One of the biggest questions I get asked all of the time when I speak to colleges and universities, is
“How can we get more leads?”
They follow that question up with this statement: “We are spending more money than ever on marketing through traditional means as well as all of the digital channels. But our enrollments are flat.”
After hearing this cry for a few minutes. I immediately follow-up with this simple question: “How much money have you invested in your Admissions Reps development?”
After hem-hawing for a few seconds or so, I usually hear “We just launched a new CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) or Student Relationship Manager.”
Or I hear “We have this automated email system.” Or if they are really old school, I will hear that they have a very strategic program that includes both email as well as snail mail.
After hearing all of that. I ask the question again. “How much money have you spent on developing your Admissions Reps?”
Taken aback by my question thinking they just answered it. They will finally say what do you mean?
In which I say. How many Admissions Reps do you have that are responsible for recruiting students. After I get that answer I ask again, when is the last time you provided some training for those folks that are responsible for recruiting the students for your school.
Again, I hear how educated the staff is. They all have bachelors degrees or most now even have masters degrees. Many of them have graduated from the college or university they are now working. They have a connection to the school, and they are probably the biggest fans of the school you can find.
Unfortunately no matter how big of fans they are. They don’t know what it takes to recruit students. There are times when I will find a few Admissions Reps that are rock stars and just knock it out of the park, but most of the time they have a lot of average on the staff.
Here is what I have found. Schools are not investing the money where they should. Sure marketing is important. But what is the point of spending all of that money on an inquiry and then turning it over to a person who doesn’t have the self-confidence to make an outbound phone call to the prospect.
Or even worse, instead of calling the prospect, they email them four hours after they receive the information on the interested prospect.
This is the reality of what I see out there in a lot of places.
Self confidence is a skill that is not talked about enough in the workplace. And yes it is skill, because it can be developed and enhanced the more it is done.
Most of the schools that I work with, or have worked with, have very capable people who are highly educated. Unfortunately, they haven’t been educated on the right things. They haven’t been educated on influencing or selling (yes I said selling). This is what you have to do. And it takes self-confidence to sell.
If you have never sold before, which isn’t true. Everyone has sold something their entire life. But Admissions Reps have to be reminded that this is what they are doing, and secondly, they must have the self-confidence to unapologetically make it happen.
If you want to see an ROI on your marketing spend, then I would highly recommend you invest an equal amount of money in the development of the people responsible for converting the inquiries and prospects generated from the marketing efforts.
As a long time Admissions Rep and Admissions Manager, I have developed a five step Enrollment process that includes lots of admissions tips and techniques that can equip an Admissions Rep with more self-confidence. When a person gets more self-confidence they are more motivated. People who don’t know what to do, or don’t feel comfortable in doing something aren’t going to do it.
If you want to get more from your people than I would highly recommend you reach out to me and lets see if my program would fit your school or schools.
Ask me about a free workshop.
To your success and your future.