There are a lot of student athletes who are in their senior year of high school and are finding it challenging to get college programs interested in them.
Some of the student athletes may have received a letter or phone call or two from a college program but not much else.
This could mean that your college recruiting strategy may be a little off and could use some recharging. I thought I would come up with a list of some things you could do to improve the college recruiting process for you:
Start calling college coaches now. If you’re in your senior year of high school and the recruiting process has slowed down, now’s the time to take a more aggressive approach.
There may be schools that contacted you by phone or letter and maybe email. I would take a hard core approach and call each and every one of those coaches. Your goal is to see if they have an interest in you and if they don’t then move on.
If you’ve established yourself with college coaches and they know who you are then I would start emailing these coaches every day until you get a response from them to find out exactly what their intentions are.
If these college programs are interested in you, you can ask them how to move forward. If they’re not interested in you, you must move on.
The handwritten letter approach is a powerful and personal approach for student athletes. Student athletes who are in their senior year should be writing a personal letter to college coaches. This could help recharge the college recruiting process.
A one page handwritten letter may not get lost in all of the other junk mail that college coaches receive each day. If there’s a particular coach that you are writing to, of course address that letter directly to that coach.
In your letter get right to the point and ask that coach what their intentions are with you. If they write you back with their answer then go forward from there. If there’s no interest then move on.
Final thoughts: Sometimes the college recruiting process can change for seniors. College programs can be very interested in you but for some unknown reason, they change their minds.
I believe it’s important to have a long list of college programs to start the college recruiting process because anything can change.
If the college recruiting process has slowed down for high school seniors, you must move into attack mode and aggressively start contacting as many college programs in the remaining months and weeks as you can before you graduate from high school.
It is information overload that causes a lot of confusion with parents who are dealing with the college recruiting process, either for the first time or it’s their second go around.
I want to give you my thoughts and opinions on some of the frustrations many parents have to deal with about the entire college recruiting process.
Much of what I’m going to tell you is based on thousands of phone conversations I’ve had with parents of student athletes.
The impression that I got from many parents about recruiting is that they thought it was someone else’s job or responsibility to handle college recruiting from beginning to end.
Because so much goes into recruiting many parents push the responsibilities of recruiting onto the high school coach or maybe a club coach or some parents may hire a recruiting service.
A number of parents also feel that recruiting did not take place until their student athlete was a senior in high school. It’s like the previous three years of high school was some kind of warm up to the senior year.
I’m here to tell you that the recruiting process, in one form or another takes place every year your student athlete is in high school and when you factor in athletic development, which can begin as early as the middle school years.
The academic side of recruiting is a four year battle of standardized test preparation, improving your GPA or taking the standardized tests and scoring really well on it. It’s an ongoing process of academic improvement over the lifetime of a high school career.
A lot of male and female athletes start to mature around seventh and eighth grade and that is the time in their development to begin a process of becoming a better athlete or fine tuning their athletic skills.
Don’t take this the wrong way parents but I believe it is information overload that sends some parents into hiding when dealing with the college recruiting process.
I would think that in the eyes of parents the recruiting process is like the Yellow Pages book; with each page pertaining to some detail or process about recruiting.
The college recruiting process is that deep and detailed and it is understandable to see why some parents just push the recruiting process to the side.
I wouldn’t expect someone to just hand a book of information on recruiting to parents and basically tell them, “You’re on your own! Good luck!” That would be like handing someone an instruction manual on how to build a car.
You wouldn’t have any more success in trying to build a car like recruiting without having someone to explain the details. If I was trying to build a car based on information out of a book, I wouldn’t know where to begin and after 15 to 20 minutes I would just put the book down, and say forget it for now.
I would think that’s the same thought in the minds of many parents towards the process recruiting. Parents are thinking, “I just don’t have the time to read all of this!” It would be easier to just go to the car dealership and buy a new car.
Some parents are thinking it would be easier to let someone else deal with all of the details of recruiting.
Student athletes love to play sports and we all know that at some point, those particular student athletes begin to distinguish themselves athletically above all others. The parents are thrust in the middle of the strange details of sports and recruiting.
The parents understand the value of an athletic scholarship and even the greater value of a college education. Who, in their right mind, would actually write a check year in and year out to pay for college? The answer is no one!
Because of that, parents are doing everything they can behind the scenes to learn more about recruiting and, for the most part, their student athletes athletic development.
