Posts Tagged ‘staff training’

[Video]: Resources You Can Use Now to Finalize ’17 and Ensure a Successful ’18

May 23rd, 2017

As summer approaches, enrollment managers and admission directors expand their focus to critical issues like professional development, marketing planning, research and pre-enrollment service initiatives. Meanwhile, many colleges are still in the throes of making their 2017 class.  According to the recently released NACAC College Openings Update, over 500 colleges and universities are still accepting applications from prospective freshman and/or transfer students for the upcoming fall term.

Wherever your institution falls on this wide spectrum of future planning, we have a number of free tools and resources available to you. On our website and YouTube channel you’ll find an ever growing list of admission counselor tutorials aimed at making your counselors even better at their jobs. You can also download the complete reports from our each of our national co-sponsored studies that dive deeply into the hot-button issues that impact your enrollment.  Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get even more. There you’ll find tutorials, up-to-date market data, and a wealth of actionable information to help you with your recruiting efforts, today and in the future.

Our most recent video (below) introduces you to the national co-sponsored higher education study we are launching now:  Emotional Motivators. This study is based on an old adage: “Facts tell. Emotions sell.” Students want and need facts and information about the colleges they consider. But their college selection decision will hinge on how they FEEL about the school they’ll ultimately enroll in. This study will tell you how they feel about you relative to the other colleges they considered (or chose to attend).

You should get in as a co-sponsor! There is still time. You can get a deeper level of insight on the pool of prospective students you were/are working for 2017 and get a clear understanding of how you were or weren’t tripping their trigger.

Be sure to check out our Counselor Training Tutorials. At the heart of our highly-acclaimed Interactive Counselor Training Workshop is a proven model of communication that counselors tell us is transformative. The model is simple and highly effective. Adopt this straightforward method and you will see greater success in your recruitment efforts. Our ever-expanding tutorial menu includes sessions covering these high–impact topics from the popular workshops we conduct at college campuses across the country:

Counselor Training Series Overview: Longmire and Company believes that the conversations between prospective students and the colleges they are considering can be much richer and more fruitful for both. Having rich conversations with prospective students provides you with a greater understanding of each student’s unique needs, preferences, motivations, and how they will make their college selection decision.

CHECK OUT THESE VIDEOS ………

The Counselor Training Series is just the beginning of the valuable free video tools available to you. Again, check out our YouTube channel for more tutorials, powerful data from national co-sponsored studies and interviews with some of your peers.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, PLEASE consider getting involved in this new co-sponsored study we’re launching. You’ll benefit from it! Previous co-sponsors get involved year after year because it’s inexpensive and they get insightful and actionable information.

Email or call me if you are interested in how we can help. Continue the conversation on Twitter @LongmireCo. For more information about Longmire and Company and the tools we have to offer, click here. Be sure to subscribe to Versions of Conversion today so you can stay up-to-date.

Rick Montgomery is as an Enrollment Strategist at Longmire and Company. With over 20 years in higher education marketing, he brings an innovative and dynamic approach to helping colleges and universities meet their enrollment goals. Rick can be reached at 913/492.1265 x.708 or via email at rmontgomery@longmire-co.com.

The Four Best Practices of Admission Counselors According to College-bound Students

May 16th, 2017

Just what are the traits of an exceptional Admission Counselor?  Google it and this is what you’ll find: Excellent writing and speaking skills, ability to relate positively to a wide variety of people, enthusiastic, organized, professional in appearance and demeanor, familiarity with technology and data driven systems, able to work both independently and in a team setting, excellent time management skills, and so on. All clearly important attributes for a role that has enormous impact on any college’s recruiting success. But what if prospective students were writing your job description? How would it be different from the stock descriptions you find in a standard job opening announcement?

Here are some clues: In a our co-sponsored study, The Relationship Dynamic, 38% of college-bound students said that their college admission counselor played a significant role in helping them form a relationship the college they chose.

In a separate study, The Value Proposition,” students were asked to identify and quantify the relative influence of specific interactions on their relationship with the college they selected. Across the board, the students rated social media in the neutral range whereas interaction with admission counselors rated much higher, demonstrating a far greater influence on enrollment.

What do students say counselors MUST do?

In our recently released study, Hidden Influences, over 18,000 prospective students are very clear about what they want from a counselor.  Topping the list:  Answer their questions. ALL of their questions, completely!

While this may be impossible in a practical sense, students have a very high expectation that counselors have an answer for their every question. They expect counselors to be knowledgeable about issues relating to cost, financial aid, history of the institution, outcomes, deadlines, classes required for specific majors and so on.

Don’t say, “I don’t know.”  Instead say, “I’ll find out.” And do it!

If the counselor cannot answer a specific question they expect the counselor to find the answer and get back to them in a timely manner.
Students say they develop a strong affinity for a counselor who is well-informed and responsive. It is a key ingredient in their formation of a relationship with the college as a whole and it is influential in college selection.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, students voiced their frustrations with counselors who are unable to answer questions and cited examples of counselors who actually avoided questions and requests for information that fall outside the most basic.

