating a plan for communicating with your prospect’s parents? Dan Christensen and the rest of the team at TCS are helping hundreds of coaches do this every month. You can contact Dan with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.