When I was growing up, my parents didn’t know a whole lot about being recruited for college or how serious it was. They did have a common sense approach that if college programs were interested in me it was all good.
They supported me the best way they knew how basically and whatever I needed to succeed in sports they did their best to get it for me.
That’s absolutely the same approach that parents have still to this day. It’s kind of a once in a lifetime experience on what parents have to go through and deal with when their child is maturing athletically.
There is a lot of useful information on the college recruiting process. The problem is, there’s a lot of information about college recruiting. Sometimes, with so much valuable and useful information it can often be a turnoff for parents who were trying to understand the recruiting process for the first time.
You could go on the Internet right now and do a Google search for information on recruiting and you would literally find millions of search results.
No one is going to have the time to look through all of that information and, even if you did, would you know exactly what you are looking for in the first place?
My advice for parents would be to look for specific information on the college recruiting process. It will be impossible to try to learn everything there is to learn about recruiting in a couple weeks or months.
It’s important to understand certain aspects of the college recruiting process in small bite sized morsels of information.
I think it’ll become less confusing for parents if you gather small information where it’s easier to learn and understand.
There are those who believe you have to have a sales background to be a college scout. I totally disagree with that.
In my opinion, I think it’s a bad idea if you come from a sales background.
You need to have a sports background. It’s critical to have knowledge of high school and college sports and, if you have played sports at any level, that would be an added plus.
It’s credibility that counts in this business.
What if you were the local star athlete and you’re now a college scout? That would be more credible than someone who has a sales background who has never played sports.
The last thing a parent wants to have is someone trying to sell them something. Someone who sounds like a sales pro. I hate being sold to because it’s annoying and it doesn’t fit with being a college scout.
It’s All About The Conversation
Being a college scout is a different type of business. When sitting down one-on-one with a parent, you’re just having a conversation. You’re not sounding like a salesperson.
You don’t even look like a salesperson. A business suit is not required. You don’t even need to wear a shirt and tie. You need to dress how college coaches dress. A polo shirt with your company’s logo on it or a nice pair of jeans or pair Dockers is sufficient.
That’s the look you want to have. That’s the look that would resonate with parents of student-athletes more so than someone with a suit and tie on who might intimidate the parents.
The parents are going to automatically think that this will cost a lot of money. It’s going to cost more money than they can afford and, before you even start your presentation, the parent will already have a negative opinion about you.
It’s the conversation that’s very critical. Keep in mind that the parents are already apprehensive about the recruiting process. They’re going to be nervous. They’re going to be confused.
The parents know absolutely nothing about recruiting. Whatever they do know about recruiting it’s probably wrong because they heard it from another parent who knows absolutely nothing about recruiting. You don’t want to come in there and ruin everything before your first impression.
Your first impression should not be too much sales mumbo jumbo.
Your first impression should be that you’re their friend.
Your first impression should be someone they can relate to.
Your first impression should be someone they can talk to.
Your first impression should be someone they’re willing to listen to.
Your first impression should be having a conversation about the recruiting process.
You don’t want to be in sales presentation mode.
A lot of scouts want to come in with a PowerPoint presentation. This is only going to intimidate the parents. I really don’t think it’s necessary to come in with all types of tools and gadgets.
I think you could walk into their home, sit down with them in a neutral meeting place with a laptop computer and that would be okay. It’s really a nice conversation between the scout and the parents.
The Salesperson Vs. The College Scout
Salespeople talk too much. They talk about how great their products and services are. They want to talk to you about what they have to offer and how it all works. This is how salespeople have been trained for decades.
We all know people who are great talkers or who have a great speaking voice and we probably told that person that they would be a great salesperson. In my opinion, it’s a huge mistake for a college scout to be a great talker.
For someone who’s going to talk and dominate the conversation, you’re not going to succeed with the parents. You will clearly fail as a college scout if you spend most of the time talking and the parents most of the time listening. That’s not how it goes.
A professional college scout is going to ask questions and listen for feedback. The professional college scout will keep asking questions and get the parents to respond with a wealth of information.
It’s about the spotlight in your role as a college scout. There is a huge spotlight swinging back and forth between the scout and the parent. The spotlight is going to shine on the individual who is talking.