Many students shared experiences where a counselor had given them information that they later discovered is “wrong” and “inaccurate.”  And, students have a very low tolerance for counselors who respond to specific questions with “vague” answers and information.

What qualities do top-notch admission counselors have that lead prospective students to enroll?

  1. They are knowledgeable and responsive. They know the answers to every question about their school, campus, costs, loans, scholarships, etc…  And, if they are asked a question that they don’t have an answer for, they find out fast.
  2. They demonstrate a sincere interest in the student.  They get to know the prospective student as an individual and understand his or her particular needs, preferences and motivations.
  3. They connect the student to people, places and activities that will create excitement about the college. Because they have mastered #2, they know just who those people, places and activities should be.
  4. They make sure to let the students know that the college is interested in them.  They make the student feel wanted.

Here’s what admission counselors need to know.

You know that a student’s college selection is tied closely to the strength of the relationship they build with a college over time. And, you know that creating relationships is a multifaceted, nuanced and crucial part of student recruitment.  But do you know this?  Your role is crucial. You are a powerful motivator when you use all of the tools available to you.

We help colleges and universities with their recruiting efforts every day. If we can help you, please let me know. If you’ve thought about helping your staff with professional development, now is the ideal time to train and motivate your staff. Email or call me if you are interested in how we can help. Continue the conversation on Twitter @LongmireCo. For more information about Longmire and Company and the tools we have to offer, click here. We will be sharing more key insights from our studies so be sure to subscribe to Versions of Conversion today so you can stay up-to-date.

Rick Montgomery is as an Enrollment Strategist at Longmire and Company. With over 20 years in higher education marketing, he brings an innovative and dynamic approach to helping colleges and universities meet their enrollment goals. Rick can be reached at 913/492.1265 x.708 or via email at rmontgomery@longmire-co.com.

Decision Day Has Come and Gone…..Or Has It?

May 2nd, 2017

decision_dayFor most colleges “Yield Season” extends all the way up to the day new students show up for class. While the majority of prospective students may have made their college selection decision at this point, a sizable number are still considering their options. They are still looking at you and other colleges.

Nearly 30% of Students Have Yet to Bond with a College

In our co-sponsored study, “The Relationship Factor,” over 70% of students told us that the relationship they built with their college of choice had a major influence on their enrollment decision. What we learned is that when a student feels a connection with a college, they are quick to claim it as their own.

In the graph on the right, you will note that more prospective students identify April as the month they bonded with a college. Blog-Yield-Relationship-Timeline-RevBut here is the number you want to consider today: 29% of students have yet to develop a bond with a college.   That suggests how much potential there is to connect with students and win their enrollment during the summer. It also suggests that the lack of a relationship may foreshadow melt.

Best Practices:  Turning Reluctance into Commitment

As you circle back to your admitted student pool it is important to have a strategy for building a relationship quickly. Use highly focused questions that show empathy and reflect your sincere desire to help. “What can I do that would be most helpful to you?” “How are you feeling about this whole college selection process?” “Do you mind if we stay in contact? What’s best for you? Email? Text?”

When a student tells you that they’re still making a decision, respond by asking for more insight into his or her decision-making process. “It’s not uncommon for students to still be considering their options at this point but many say that they’ve narrowed down what’s going to be important to them. What’s going to be most important to you?”

Handling the root causes of a student’s reluctance to select your school

  • Lack of information: “I sense you’re a little uncomfortable taking the next step. When that happens it’s usually because the student needs more information or some assurance. How about you?” Find out what information or assurance is needed.
  • Hidden objections or concerns: “Some students don’t take the next step because there is something they don’t like or they have a concern about something. Is that so for you – I promise you won’t hurt my feelings but it will help me understand.”
  • Withholding their true feelings/plans from you: “Of course, I want what’s best for you. And you can be honest with me because I’ll help you even if we aren’t your chosen school. What are you thinking at this point?”
  • Fear of the unknown: “Some students don’t take the next step just because it’s kind of scary. They’ve never been through it before. However, once they do they feel a huge relief and look back and think ‘That wasn’t that hard after all.’”

Obviously, when a student fails to matriculate it is disappointing. But the race to make your class isn’t over even if your numbers look good now. Our research shows that the factors that contribute to the phenomenon of melt are the same issues that are impacting the students in your admit pool today; coping with the reality of college costs, anxiety about finding the “right fit” and an overwhelming amount of often confusing paperwork, among them.

So, what can you do? Follow the lead of the most successful admissions counselors: They know they must continue the building of relationships with their students and gain valuable personal insight about each and every one of them. Many students don’t begin to feel as though they’ve established an emotional bond (aka relationship) with a college until orientation. It’s up to the counselors and others from the college to create and nurture relationships with students who are on the path of enrolling but have not crossed the finish line.

With that knowledge in hand, they nurture a relationship with the student that best serves the needs of the individual. They stay in touch, remain accessible, ask questions and have meaningful conversations throughout the entire admissions process. They make the student feel wanted, important, and engaged with the college. And, they don’t get unpleasantly surprised in August when the student vanishes.

NEWS: Longmire and Company’s just-announced national co-sponsored higher education study has been launched to explore – in depth – the topic of emotional motivators in college selection.

