The art of the (negative) sale

You know, it’s not hard to grasp how most negative recruiting gets presented.  It’s not too tough to figure out how to go after Mark Richt’s hot seat (although I guess SOD owns that now).  I get how to throw the sins of roster management in Nick Saban’s direction.  Explaining how Paul Johnson’s offense would be the death of any high school quarterback’s NFL dreams would be a breeze.

But here’s one I have a hard time trying to figure out.

… What we have seen in the past year is the power players now have that comes from the pressure put upon schools and coaches who block transfer options. Thanks to the Twitterverse, it didn’t take all that long for PR messes to entangle Maryland’s Randy Edsall, Tennessee’s Derek Dooley or Wisconsin basketball coach Bo Ryan, and eventually, after being called out, each school backed off and allowed their former players more options.

Coaches are realizing or at least they should how thorny these situations can become. You can bet other coaches are using these situations against them in recruiting too.

Now I don’t doubt that other coaches want to throw this kind of stuff out there on the recruiting trail.  But exactly how do they go about doing it?  I mean, I don’t think a coach wants to look a recruit in the eye and say “if it doesn’t work out with us, rest assured we won’t behave like Coach X”.   Who wants to admit to the possibility of an unhappy ending?  And barring some issue like family health, what recruit is going to say to a coach that if he comes, it’ll be with the intent to keep one foot out the door?

Any ideas on how this gets pitched?  Or, does a coach settle for a simple “Yeah, Randy Edsall is a dick” and hope the recruit and his family can fill in the blanks?


Filed under Recruiting

12 responses to “The art of the (negative) sale

  1. Dave

    I would think it plays into the whole “he doesn’t have his kids best interests at heart” meme and the transfer scenario would provide ancedotal evidence of that.


  2. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Negative sales as a general rule don’t work, assuming the competition’s competent, and when they do, you just end up with a client (or in this case, player) who tends to focus on down-sides and worst-case scenarios all the time.

    Sort of like politics.


    • shane#1

      I was taught to stress the advantages that your product offered and to NEVER mention the competition. If your customer {recruit} brings the subject of your competition up you then say something like,” yes they are very good but let me show you the advantages we have.” Then focus the client’s attention back on your product. My dad taught me how to sell and he made a living buying and selling livestock, so he knew the art of the deal.


  3. Uglydawg

    By proxy. You tell player x, who knows recruit y, the negatives he will face if he signs with coach Dick. Word gets around.


  4. Cosmic Dawg

    This doesn’t have a good place to post, but I just started rooting for the Eagles…secondary.

    Boykin was probably my favorite player ever – that picture of him leaping fifty feet in the air on the sidelines like a frog was the very picture of exhuberance that you want on your team. Love that kid and wish him all the best.


    • NRBQ

      And Orson’s being re-united with A.J. in Cincy. Two reasons to watch.


    • shane#1

      +1 and then some. I was hoping the Falcons would pick BB up late. The guy is so versatile. Kick and punt returns, CB, NB, WR, lined up in the O backfield ala Percy Harvin, the guy is a playmaker, pure and simple, he makes things happen. Now, if he could only tackle. Then again, Neon Dion made a good living in the NFL without hitting anybody.


      • Cosmic Dawg

        Yes, you got the idea that nobody on the field was either more excited to be there or wanted to win more than Boykin. And for some reason I also get the feeling that he’s just a good kid, too. If I’m wrong on either count, don’t tell me.


  5. Meg

    I would think this would fall into the same category as the coaches who would really like to use UGA’s and ACC PD’s really extreme punishment stance against UGA recruiting. There is just not a really good way of going about it without admitting you are much softer and lenient on certain issues.


  6. NRBQ

    Man, to think how excited I was when C. King committed to UGA (and then Ealey).

    “Yeah, I was just standing there talkin’ to him, and he fell down, fractured his face and skull, and needed 50 stitches.”

    Nerds and others will have a field day with this.


  7. Go Dawgs!

    I doubt that a coach really has to open his mouth at all on this one. The recruits already know the stories about the transfer debacles. They know that a coach like Mark Richt has their best interest at heart as well as what’s right for Georgia. They know that a guy like SOD has his own best interests at heart, and that’s pretty much it.