If the parent is doing most of the talking then the spotlight is shining on them, they are the stars of the conversation and that’s exactly what you want. As soon as the scout begins to talk, the spotlight will shift over to them.
It’s important for the college scout to keep the conversation going by asking questions that will keep the spotlight on the parent because you’re getting them to talk.
Every parent is going to have something good to say about their kid. The parent has invested a lot of money in their son’s or daughter’s athletic development. The parent has been to just about every camp, every tournament, and sometimes summer vacations are scheduled and coordinated around camps and tournaments.
The parents are going to know everything there is to know pertaining to their student-athletes college recruitment.
If you ask questions, the spotlight is on the parent and the parent is going to keep talking. You’re going to get information and the rapport that you’re building between yourself and the parent will get stronger and form a very strong bond.
That’s exactly what you want. If you sit there and try to dominate the conversation with a bunch of facts, figures, and statistics the parent will tune you out like the Charlie Brown characters who tune out the adults when they start talking. Have you ever seen one of those Charlie Brown cartoons?
A salesperson is going to talk a lot. They’re trying to sell. Their job is to talk a lot and to give as much information as possible to get the customer to buy right now.
How many times have we gotten that annoying phone call from someone trying to get us to switch our electric service or cable service and they immediately start talking and telling us everything about it.
The first thing I do is start rolling my eyes then I hang up the phone. It’s annoying and it hurts my ears just to hear these people talk. Now can you imagine if you were to do that to a parent of a student-athlete? You will no doubt lose them.
The Conversation And The Rules of Engagement
What is the first question you would ask a parent?
In your presentation, I believe it’s important to get off to a good start. In my opinion, that first engagement question would be, for example, ‘Tell me all about Jason.’
What a great question. Normally, the parent is going to run down everything Jason has done athletically over the last several years. They’re going to talk about every camp. They’re going to talk about all the games. They’re going to talk about what’s going right with recruiting and what’s going wrong with recruiting.
As a college scout, you just hit the jackpot of information. The spotlight is on the parent and they’re sharing everything with you.
You’re getting a wealth of information and this is going to help you when it comes to signing them up and getting them to make that financial commitment which is very important to your own financial future as a professional college scout.
When you’re about to have that conversation with the parent, practice what you’re going to say. Write it out on notebook paper or legal pad the kinds of questions you want to ask and how you want the conversation to go. Draw a diagram of all the steps you want to take when dealing with a parent.
Too many scouts just make it up as they go along. They don’t have a plan, they don’t have structure, they don’t know what they’re going to say, or what they’re going to do they just wing-it, making it up as they go along and they don’t achieve much success.
Think about when you go to buy that next car. The salesperson is talking too much trying to get you that car. Sometimes these car salesperson don’t have a real plan or real structure.
The college recruiting scout is a professional and you have to act that way. To maintain control it is important that you control the conversation with questions. You are a skilled surgeon of recruiting.
If the parent has a question, you have the answer or the solution and you know exactly what to do and how to diagnose the problem.
As the parents begin to give you feedback you’re in agreement. You’re agreeing to what they’re saying. If it’s a conversation over the phone, you’re using words like, ‘I understand, I agree, I completely know what you’re going through, I completely understand.’ Words of encouragement. You don’t want to sound like someone who wants to rush through the process because you want them to go ahead and pay and get things going.
If you treat the parents right, it could lead you to a bottomless pit of referrals of other student-athletes from that same high school or from that same club team.
Let me be perfectly clear: you do not need a sales background or sales experience to be a successful college scout, it’s just not necessary. It’s all about the conversation with the parent.
It’s all about asking questions of the parents. You don’t want to ever come off sounding like a salesperson. You want to sound like a real person when dealing with parents of high school student-athletes.
Just because they like you does not mean they’re going to sign up with you. This business is all about getting the parents to sign up with you so you can do your job.
If it was only that simple.
When it comes to closing a large percentage of scouts struggle. They struggle with exactly what to say, they struggle with the words they should use, and a lot of times they just fall flat on their faces.
ABC. In this business it means Always Be Closing. Now this term is not new, it’s been around forever. The term has been around for as long as there’s been someone trying to persuade someone to buy something.
Even in the movie Glengarry Glen Ross with Alec Baldwin he talks about ABC,Always Be Closing.
If you can’t close you’re not going to get paid, you’re not going to be successful, and, more than likely, you will be out of business fast.
