By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
2 minute read
Whether it’s in person or virtually this fall, you’re going to be making a lot of first impressions.
Here’s a question I want you to ask yourself – In each one of those situations, am I going to be predictable or memorable?
It can be tempting to dive right into the “spiel” and give the same rehearsed presentation or introduction that other admissions counselors use. Here’s the thing – more often than not, that approach isn’t going to work. And don’t be surprised if you start to feel like you’re “vomiting information” on the other person….that’s the phrase I continue to hear from admissions counselors.
Being memorable should be a consistent goal every time you interact with prospective students. When their friends or parents ask them about that high school visit, college fair, or virtual event, what are they going to say?
If you want to stand out in the coming days and weeks, here’s my advice.
Get rid of the spiel or your elevator pitch, and instead come up with one or more direct questions that you can use to simply begin a conversation….not about your school, but about the prospective student(s).
Humanize the situation by recognizing that you don’t know them, and they don’t know you. Plus, you have no idea where they are in their college search, and/or if they know a lot, a little, or absolutely nothing about your school.
Here are a few direct questions that have proven to be effective. I encourage you to use one of these, or use them as a guide to come up with your own question(s).
- When you think about becoming a college student, what’s your #1 worry?
- What does the perfect college look like in your mind?
- What are one or two things that your future college absolutely has to have?
- What’s the wrong kind of college for you? What are things you know you definitely don’t want?
Asking a direct question that feels personal in an empathetic tone will significantly increase your chances of being memorable, and it will increase engagement.
Once they start sharing things with you, that’s when you should start giving them pieces of information and/or sharing stories about various parts of the student experience at your school.
Want to talk more about something I said? Just hit reply or connect with me here.
And if you found this article helpful, forward it to someone else in your campus community who could also benefit from reading it.