Many people are beginning to ask me why I write this column from time to time. Some in the business feel as though I am giving away too much information, and others feel as though I may be hurting their ability to collect money from people.
My answer to those groups of people is the same; I write and provide information so that people do not make completely avoidable mistakes. Having placed my first NCAA Division One player more than 20 years ago gives me a unique point of view and decades of experiences to draw from in order to help people make smarter choices.
Many readers, have hired, or consider hiring a Family Adviser at some point in their careers. Although I would like to help everyone I could, I may not be the right Adviser for everyone looking to hire one. Some people like Burger King, some like Wendy’s, some like McDonalds. Its just a matter of personal taste.
I have several Advisers that are not only my competitors, but close associates or friends. Most of us know each other, and see each other around the rinks throughout the year. The good ones don’t mind losing out on a potential client to another good Adviser.
Unfortunately though, there seems to be a whole lot of people looking to get into the business because they think its a way to make a lot of money quickly. Many of you players and parents are getting fooled into buying one thing while believing you are paying for another because of this.
Here are a few basic questions any potential Adviser should be asked before you hire them. If you don’t ask them and you later feel like you didn’t get what you were promised, then your disappointment is no ones fault but your own.
Have you as an Adviser, ever helped a player get to the NCAA level? If so, when, and who? If not, then you don’t hire, the conversation ends there.
Is the Adviser willing to provide some references for you to call and speak with? Players who have been clients for at least one year and preferably more than a year. If they do not have those references, then you do not hire them.
How many clients does the Adviser work with? This is an important question because there is only so much time in every day to devote to player advancement. If they have too many clients, chances are you are looking at a money making machine that does not provide personal service.
If it is a company of multiple Advisers, is it a pyramid scheme? Meaning are people using one adviser’s name and reputation to develop their own clients and paying the guy up top for use of his name? If this is true, it is a pyramid scheme, and not something you want to be involved with.
Does the Adviser charge an annual fee or “one time” fee? Advisers must charge annually. One time fee’s are NCAA violations.
Does the Adviser have a contract? Advisers are required to have easy to read and easy to understand contracts.
Does the Adviser actually advertise his “client list”? Advisers are held to the same standards as any attorney. An Adviser can not maintain a confidential relationship with a client if they are advertising him or her and using them to induce more people to sign with the Adviser. That is unethical. An Agent can use players to promote his agency but an Adviser can not. There is an NCAA rule that addresses this issue.
Does the Adviser actually know and understand NCAA compliance rules? Can he prove it? How does he stay up to date on those rules?
These are just a few of the very important questions you should be asking. There are many more questions I would recommend asking, and you can email me for any specific questions or situations you may have that are unique to you, and I will do my best to address them.
Remember, your Adviser is performing services for you. It is a highly specialized field. It is not enough to have been a coach, or worked for a team. It is not enough to have been a player. The best Advisers offer a “boutique” like customer experience.
Take your time, be sure, and remember that your relationship with your Adviser is your responsibility to maintain as much as it is his. Good luck in your search.
Joseph Kolodziej – Family Adviser