Back in the mid ‘90s when I was still relatively new as a college scout, I struggled. I was having a conversation with the mother of a football student athlete. I couldn’t get her to sign up. I kept explaining to her over and over what the service was about, how Icould help her son, everything. Nothing seemed to work. I was in a situation where my back was against the wall because I needed her business and I needed the money.
Then, knowing that I had one last shot I tried something totally different.
I said to the parent, what exactly is it that you’re not interested in? That was a very simple and right to the point question and she still wouldn’t give me a direct answer. Then I repeated the question again, but I said it this way:
What exactly is it that you’re not interested in?
Is it the Athletic Profile?
Is it something I said?
Is it the website?
Is it me?
Is it the cost?
Is it the list of college programs?
Then she responded yes to the list of college programs.
This parent believed that I would control the list of colleges and that they had no say or input as to the selection of the colleges. They wanted to have input and to have an opportunity to make some recommendations themselves.
They didn’t want me to control it. That was her biggest obstacle and objection to the whole process. I explained to the parent that they would have some say in choosing college programs to target and that we would come up with a strong list together.
Once the parent heard that and understood how it was all going to work she was good to go. As a matter of fact, she signed up.
The lesson I learned was Always Be Closing. ABC meant more to me than just letters in the alphabet.It helped me to get paid.
I understood what ABC meant. I was so pumped up that it worked and that I signed the parent that I started writing down all these different kinds of closing questions.
I was inspired. I was enthusiastic. I was extremely happy. And all it took was some practice.
Everyday I would practice closing questions to the point where I had them all memorized.
Where I live there are many apartment buildings and there’s an area called Shaker Square.There’s a train, a lot of restaurants, and there’s a coffee shop.
Sometimes I would go to this coffee shop perhaps three to four times a week. I get a coffee and a bran muffin then sit down and watch everyone rush off to work.
I relax for a half hour to an hour sometimes. I often ordered the same thing. They knew me by my first name because I have been there so many times.
This particular time I wanted to try my newly discovered sales closing, ABC, techniques and strategies on the cashier. On this particular morning, I ordered my coffee as usual but I wanted the brand muffin for free.
She rang up my order and before I began to pay I said I would like the brand muffin for free today, she said well it cost $1.09 and I can’t give it to you for free.
I said I come here every day, I’m one of your best customers but today I would like the bran muffin for free. She said no. I said you know my name, you see me just about every day, and I’m one of your best customers but today I just want the bran muffin for free. She replied, this time using my name saying, you got to pay for it. I said just for today I want the muffin for free. I’m one of your best customers, you know all about me, you even know I sit over there by the window, but today I want a free bran muffin.
She finally agreed and said here, take the muffin!
I took my coffee and my free bran muffin, I thanked her very much with a smile and I went and sat down.
The moral of the story isAlways Be Closing. She kept saying no and that she couldn’t give me the muffin for free and I kept giving her reasons why she should. Eventually, I won.
(Scout) We spent a lot of time talking about how we can help Chris get to the next level. My question to you is, what can we do to get the process going today?
(Parent) Well, I’m not really sure if this is going to be something for us. Give us some time to think about it.
(Scout) Well Mr. Jones, you know you have been thinking about it for quite some time nowand this would be a great opportunity for Chris. I don’t want you to lose out. What can we do to get this process moving forward today?
(Parent) I think we’re good. I think we’re going to hold off for a little while. I think we’re just going to think about it some more!
(Scout) I hear what you’re saying. You’ve been holding off for a long time. Nothing has happened with Chris when it comes to getting recruited for college. The longer you wait it’s just going to hurt his chances of going to college. What can we do to get this process moving forward today?
(Parent)Okay, we’ll go ahead and move forward with this. We’re ready to go. I just want to be sure that we’re doing everything the right way for my son.
(Scout)Okay great! We’re ready to go!
Key Points To Remember:
The process is a lot of back-and-forth between you, as the scout, and the parents. A lot of inexperiencedscouts think they’re coming on too strong or they’re being somewhat pushy. You’re not coming on too strong and you’re definitely not being pushy. You are a trained professional. You’re using the right language, the tone of your voice is just right, you’re not shouting, you’re not rolling your eyes. You’re being very professional.
