During my travels the past few weeks, two clients posed the same question that’s probably on the mind of a lot of admissions counselors and directors as they comb through a new list of names for this next recruiting cycle:
“How do I find out if this student is seriously interested in our school?”
It’s a legitimate question, and one that needs to be answered if an admissions counselor is going to effectively manage their territory in the early stages.
The good news is I’m confident you can quickly gauge the interest of a prospective student if you use one or both of the strategies I’m going to give to you today.
Using these strategies will help you:
a) Gain valuable information that allows you to develop a stronger recruiting relationship with a student and keep the process moving forward.
b) Eliminate or move a student down your list much faster.
Here they are:
- Use a call to action that asks for their opinion on something. Either in your first letter or email, or sometime during your first conversation with a student, ask them a question about the college search process in general (not something specific to your school). For example, you could ask them about fear, must-haves, or what the “best college” looks like in their mind. Let me add that the reason this strategy consistently works for our clients is because the question is asked in a conversational tone by an admissions counselor after the counselor establishes that they’re here to help make the college search process easier.
- Ask them for, or help them develop, (if they don’t have one) a timeline for the whole process. And within that, give them a soft deadline to come visit campus (if they haven’t done so already). There’s no “perfect time” to ask for a campus visit nor is there a certain timeline that works for every single student. Recruiting is 100% situational…always remember that. The point is, when you mutually agree on a timeline it indicates serious interest, and we’ve found it will prompt them to take action sooner. That action could be a campus visit or something else like completing your school’s application. This strategy has also helped our clients determine that their school is the student’s “back-up” school…which is actually a good thing because you may have just saved yourself months of hard work recruiting a student that had little to no intention of ever seriously considering your college.
I encourage you to test out one or both of these strategies right now with some of the new names you recently obtained. And then let me know how it goes!
If you’re going to NACAC, I’ll be arriving in Boston tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon.
Stop by Booth 311 and say hello, OR text or call me at 612-386-0854 and we’ll set up a time to connect, OR come join me at the #EMchat meet-up on Wednesday night at 8pm at City Tap.