by Dan Christensen, Tudor Collegiate Strategies
Coaches are busy. They don’t have a lot of time to waste.
In recruiting though, there is naturally going to be wasted time. That is why it is called “recruiting” and not “selecting.” It is not a given that every recruit will commit. In fact, it is an almost guarantee that most recruits will not commit.
So, even though wasted time is guarantee, it doesn’t mean that coaches can’t be more efficient with their time.
Here are two ways that I see a lot of coaches wasting time in the recruiting process. Time that could be better spent in a multitude of ways.
1) Recruiting athletes that can never afford to pay for their school
It is VITAL that you talk about money with prospects and their families early on.
You should never get to the end of their decision and the reason they don’t come is that they can’t afford it.
Sure, they could say it is cheaper at another school and they don’t see enough value to pay that much more at your school.
But, simply not being able to afford it should be an excuse that ends the relationship in the beginning of the process, not at the end.
I think some coaches ignore the financial piece of the decision until the end. The hope is that the recruit will fall so in love with the school and the program that they’ll be willing to pay whatever they need to pay. That is just not going to be the case with some recruits.
Your recruits will be in one of three categories. Some will be able to afford your school easily. Others probably can but they truly will need some convincing. The third group will straight up not be able to pay what their final cost of attendance will be.
Overcome your fear of talking about money with kids and their families. Use the net price calculator as a guide. And be willing to move on if it just won’t work out. Don’t waste your time.
2) Giving recruits as much time as they want to make a decision
If a coach tells a recruit they have as much time to make their decision as they want, the prospect is guaranteed to delay and delay their final choice. Or they are going to choose the coach at that other school that isn’t that lenient.
Establishing a recruiting timeline doesn’t make you a mean coach. In fact, recruits often appreciate this guidance of knowing how long they have to decide. And they instinctively see programs that establish a timeline as being more prestigious than the ones that will wait around for them.
You might feel it is only fair for them to have as much time as they need. But, in return, you waste a lot of time on kids that will not end up coming. And that isn’t fair to you.
This is your job. Your program. Take some control of it and establish a fair but firm recruiting timeline. You’ll like what happens when you do. Mainly because it will save you a ton of time that could be better spent elsewhere.
Looking for more ways to be efficient with your time when it comes to your recruiting efforts? Dan Christensen and the team at TCS work with around 600 programs around the country helping them waste less time and still get better prospects. Email Dan to set up a strategy call at firstname.lastname@example.org.