One key point to remember always when you give your closing question is that it’s important for you to remain silent. Any question you pose to the parent, remain silent and wait for their answer. Sometimes there could be three or four seconds of silence before the parents respond. It’s even more paralyzing over the phone. If you talk before the parent had the chance to answer the question, there is a high probability that you will lose the parent. Remember, you don’t want to over–talk the parent or the situation.
As a college scout, you have to have nerves of steel. You can’t be scared. You can never be intimidated when you’re having this kind of discussion with a parent.
My advice would be to practice. Practice with your significant other. Practice in the mirror at home. Practice when you’re in your car driving to work or just sitting in your car.
Wherever you may be you need to spend a great deal of time practicing your closing questions so you can build up the strength, the expertise, and the knowledge to be able to close the parents with ease.
You want to have your closing questions at the ready. Memorize everything that you’re going to say so it comes out naturally and gives you more confidence. If you have a digital recorder, practice using that and play it back so you can hear how you sound.
Turn the TV off, get off of Netflix, and spend some time studying and practicing. If you’re complaining that you can’t get parents to sign up and you’re spending two hours a night watching TV,that’s part of your problem.
Practice makes perfect. Think of as many closing questions as possible. Go through many different scenarios as possible. Your job is to get the parents to sign up and you need to do whatever it takes to make it happen.
If you are unsuccessful in the closing process you will be unsuccessful as a scout. You may only get one parent out of a hundred who flips out on you and that’s rare.
Most of the time the parent doesn’t want to say no to their student-athletes chances of going to college and they don’t want to close the door if there’s an opportunity there to help them. Always Be Closing!
Where would a professional athlete be if they never practiced? The greater athletes are always perfecting their craft. If they are not constantly working to develop themselves, they wouldn’t be in the league very long and probably wouldn’t have made it to the league in the first place.
The same can be said for college scouts. Many of them fail. Every year hundreds of intensely eager men and women set out to become a college scout. By the end of that year many of them quit. Many of them are unsuccessful and many more just phase out or drop off because they couldn’t make it work.
Lack of preparation is where many scouts are weak. Failure is right around the corner if you do not have the discipline to practice your skills.
Professional athletes are practicing all the time: Baseball players have batting practice every day and basketball players have a shoot-around prior to that evening’s game. There is constant practice and development all the time to stay sharp, to stay on top of your game, and the same is true for successful college scouts.
A List To Prepare For
Objections: In this business, every scout is going to get hit with objections. The objections are when the parent says no or they’re not interested. If you’re not prepared in advance this will hit you upside the head like a brick. How would you handle the objections? What would you say to the parent who is not interested? What would you say in your defense?
Questions From Parents: The parents are going to have questions, so it’s important for you to have the answers. It’s important for you to be prepared for anything the parent is going to ask. Make a list of questions that you think parents would ask. Figure out exactly what your response will be to those potential questions.
Asking Questions: Put together a list of your top 10 questions that you want to ask parents. You want to be very strong in this area. Then develop another 20 or 30 more questions that you want to use as a backup. The questions are like your inventory, you pull them out when you need them and they’re always available to you. You want to be prepared in this area.
Your Presentation: Your presentation is something you need to practice daily and basically get to the point where it’s memorized. Your presentation is you explaining what your recruiting service is all about and what the parents are going to get for their money.
The Follow-Up Phone Call: Making follow-up phone calls is critical. This is another area where many scouts are weak. They’re nervous because now they have to actually do some serious work. This is an important area that should be practiced every single day on exactly what you’re going to say to the parent in your follow-up phone call and every follow-up phone call you make. You just can’t make it up. You must have a plan and you need to have an excellent strategy.
How To Use Social Media: Social media is here to stay. You need to figure out how to use social media to build your brand, get your name out there, and to build transparency. In this business people go by what they see and what is unseen counts for nothing. You want to post videos of yourself at high school sporting events. You want to write short informational post on social media. Post images with written words on them. It’s important to be able to use social media to get your message out there. Build a Facebook Fan Page. Build an Instagram Fan Page and get thousands of followers. Social media today is very important and something you must do and be good at while building your brand.
Text Messages: Don’t be scared to text a parent. Sometimes in your attempt to make your follow-up phone call, it may go straight to voicemail but their voicemail is full. The parent is not going to answer the phone. If you are lucky enough to be able to leave a message, they still may not return your call. It’s the nature of the beast, it’s just the way it is. Develop a thorough text messaging program. What are you going to say in your text message? Images are good, video is good, the written word is good. You’re trying to get your message across to the parent. Follow the same objection procedures. Cover all bases in your text messaging campaign.
