It’s 11:53pm EST on Thursday night and I just pulled out my MacBook in-flight on my way home to Indianapolis.
You won’t read this article for a few days but I just can’t get these thoughts out of my mind, so I’m going to start typing while they’re fresh.
“Why do you care so much?” That’s the question an admissions counselor asked me this week during our 1-on-1 meeting that accompanied the workshop I led. The older I get, the more I’ve actually found myself thinking about this whole notion of a “kindness gene.”
Why do some people care more than others and how is it that a lot of those same people are able to cultivate trust with a complete stranger (and get them to take action on something) after a single conversation?
You can go to Google and find all kinds of studies about character traits, but in a nutshell, there’s a lot of evidence that suggests there is empathy in our genes.
I’m bringing this topic to your attention today because as this generation of students searches for their “right fit” college or university, caring more than your competition continues to significantly impact a student’s final decision.
I have over 3 years of survey data from college campuses nationwide that shows how the admissions staff treats a student and their family throughout the college search process influences their final decision more than factors like affordability, location, and the prestige of a college’s name.
One of the survey questions we ask is, “What was the deciding factor that led you to pick <College Name>?”
- “My admissions counselor’s motivation to make sure that I knew everything I needed to.”
- “How much care admissions counselors took in making sure I had all the information I needed, and financial/scholarship plans.”
- “The contact I had with my admissions counselor throughout the decision process and other staff members whom I spoke to more than once and remembered me.”
Those direct quotes came from surveys at schools in Texas and Minnesota that I visited this week. Just about every time I do a workshop there are similar quotes from other students in a school’s survey.
I would argue that, in many cases, consistently demonstrating you care more than your competition can help a family overcome the cost barrier, the fear factor, and a whole lot more.
As we get ready to enter 2018, I thought it was really important to remind you of this.
You have the ability to show how much you care every single day in every single interaction you have with other people. And it’s easy for another person to tell when you genuinely care versus when you’re trying to act a certain way because you know it’s part of your job.
By the way, if you’re wondering how you can show students and families that you care more than your competitors, here are two easy ways.
- Listen more to them
- Stay in consistent contact with them throughout their entire process
Before I sign off I want to again thank you for being a loyal reader of this newsletter. I’ve met so many of you IRL (in real life) in 2017 and the stories you shared about the impact of an article I wrote, a strategy you tried that I had suggested, or just telling me you shared something from my newsletter with a colleague means the world to me.
The exciting news is, I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface yet on what I have to give! I want to help you more in 2018. At the same time, it’s hard for me to do that without your feedback…a podcast, video from a workshop I lead, posting a talk or keynote I give…these are a few suggestions I’ve already received but you tell me what you want.
Click this link and send me a quick email right now. I’d love to hear your comment or suggestion (positive or negative).