Unlike any other higher education research to-date, “Emotional Motivators: How to increase and control your enrollment by getting a deep and accurate understanding of how students really feel about your college,” will explore how students feel and, more importantly, Emotion study boxuncover why they feel that way, to give you a deeper understanding of the students you’re trying to recruit. The actionable insight yielded by this study will give you greater control over your conversations with prospective students, better ability to craft sharper mass marketing messages, and more direction to design highly productive campus visit experiences.

We hope you will join a prestigious list of co-sponsoring colleges and universities, large and small, and participate in this study. Co-sponsors find our studies valuable because of the wealth of new insight they gain about their individual pools of prospective students – insight they can use to drive action and change.

Colleges are signing up now so we encourage you to contact us soon if you are thinking about participating. CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE INFORMATION.

Continue the conversation on Twitter @LongmireCo. For more information about Longmire and Company’s Interactive Counselor Training Program, click here. Be sure to Subscribe to Versions of Conversion today so you don’t miss any of this highly-valuable information.

RickMontgomery_100x100Rick Montgomery is as an Enrollment Strategist at Longmire and Company. With over 20 years in higher education marketing, he brings an innovative and dynamic approach to helping colleges and universities meet their enrollment goals. Rick can be reached at 913/492.1265 x.708 or via email at rmontgomery@longmire-co.com.

8 Reasons Why Prospective Students Won’t Tell You the Truth!

April 5th, 2017

I remember talking with college bound students in the focus groups we conducted during the development phase of our most recent national higher education study: “Hidden Influences: Revealing the unspoken perceptions that perspective students have about your college and why it matters in your ability to grow and control your enrollment,” and gaining fascinating insights.

WhyStudentsDontRevealAmong many other things, we explored why students will NOT tell a college about the things they find unappealing or lacking about the college.

Students in the focus groups identified eight reasons why they are naturally averse to telling you the things they find unappealing about your college. We then presented these reasons to 18,000 students nationwide in the quantitative portion of the study to determine if they are reflective of students across the country. They are.

In this blog post, we’ll share the most common reasons why students are hesitant to tell you about the things they don’t like about your college. More importantly, we’ll offer suggestions for how to deal with each issue. In our view, its part of the job of a counselor, a faculty member, a financial aid rep, a tour guide, or whomever interacts with prospective students to extract and deal with issues of interest and concern to prospective students.

The table below lists the TOP EIGHT REASONS students don’t want to tell you about the things they find unappealing about your college. As you can see, there isn’t much difference in how students bound for private and public colleges ranked their reasons, except for the #1 reason. Students bound for a private college or university say they don’t want to share their negative impressions with you because, “I would not want to hurt my chances of being accepted later.” Public-bound students say, “I doubt my opinion would matter.”

 

Q13c_HiddenInfluencesGraph

Knowing why students are reluctant to share their negative impressions can help you change the conversations you have with them. If you’re a private college, for example, you can safely assume that most of your prospective students may be fearful of sharing their negative impressions because they think it may hurt their chances of being accepted. To alleviate their fear you can provide reassurance that their candor is sincerely welcomed and appreciated, and it will have no impact on your admission decision.

If you’re a public college, your prospective students need to be informed that their opinion matters. Better yet, you can point to things your institution has changed or added in service to students on the basis of what “students like you” suggested or found missing on your campus.

Most of the eight reasons in the table above have an emotional component. Students don’t want to reveal their negative impressions for FEAR of being judged or wrecking their chances with your college. They don’t want to hurt your FEELINGS. They don’t want to be EMBARRASSED. They don’t CARE enough about you to share their opinions.

You can appeal to their emotions to uncover their hidden thoughts and opinions. As we wrote about in a blog post a couple of weeks ago, students will reveal their negative impressions of you if you make them feel comfortable doing so. Students are amazingly altruistic. They want to help you and they want to help other students, as well. Tell your prospective students that they’ll do both by telling you the positive AND not-so-positive impressions they have formed about your college.

Extracting the negative impressions students have about you can be achieved in ways beyond conversation. The 18,000 college bound students involved in the Hidden Influences study offered many suggestions for getting this information through post-tour surveys that go beyond the typical – as one student characterized it – “were we helpful” types of questions.

We are preparing to launch our next study!

Each year our national co-sponsored studies attract even more colleges that want to “get in” on the new and different insight we give them about their prospective students and students nationwide. If you’d like information about the topic of our next study, and the benefits you receive as a co-sponsor, be sure to CLICK HERE now to be alerted soon when we put together our next group of co-sponsors.
You can also CLICK HERE to receive an advance copy of the Hidden Influence study report prior to its national release.
Continue the conversation on Twitter @LongmireCo. Be sure to Subscribe to Versions of Conversion today so you don’t miss any of this highly-valuable information.

RHL_Photo_100x100Bob Longmire is President of Longmire and Company, Inc. He is a recognized expert on the topic of how prospective students and parents form their college selection decisions – and how colleges can use that knowledge to grow and control their enrollment. He can be reached at (913) 492-1265, ext 709 or at blongmire@longmire-co.com. Connect with Bob at Linkedin/in/boblongmire.