Email: Email is still powerful. This is another weapon in your arsenal of ammunition. You need to be able to reach the parents more ways than just a phone call or text message. It’s important to use what you have available. All the weapons all the ammunition, use it up because it’s important. Some parents have office jobs and email could be the best way to reach them. In some situations their email is attached to their phone and they’re going to see it right away. Develop a strategy for email. Don’t just come up with one or two email messages have dozens of messages you can use. Also with email, you want to be creative in the subject line. A one or two word subject line is not going to cut it. Five or more words in the subject line will grab their attention right away. Think of various subject lines you want to use in your email message to parents.
Rejection: It is part of the business that you cannot get around. Rejection will happen. There will be plenty of situations where you have given your best effort and you have done everything by the book, but the parent will not sign up with your recruiting service. There are crazy situations and crazy scenarios you’re going to come across, but instead of running away from rejection learn from it and understand it. I would make detailed notes on what happened and why the parent did not sign up with you. What were some of the things they said to you? What was their expression? Did they ask questions? Were they argumentative? It’s important to understand rejection because it’s going to happen. I think it’s important to keep detailed records and notes on exactly what happened when a parent didn’t sign up, that way you can get better. Think about NFL football; they play the game on Sunday and, win or lose, they look at the tape of the game on Monday. They’re studying what went right and what went wrong. They’re breaking it down in two categories. On certain days the defense will watch defensive film, the offense watches offense of film, and the special teams special teams film. They’re doing this so they can fix problems because it’s about getting better. Embrace rejection.
Goal-Setting: As a college scout if you have no goals you’re going nowhere. If your goals are not in writing where they can be reviewed and adjusted, you really have nothing to shoot for. How many people do you want to sign up every month? How many games do you want to attend on a weekly basis? How many posts on social media do you want to make every day, every week, or every month? How much money do you want to make every month, every three months, every six months, every year? How many kids do you want to sign up? How many of those kids do you want to get placed in college on scholarships or financial packages? Write down your goals. Create a long list of achievable goals. I believe your goals should be broken down into short-term goals which would be three months. Mid-term goals, six months. Long-term goals, one year. Don’t make the goal so impossible to achieve that it never becomes achievable. You don’t want to say something like “I want to make a million dollars by the end of the year!” That’s a very nice goal to have, but is it really achievable? Have a separate notebook so that you can keep track of your goals. You should read your goals three times a day. In the morning, during the afternoon, and most definitely before you go to sleep at night. Your mind does not turn off, your subconscious will be working on those goals all night. When you wake up the following morning you will have energy, a reason to jump out of bed and get right to it every single day. If you commit to goals you will succeed as a college scout. Now you have a Blueprint for Success, a road map to achieve greatness.
Business Development: This is an area where many professional scouts and recruiting services neglect. What are you doing to improve your business? I believe you should spend one hour per week working on your business. What exactly does that mean? Studying all there is to be a scout. Going over your presentation, the questions you ask parents, your goals, follow-up questions, text messages, and emails to parents. Business Development. There’s a reason why certain companies are out of business right now. They weren’t smart enough to develop. They weren’t smart enough to innovate and now they’re out of business. If you don’t innovate you’re going to die. Think of ways to get better as a college scout. Just don’t sign up a bunch of kids in a month and think it’s all good and success is just going to keep growing. You want success to last for as long as you’re in business. Think of ways to get better and one of the ways is business development.
Final Thoughts: Practice, drill, and rehearse is critical to your success as a college scout. I’ve seen a lot of scouts come and go. I’ve seen a lot of scouts who don’t want to accept information. Many of these scouts crashed and burned.
Many of these scouts failed and they blame their failure of not being able to sign the parents because, the parents would listen, the parents have no money, it’s the wrong sport, we’re out of season, it’s the wrong time of year, it’s the holidays, I don’t personally have the time this week, the list of excuses goes on and on why scouts fail, the student-athletes were jerks, etc. The blame game for failure, that’s what some scouts are all about.
The successful scout is always practicing to the point where everything they say and do is memorized. Everything the scout is doing comes natural to them just like a baseball player in the batting cage. Soon as he sees a fastball or a curveball he knows exactly what to do. Why not get a partner like your wife, your girlfriend, or other family member to practice with? Constantly keep drilling yourself and quizzing yourself on techniques on all facets of being a college scout.
