21 reasons your Admissions Representatives aren’t motivated

I have been in the higher education sector for the last fifteen years of my career.  Primarily working with admissions managers and admissions representatives. I have worked in the for-profit sector, the non-profit private sector, and even the public sector.

As a manager myself for many years, and as a consultant for just as many, I have found the following 21 ideas, things, excuses, or whatever you want to call them.  To be true in every one of the higher education groups I have worked with.

I am not only blaming the admissions representatives or the schools themselves for this lack of motivation.  They are all in it together. From the top down, everybody has to be held accountable and understand the mission.  And no matter what your Tax status says you are.  For-Profit, Non-Profit, or Public, no institution would exist if they didn’t have students paying tuition.

Ultimately, this responsibility falls on the admissions representatives and the admissions managers. They are both equally responsible for the livelihood of the school.

Here are 21 things that could help you diagnose the problem you might have on your team right now.  I am not going to solve your problem in this blog post.  However, the first step to all change is realizing that you need to make a change.

After you read the post, if you feel like your team needs some additional skills please reach out to me.  I have perfected a training system for Admissions Teams.  We call our product the Admissions Advantage.

Do you want an advantage for your team and your school?  If so, let’s have a conversation.  If not, use this information and make the necessary changes.  It is up to you.

21.  They don’t like their job

  • I don’t know why they don’t like their job.  It could be a variety of different reasons.  They don’t believe in what they do, or they don’t believe in the leadership.  You need to find out why and see if this can change.  If not, you know what needs to be done.

20. They don’t see a career path for growth.

  • On the first day of the job everybody wants to know two things.  After they learn how much they are getting paid.  What is it that I am responsible for?  And where do I fit in here?  They want to see where they are now and where they could be in the future. Show them.

19.  They don’t know the bigger picture.

  • Show them the marketing budget, show them the instructional budget, show them everything.  And then show them how the revenue they generate from the students they enroll make the budget work.

18. You have some toxic people on the team bringing everyone else down. 

  • Who are the negative people.  All teams have them.  You have to get rid of them ASAP. Why haven’t you? Quit waiting.

17. They don’t get respect from other departments 

  • Admissions representatives are going to push other people to do things they don’t want to do. They should do it respectively, but at the same time, they need to have the respect across the board from the other departments.  Everybody in the institution needs to know that without students none of them will exist. Period.

16. They are too focused on their next steps instead of the current step they are on. 

  • If we aren’t happy in what we are doing we are going to be looking for what the next step is. In many colleges and schools this is usually being done on the schools dime.  With additional educational benefits.  I am a fan of this, but admissions representatives must be doing their full-time job first.

15. They have too much free time. 

  • Free time is not good for any of us.  Especially an admissions representative. If your people are not seeing enough prospective students then you have to figure out a way to get everyone busier.  Too much free time will make them lazy and they will get in trouble.

14. They don’t know the consequences of missing budget or goals 

  • When is the last time you wrote someone up or let someone go because of a lack of performance.  I understand that everybody got a little scared under the previous administration and the rules. However, if you don’t have consequences for not doing your job, then mediocrity will creep in and kill your school.

13. They don’t know what excellence looks like 

  • I have seen it a hundred times.  You have one person that is killing it.  And that becomes the standard.  What if their standard is not that high though?  Then everybody else is trying to live up to a low standard.  Get some A players in and set some new standards.

12. They don’t know what it means to own something 

  • If your staff is younger, the chances are they haven’t lived long enough to truly own something. You must teach them how to own their career and their goals on the job.  This will keep them motivated to performing.

11. They are short timers

  • You have some people who just took this job because it is the one they were offered.  And you were sold in the interview. If this is the case get them out and make them really short timers.

10. Top leadership doesn’t remind them of how important they are.

  • A supervisor must be setting the standard every single day and showing the team appreciation.  However, the top leadership must do it often as well. It just means more when they hear it from the top leadership.

9. Direct supervisors are uninspiring.

  • If you are a manager and are reading this.  I am sorry.  It has just been my experience.  The question I have for you.  Are you motivated?  If not.  Why not?  What can you do to get excited again?

8. They don’t know what accountability is.

  • Accountability is a bad word.  Everybody says they like it until they get it.  But without it, there is no motivation to do better.  You must have systems in place that not only inspire the team to perform better, but you also have to have systems in place that show them when they don’t and what happens if they continue to not perform well.

7. They are too close for their own good. 

  • If your institution has hired a lot of graduates of your school then you know what I mean here.  They are either selling the schools features too hard and their experiences, or they talk to candidly about all of the problems with the school.  Either way, you have to teach them some skills to eliminate some of these tendencies.

6. They know they aren’t very good and they are being allowed to stay. 

  • Most people know when they aren’t performing very well.  And if they are being allowed to do it, they will just ride it out as long as they can.  Why not.  Especially if this is your first position in your career.  Management must figure this out immediately and make the changes.

5. They aren’t bought in. 

  • Again this is a management problem.  If you have some people on the team they aren’t bought in, you must figure out why.  And it all starts with creating a plan for their career and their growth while there.  Everybody needs to see how they can grow in their career and make more money ultimately. When you do this.  They will buy in to this path and their current position.

4. They lack the communication skills required. 

  • If you suck at communication, which unfortunately is not a skill that is learned the way it used to be. Then you aren’t going to be able to communicate to people internally or to your prospective students in a way that encourages them and motivates them to want to attend school.

3. They haven’t learned any people skills. 

  • Similar to communication.  People skills aren’t being taught the way they used to be.  The bottom line is that we have to teach people what basic people skills are, and then build upon that and teach them what it means to influence other people.

