I’ll Get Back To You
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The parents listen tentatively to your presentation, maybe with some skepticism, maybe not.
You have prepared what you’re going to say in detail.
Throughout the presentation, which has been engaging, informative, flowing, and entertaining it looks as though the parents clearly understand what you’re saying.
They should because you have spent a great amount of time in preparation for this meeting and you’re trying to accomplish something.
The moment of truth arrives. It’s time for that financial commitment. You’ve explained the price, you’ve explained how the process is going to work, and what you’re going to do for them for the money they’ll spend.
Out of nowhere the parent strikes back with these words, “ I’ll get back to you.”
Wow, is your first thought about what the parents have just said to you.
Your inexperience in this process has thrown you unexpectedly off course and pushed you in a different direction and a different mindset than what you started out with.
You’re nervous with anxiety and frustrated with anger. Your total belief that your presentation was on point, flawless, creative, informative, thought-provoking, all the positive intangibles enough so that you knew a parent would move forward without any hesitation.
Not trying to sound pushy or aggressive, but your inexperience is taking over and you will say things like this.
(Scout) So, I will call you back in about 7 to 10 days. Will that work for you? Of course the parents are going to agree.
You will also say something like this, “Mr. Parent, I will also send you additional information.”
Your inexperience in this situation is killing you. The parents are pushing you around like a rubber beach ball and throwing sand in your face and you’re sitting back letting them do it.
From my vast experience of working in this process and dealing with parents like I have for so many years, the parents will not call you back.
I fell into this trap as well believing that in 5 to 7 days, maybe 10, I would get a return call from the parents saying that they’re ready to make their decision to move forward. That call never came.
I became angry at the parents, pissed off, and frustrated. The brush-off was insulting. Why were they treating me so bad? Lying to me so easily like it meant nothing to them to do it?
Here’s the solution to what you should say.
“Mr. Parent, usually when I hear someone say they’ll get back to me I never hear from them again, so let’s just get right to the point.
What would it take for you and I to get this process going today?”
(At this critical juncture the parent will, more than likely, tell you their concerns. They may go point-by-point describing in detail their exact concerns, issues, frustrations, and anxieties about moving forward in the recruiting process.)
(Another point of view regarding the parents wanting to delay this process.)
“Mr. Parent, I’ve been doing this for a long time and when someone says they’ll ‘get back to me’, I never hear from them again. You’re trying to tell me that you just don’t want to sign up and you’re being very polite about it.
What exactly is going on here?
Is it the price?
Is it the college list?
Is it the athletic profile?
Is it our website?
Is it me?”
(Key critical point: The parent has hesitations about moving forward. Your job is to ask them“Is it” questions. Your most important goal is to hit on every aspect of your offerings to the parents until you hit on the key point that triggers the parent’s emotions. You’re looking for a reason why they can’t move forward so you can address that issue, then drop your closing question on them.)
Have at the ready additional questions.
Remember, the parents have hesitations about the process due in large part to their lack of understanding about recruiting.
Unlike day-to-day activities that are easy to comprehend, recruiting has a level of confusion and uneasiness.
It’s easy for the parent, on their way to work, to go through the McDonald’s drive-thru and order an Egg McMuffin and coffee. That takes very little effort and brain power.
The recruiting process is something different altogether. You cannot comprehend the information and absorb it in a matter of moments because it’s not that easy to figure out.
Simplicity of ordering through a drive-thru window requires no effort whatsoever.
What is it that you don’t like about our process?
What part of the process are you struggling with?
Are there areas of concern?
Is there something you’re not sure about?
(Listen tentatively where your focus is on the parent’s response to your questions of their concerns. Big or small, their concerns are legitimate. Your opinion about their concerns privately doesn’t matter, leave it alone. Patiently listened to gather your thoughts and be prepared to respond individually to their concerns.)
Don’t just make it up, be prepared to offer well-thought-out solutions to the parents based on your expert analysis of the issues or concerns they’re having about your offering.
You are in a position of great knowledge and expertise. You have educated yourself thoroughly on the recruiting process. You and only you can solve their issues and concerns.
Your introduction to the parent is always at an uneasy crossroads because recruiting is full of confusion, half-truths, misleading information, trickery, and lies associated in the process along with a high level of anxiety, anger, and nervousness already going into the process by the time of your first encounter with the parent.
Lack of understanding and preparedness generally runs college scouts out of the business. Believing their only job is identifying talent and relationship-building in the high school sports community is just not enough.
The deep, thought-provoking conversations about recruiting is a major component of being a scout. Those weak individuals who cannot handle or adjust their mindset to focus on the conversation that must happen in order to gain financial success lose every time.
The mindset of the parent unfortunately is littered with confusion about the recruiting process. Rarely will you find a parent who’s up-to-date on all aspects of the process.
For the most part, your role is educator and facilitator of information is easy to decipher and understand as though they were connected dots on a piece of paper.
Sadly in this process of mayhem, confusion, anger, and frustration on behalf of the parents, they will lie, they will stretch the truth over the phone and in your face so get used to it and embrace it because it’s coming like an avalanche. You can’t stop it no matter what the situation. Hit it head-on, face the notion and anticipate the obstruction. It’s all in the game.
Master One Closing Strategy
The Great Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees had one pitch.
All college scouts need to perfect one closing strategy to fit all possible objections.
Understand that you do not want to be memorizing multiple and different closing strategies, it would be too confusing and challenging to focus on all of those various closing strategies. It’s not necessary. In this scenario, one strategy fits all.
Noncommittal to the process of being a college scout. Fully understanding the role and the responsibility of your craft is one of the top reasons scouts quit the business without giving it a second thought.
The refusal to study, practice, and develop is because of laziness and having one foot in, one foot out.
Not totally being committed is a problem. It’s failure. You may be thinking ,so what who cares, but in the overall scheme of things it is actually hurting the student-athletes because you’re not there to represent them.
This blog post covered how to handle objections, the push-back from parents of student-athletes.
I want to be clear: you will be bombarded head-on with a multitude of constant objections, frustration, anger, bewilderment, puzzlement, and a certain level of confusion all while you’re shaking your head not understanding what has just happened. This is the world of college scouts, the true professionals.
You must develop one go-to strategy to deal with the multitude of objections you, no doubt, will be hit with in every encounter with parents.
The inexperienced and weak in confidence will not be able to handle the constant barrage of objections. They’re going to have to be prepared. I am telling you the truth.
Understand student-athletes exist everywhere. They are overlooked, unrecognized, and passed over in the recruiting process and those numbers are growing.
Student-athletes are in desperate need of recruiting assistance.
The disservice in your non-committal effort towards developing fully as a college scout will undoubtedly hurt a vast number student-athletes missing out on the opportunity for college athletics and education.
The student-athletes will be hurt, devastated and some lives ruined and directly related to college recruiting failure.
Buying a ticket to a high school game is no big deal, anyone can do that. Not everyone has the courage or the skill to sit down face-to-face or over the phone with parents to have that critical conversation about recruiting.
With the critical nature of recruiting scouts, just like professional athletes, devote a serious amount of time and effort towards development.
The professional athlete is working tremendously hard behind the scenes to develop.
The scout must take the same approach. You need to dedicate at least two hours per night in the development of your skills, talents, goals, confidence, strategies, presentation skills, questioning skills, and objections all in effort to properly assist and represent student-athletes from your local high school community.
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