It’s like in pro football, the players have to be good on all facets of the game: offense, defense, and special teams. They’re constantly practicing, drilling themselves, and rehearsing. You can achieve great success as a college scout. We’re never going to run out of student-athletes. High school sports is getting bigger and bigger all the time. Forty years ago clubsports was nonexistent.
Now club sports is big-time. Many club organizations are run like corporations. High school sports is getting bigger and it’s not slowing down. There are more athletes playing high school sports than there’s ever been in the history of high school sports. Back in the day, there wasn’t much softball and girls basketball, now that’s changed.
As a college scout you need to position yourself to do what you can to assist all of these student-athletes. The number of college programs has virtually remained the same. The number of student-athletes keeps growing. There’s always going to be a student-athlete who missed out on a college opportunity.
Recruiting services are needed! There’s always going to be a student-athlete who has talent, who is under-recruited, and invisible to college coaches. It is your duty to be out there to help these kids get recruited.
The last thing we want to see is a talented kid working at a lowly minimum wage job when they should be in college playing their sport and getting an education. It’s up to you as the college scout to perfect your skills and I’m challenging you to dedicate yourself to developing your talents.
How will your day begin as a college scout? Some scouts have no clue.
They’re winging it day by day, week by week. They’re making it up as they go along. You are developing a recipe for disaster without a plan to win the day.
What are the top five to seven things you need to get done to win the day?
Have you practicedandare you prepared to deliver an outstanding presentation to the parents of a highschool student–athlete in order to win the day?
The success and the failure of scouts can be directly related to their preparation.
As you know, lack of preparation will bring you struggle. Proper preparation mean you will have a greater success to succeed long-term.
“If you put in the work and you don’t give in to defeat and failure, results will find you.”
Powerful Suggestions To Win The Day
Exercise: I think it’s very important to develop an exercise program. If you are in top condition you will be able to focus clearly. Exercise will give you the energy to get through extremely long days. Maybe you have a full-time job and you’re a college scout part-time. You might put in 12 to 15 hours a day. Exercise is going to give you the strength and the energy to succeed. You will be able to think more clearly to be able to come up with ideas that you never knew you could dream of. The right exercise program could help you succeed to greater heights. You may only need one hour, three to four days a week which could be the difference between winning and losing.
Meditate: There’s a lot of information on the Internet and many books on Amazon related to meditation. Doing 20 to 30 minutes a day of meditation can help clear your mind and get you to focus more intensely on the job at hand. Being a college scout is not a nine-to-five job where you punch a clock. You have to be a self-starter to be a successful scout. Meditation could help clear your mind and get you to focus more. It can help you strengthen your confidence, eliminate any fears in your role as a college scout. Many college scouts fail because they have the fear of the unknown. It’s something to look into and something to think about.Meditation maybe for you or may not, but think about it.
Reading Your Goals: I think goals are one of the most critical components of being a college scout and running a recruiting service. Whether you are a scout or you work for a recruiting service whatever your role maybe, it’s critical to have goals. Your goals should always be in writing. If your goalsare not written down on paper it’s not a goal, it’s a wish. You want to read them out loud three times a day. Once in the morning. Once in the afternoon, and one more time before you go to bed at night. Your subconscious mind is always working whether you are awake or asleep. Those goals are going to be working in your thoughts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Non-Stop. You will be surprised of the achievements you conquer in the pursuit of your goals.
“Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”
To–Do List: Your to-do list is more about time management than anything else. We all waste a great deal of time every single day on things that are not helping us achieve our goals. We are wasting too much time on small mundane details. Time is important. There’s only so much time in a day or in a week and you want to take advantage of every single minute. Your to-do list should be the five or six things you need to get done every day.
Post on social media three times today.
Make 5 follow-up phone calls today.
Call 5 new parents today.
Send out 5 text messages to parents today.
Network with three club coaches today.
Final Thoughts On To-Do List: You don’t want a to–do list that has 10 or 15 things on it because you won’t get all of that done in a day.Then you’ve just wasted more time. You also may want to think about how much time it is going to take to complete each task on your to-do list. Remember, your to-do list is more about time management, getting things done that day that are the most important. You want to stay on point, stay focused, and you want to stay at the ready.You want to get things done every day in order to have a great, prosperous, and productive week.