2. They are scared to be assertive. 

  • If you have grown up being passive and have never been taught what it means to take initiave and make things happen, then you wont know how to do it. You have to show them how.

1. They don’t have the self-confidence. 

  • Some people think that the younger generation has too much self-confidence when they get on the job. However, they don’t have the self-confidence to do what it takes to get people to walk through the doors to your institution.  This requires the confidence to say hard things and be assertive and direct with parents and their peers. This again, is not something that is being taught, but it can be taught.

Wherever you are reading this blog, I would love to get your feedback and thoughts. Do you agree? Disagree?  What else would you add?

Here is the one thing that I want to share.  All of the ideas in this article can be trained.  You can increase a persons self-confidence by increasing their skills.  If you aren’t investing in your admissions representatives development.  And I don’t mean formal education.  I mean real skill development on how to communicate to people to take action, phone skills to get people to call you back, and all the skills required to perform at their job better. Reach out to me and let’s have a conversation and see if the Admissions Advantage could help your institution.

bwillett555@gmail.com

To your success and your future.

 

Why your Marketing Campaign isn’t working at your College or University

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.

 

 

 

 

3 reasons that is preventing you from achieving your enrollment goal

As a long time Admissions Manager, I know first hand what it means, and what it takes to meet or exceed an enrollment goal, or meet budget.  I can remember in the good old days, like the early 2000’s, and in 2007 through 2010, the excitement and fun we were having meeting our goals and kicking butt.  I was also in my late twenties, and early thirties, as well, so I am sure that was part of the fun.

But today it is different.  Everything is different.  The competition is different.  The way you enroll a student is different. The way a student decides to go to school is different.  The staff you are hiring is different.

I honestly, can’t think of one thing that is the same, other than some of the major reasons why a person decides to go back to school or not.  And the process on how and why a person chooses one college over another is still the same.

I don’t think the industry will ever go back to where it was.  It is just too different in all the ways I stated above.  However, I do know a school can increase their chances of meeting and exceeding their budgets by implementing a few of the suggestions or processes I describe here.

You don’t have a process:  I have gone into school after school, after school.  And I have spoken to leader after leader, and owner after owner of schools for years. And they all say the same thing. “Our Admissions teams know how to enroll students.” And what I inevitably find, is that if they have ten Admissions Advisors, they will have two that do know how, five that are winging it, and two that are about to be fired, and one that should be fired.

Just because a person delivers results, it doesn’t mean they know how they are doing it. If they don’t know how to do it, then they definitely can’t train others how to do it.  This is what I find in school after school.  The leaders are leaving the training up to other Admissions Advisors who may or may not, even know what they are doing.

Secondly, the process is not a process on how to appeal to motives of prospective students and help the student understand themselves better and why they want to go back to school.  Nope.  The process is an application, a financial aid appointment, maybe an assessment, and if the student does these things, then the institution will allow them to start school.  And maybe the student will start school.  If they do, they may actually attend a few semesters or quarters.  But when the going gets hard, the student usually gets going.  Right to the withdrawal process and out the colleges doors.

The solution is to work with a reputable company that has a history of creating an effective Admissions process that helps Admissions teams get results, while keeping the students best interest in mind. I know most institutions these days, always have what is best for the student in mind.  But it is important to also have a standard process that not only helps the Admissions advisors, but also helps the student.

Old school leadership:  I have found myself using the term old school leadership more often this past week than I ever have before.  I guess, because I keep seeing it so much.

What is old school leadership?
Here are a few examples: 
My people don’t need any training. 
I do the training myself. 
People will just show up and do a good job. 
We are just fine right now. 

When I hear any of the above things, I just roll my eyes and laugh.  Because this is closed-minded thinking and this is obviously not what is best for your school.

First of all, there is never a good time to conduct training.  There is always another start.  I get it.  But, everyone needs training.  Ask the greats.  Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and you name it athlete.  They train three times more than they ever play their actual sport.  I am sure you have heard this comparison before, so if it wasnt convincing then, I am not sure it will be now.

Most people will show up and want to do a great job, but they might not know how.  Or they might mostly know how, but there could be one or two things that they could learn that could change the game.

Secondly, training is not only about the actual material that is covered, it is about the camaraderie that is created amongst the team.  And when in the right kind of training environment, where people are stretched and pulled out of their comfort zones, this could be huge confidence boosters that can significantly impact the results of your team.

You don’t even know what they are saying:  Here it is. Yes.  I am pitching my product to you.  Under the Trump Administration every one has gotten really excited and are optimistic about the future.  By the way.  I am as well.  However, let’s be honest here.

This train is way on down the tracks here. We had eight years of increased scrutiny and more and more regulations.  All of that is not going to be overturned in a year or even four years. And this is really not the reason, you would even consider buying my product anyway.  My product is for helping your team, your people, and your processes to get better.

Sure you can use it for compliance and verification as well.  But, our product is for developing people.  When you run a secret shopping campaign at your school, it is to find and eliminate things such as inefficient processes, bad language from your Admissions teams, and then lastly even validation and proof of what you do well.  Contact me at the info below if you want to schedule a free complimentary shop.

When we run a secret shopping camping with one of customers, it is first and foremost and opportunity to use it to coach and train employees to get better.

Let me ask you.  Do you have a process that helps students discover their own desires for going back to school?  Do you have “old school leadership” in place that is preventing you from reaching goals and budgets because of their mindset?  And lastly, do you even know what your staff is saying to your customers?  I mean prospective students?

As the owner of MPACT Group Inc. and a long time Higher Ed executive, I know the challenges your Admissions teams faces and I take a new approach to training and developing todays current admissions workforce to get the most out of them.

If you are interested in learning more. Reach out to me at bwillett555@gmail.com

To your success and your future.