3 Questions You Should Be Asking Entering 2022
Your prospect's outlook is continually changing. Your job is to keep up with it.
Quick note: Thanks for the chance to give myself and our staff a much needed break over the holidays and into the new year! We’re revved and ready to bring you a lot of great information this year, starting today. If you aren’t a subscriber, give it a try as we head into one of the most challenging recruiting years on record.
Let’s get it going.
It doesn’t take a crystal ball to understand that we’re entering another new weird year in a seemingly string of new weird years. Especially when it comes to recruiting, and how your prospects are making a decision.
I want to emphasize that one of the big things you, as a college recruiter, need to do on an ongoing basis is to ask questions that assess the status and direction of your prospects’ intentions - specifically as it relates to you and your program. And the way we tend to celebrate New Years as this landmark change in direction for our lives (‘now I’m going to start that diet’…’or get the new job’…or ‘work out more’…you get the picture) allows you, as a college recruiter, to probe a little more in-depth than you usually could with your prospects. And, get more thoughtful answers and insights most of the time.
So, what are some of the questions you should be asking recruits who you are actively engaged at the start of a new year? Glad you asked.
“What’s changed most for you since you started this whole process?”
Recruiting, and the emotional decision making process associated with it, is an evolving process. Their views, their desires, their goals, and their priorities are always in flux. And, as I’ll say again, your job is to track it so you can adjust your approach as you communicate and recruit student-athletes.
This question is pretty basic, but seldom gets asked. You should ask it. A lot has changed with that recruit over there on your whiteboard inside your office on campus, and you need to get updated on what those changes are.
“At the end of the process, if you ended up saying ‘no’ to us, what would you give me as the reason you picked a different option?”
Get them to reveal where they’re leaning by doing a little ‘what if’ with them. You know what? The thing they mention as a reason they would say no is actually the real threat when it comes to how they may actually make a decision.
“Well, Coach, if I said no it’d probably be because of how far away you are from home.” (That’s just one example…it could be money, your division level, the type of offense you run…whatever)
Translation: You need to focus on why going away to school is a big benefit to them. That’s an unanswered objection in their mind that is still a question that’s affecting their ability to decide, and asking this question is a suitable passive/aggressive way for them to hint around how they’re really feeling about you and your program without coming right out and saying they may not be able to commit to you. Ask the question, and see where it leads.
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“What advice are your parents giving you at this point?”
Because they are. They’re talking to their son or daughter about what they think about the process so far, and who their favorites are (or aren’t).
We know statistically that recruits usually follow their parents advice when it comes to the program they want to see them compete at…91% of the time, actually. As we continue to beat the dead horse of ‘you need to be recruiting the parents!’, I just want to emphasize why: They’re a key decision making resource for your prospect down the stretch, and you need to understand what the conversation is behind the scenes.
Whether it’s these questions, or your own, make a point of probing your recruits as they enter a new year - because they have new ideas, new priorities, and new plans. Your job is to understand where they’re head is at, and what it means you need to do next in the process.