Practice: You have to practice. You cannot get around it. You have to put in the work. For those who don’t dedicate themselves to developing their skills as ascout I guarantee that you will fail. Set aside a certain amount of time each day to practice. Turn the TV off for an hour. Go off somewhere to a quiet place where you can focus and not be interrupted. Lay out all of your notes and begin to study and practice to perfect your skills and talents as a college Scout.
Questions. Lay out your top 10 questions you want to ask parents. You may want to have another 5 to 10 more questions on top of that. What you’re doing is practicing what you want to ask the parents. Get to the point where the questions you want to ask or memorized.The less you need to look at your notes, the more professional you’re going to look in the eyes of the parents.
Presentation. Your presentation is basically explaining to the parent how the recruiting service works and what they’re going to get for their money. You should practice this everyday and get to the point where you have it memorized. If you are able to flawlessly present your presentation you’re going to sound as if you’ve done this a million times, sound professional, and have complete confidence in your services. Keep in mind that the parents are already skepticalabout the recruiting process. If you come off as a true professional you increase the rate of success in signing up parents.
The Price. You’ve asked questions, you delivered your presentation, and now the moment of truth: you’re going to tell the parents how much it costs. This is where a lot of scouts screw up. A lot of scouts are scared to ask parents for money. When the scout is talking about price they want to put extra words on it or say too much about the price. I believe it’s unnecessary and you will screw up the process. Here is how you should talk about the price.
“ It’s a one-time fee of $1,000!”
Very simple very basic and to the point. Once you tell the parents the price don’t say anything extra.
“It’s a one-time fee of $1,000, but we may be able to work with you on the price.”
“It’s a one-time fee of $1,000. We know that’s kind of pricey, but a lot of families sign up with us anyway.”
“It’s a one-time fee of $1,000. That might sound like a lot, but really it’s not.”
Those are examples of mistakes a lot of scouts make.
The scouts are adding extra words to the price and when you do that, you’re sending a direct message to the parents that you have doubts about your recruiting service.
You’re sending a terrible message to already stressed and confused parents.
Don’t do it!Don’t add extra words. Say the price and end it.
The Closing Question
You have quoted the price to the parent. Two or three seconds after your quote you go directly to your closing question.
We have a one-time fee of $1,000, (Closing Question) What can we do to get this process moving for you today? (Be silent after the closing question and wait for their response.)
We have a one-time fee of $1,000. (Closing Question) This is a great opportunity for Chris!Let’s go ahead and move forward with this process today. (Be silent after the closing question and wait for their response.)
We have a one-time fee of $1,000. (Closing Question) Chris is an outstanding athlete.Let’s go ahead and get the exposure for your son today.
(Be silent after the closing question and wait for their response.)
Final Thoughts On The Closing Question: Those were just three examples of closing questions. Come up with your own that suits your personality and your style of speech. What’s important to understand is you want to get right to the point and you want them to sign up with you today. Whether you’re face to face with a parent or you’re talking with them over the phone, when you deliver that closing question you always, always, always want to be silent and wait for their response. Two to three seconds of silence in person or over the phone is a long time. The parents will be forced to give you an answer.
Rehearsal: There’s always some kind of preseason in every sport. There’s preseason in football, spring training in baseball, there’s always some kind of warm-up prior to a season. In this situation you also want to have a rehearsal. You can do this once a week by rehearsing your entire presentation from beginning to end. Or you can video tape the rehearsal of your presentation. Why not record it on a digital recorder?You can take the video or the audio of your rehearsal and study it to find out what areas are weakand what areas need improvement.
Final Thoughts; Every day you want to have a purpose as a college scout. Those who make it up as they go along with no real direction from one moment to the next will fail.
If there’s something negative to be said about recruiting services, unfortunately all recruiting services get lumped into the same category.
Your objective is to win the day. Your goal is to get better with consistently signing up student-athletesand if you’re doing that then guess what? You are making money.
Money in this business is power.
The power will give you the ability to grow your business. You’ll be able to advertise. You will be able to buy more equipment such as computers and software to help grow and promote your business.
You’re trying to win every single day. You’re trying to get better every single day. There’s a lot of student-athletes in your city right now who needs your help. If you do this job the right way you will have success that will last forever.