A recruiting service claiming to know everything is loudly stating, it doesn’t know everything. The recruiting process is too complicated, too long and, most of all, too personal for a one-stop shop – no matter how equipped the service claims to be.
First, let’s get clear on recruiting services. Some focus on skill development to make athletes more appealing to colleges, while others focus on matching athletes with available opportunities. And, somewhere between those two are services based on a prospect’s abilities and opportunities, the family’s needs and even college trends or specific program needs.
In all, the recruiting process, or recruiting game as some call it, can range from simple and enjoyable to convoluted and nerve-racking. Therefore, when a prospect and their family decides to engage a recruiting service to assist, expectations and results become the primary focus.
Regardless of a recruiting service’s reputation and past results, a new prospect or family is expecting their needs to be met, and may be less interested in what was done for previous prospects and families. Testimonials matter, but the current test is more important. The following three things should be at the very top for all recruiting services.
Make It About The Money
Talk about money! Not because it’s the most important topic, but because it’s the most sensitive topic. A good recruiting service introduces the money discussion upfront. The topics should be – scholarships or financial aid, service costs and other money related matters the family thinks is important. Be honest and avoid making money promises. By talking about money, it removes barriers and uneasiness. There will be questions about money as the service engagement and recruiting process progresses, but it will be managed better if it’s not an avoided subject.
Keep It Human – People Matter
People want their needs met! A recruiting service is in the serving business. A successful service engagement happens when things were conducted well upfront. When prospects are seen as a numbers game, they tend to be treated as numbers, not humans. Conversely, if they feel treated as such, it makes the engagement more difficult. It doesn’t matter if a service has the biggest, baddest database of college coaches or big name endorsements – prospects and families need to know and be shown how it benefits them personally. Always think quality over quantity.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
A prospect’s or family’s college sports goals must become the recruiting service’s goal! Some how or some way, the customer should feel that in every face-to-face, phone or email contact. This is an anxious time and anxiety needs to be tempered through communication. Focused listening and responses are essential – always avoid one-way conversations. It gives the perception of being a know-it-all or not listening to the customer – either one is not good for business, testimonials and requesting referrals! Laser focus on the customer in the present moment.