Facts Tell, Emotions Sell

November 3rd, 2014 by Rick Montgomery Leave a reply »

Think about the last time you purchased something that you knew was too expensive or frivolous but you bought it anyway. I’m talking about something that was a discretionary expense. Maybe it was a pair of expensive shoes, or a digital camera, or a new car when your current car ran just fine.

StudentWithHeartSign270x270You may have done quite a bit of research on the item you wanted to buy and you most likely came up with perfectly rational reasons why you needed it.

But the act of pulling out your wallet or signing on the dotted line was motivated by your desire to have it.

You acted on emotion.

The facts, as you perceived them, simply supported your desire.

Facts tell, emotions sell.

And therein lies a lesson for college admission counselors. In fact, in our recent co-sponsored study on the college selection process, we found that a student’s excitement about attending a particular college outweighed other key factors, such as cost and perceived quality of the institution, by a ratio of 2-1.

When prospective students are searching for a college and talking to admission counselors they ask a lot of questions. They need information. They need to know about programs, costs, opportunities and time frames. They need facts.

The facts, however, won’t generate excitement.

The attraction to the school will come from elsewhere. It may come from a sense of community that they felt on a campus visit.

Or it may come from an encounter they had with a professor or another student.

Or it may come from an affinity they developed with your college when their brother or sister attended.

Ultimately, the student will have an emotional attachment to your college that transcends anything factual.

That’s why it’s so important that we appeal to prospective students on an emotional level in addition to providing the necessary factual information.

They need more than facts and information from us.

As counselors we need to show them what their lives are going to be like as students on our campus and in our community.

When we talk to a prospective student, our job is to spark their excitement – to engage their emotional commitment to our college.

When we do that effectively, we become that new pair of shoes, that digital camera, or that new car they just have to have. We’ll be able to give them what they need and, more importantly, give them what they want.

For more information about how you can create greater excitement among your prospective students, click here.

RickMontgomery_100x100Rick Montgomery is as an Enrollment Strategist at Longmire and Company. With over 20 years in higher education marketing, he brings an innovative approach to helping colleges and universities meet their enrollment goals.

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