By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
2 minute read
Last week while I was in Orlando speaking at an admissions association’s annual conference, there was one question that multiple leaders asked me in different ways.
It went something like this – “Jeremy, what are some of the things that my staff and I probably need to stop doing when we start communicating with this next class?”
Here are two common mistakes that I shared that I also want you to avoid:
- Don’t tell inquiries to sign up for a visit (or apply) in the first communication that you send them. It comes across as salesy, pushy and disingenuous. Would you ask someone to marry you on a first date? You could, but it’s probably not going to end well, and neither is using one of those calls to action – it just doesn’t feel right to students. Instead, if you have very little information to go on, do not overwhelm them with a bunch of facts and figures, focus on getting a 1-1 conversation started. Keep your email short and make it your goal to learn more about the student by asking a direct and intentional question as your call to action. You could ask, “When you picture the perfect college, what are one or two things it absolutely has to have?”
- When a student visits campus, don’t forget to incorporate a 1-1 meeting with their admissions counselor, and don’t forget to ask the parents for this. Ideally the 1-1 meeting will be the final thing that a student or family does before departing campus. And if a student’s counselor is unavailable or not on campus, utilize another counselor or admissions staff member instead. Besides thanking them for taking the time to visit, and making sure that they saw everything they were hoping to see, there are two other key things that should occur. First, if one or both parents is present, double check in your CRM to see if you have parent contact information. If not, ask the parent(s) if they’re willing to share that with you, and explain that you’re asking because you want to keep them in the loop going forward and make them a partner in this process. Secondly, tell the student that you’d like to give them a day or two to process everything they saw and heard. Ask if they’re comfortable scheduling a short phone call with you in a day or two so that you can not only answer any additional questions that they come up with, but also discuss their next step together.
If you’d like to talk more about something I said in this article, let’s do it. Simply reply or email me here.
And if you found this article helpful, forward it to someone else on your campus who could also benefit from reading it.