Take These Actions to Build Stronger Relationships with Prospective Students

June 1st, 2016 by Rick Montgomery Leave a reply »

In our recently released co-sponsored study, “The Relationship Dynamic,” over 12,000 college-bound students opened up to us about the factors that contribute to building a bond with a college that leads to their enrollment. (Click here to download a copy of the full report.)

Research, of any kind, typically yields data that falls into one of two classifications. There is “nice-to-know” data that provides context and there is “need-to-know” data that drives action. Our Higher Ed co-sponsored studies are designed to get need-to-know data that will change a college’s approach, process, and bottom-line.

The Relationship Dynamic study findings definitely yielded need-to-know information. The study defined specific actions colleges can take to build stronger relationships with prospective students that will lead to enrollments.

Here are some of those actions:

Work constantly on building the relationship

It’s common for colleges and admission counselors to think of recruiting students as a progression of steps. Has the student completed this action or that Relationship_Makeaction? Are they progressing down through the funnel? In many cases students are being pulled through the process. It’s difficult.

Focusing on relationship building rather than process can make it easier. Students will willingly take the necessary steps. Every interaction with a student, in any form, should be measured on the basis of, “Does it make our relationship stronger?”

Explore every facet of the student’s preferences

Every student has a unique combination of needs, preferences, perceptions, and motivations. Identifying and dealing with all of them enables the college to have a deeper and stronger relationship with the prospective student. Uncovering them requires that the college focus on the student rather than the institution.

Find out if you have “moved the needle”

With every student interaction find out if you have changed or enhanced the student’s perception of your institution. At the end of a campus visit, for example, ask, “Did we show you how we are different from other colleges? If so, tell me how you see us as being different. Does it make us any more or less attractive to you?”

Open a separate but equal parent recruiting track

Parents are not just influencing the college selection process, they are facilitating it. Help them. Establish a separate but equal relationship with them, provided the student and parent are comfortable doing so.

A strong relationship with a parent can provide the guidance and help you need to better understand the value propositions that will be attractive to the prospective student.

Get personal and be prepared to answer every question

Do everything you can to understand what is important to the prospective student and how they can be best served through their college selection process. After learning what is important to them be prepared to provide any and all information they need.

Get On Board Our Next Co-Sponsored Study!

Hidden_Influences_ProspectusWe know that prospective students don’t always tell us what they really think. Sometimes they don’t want to be completely honest about their REAL first-choice college because they think they’ll hurt our feelings. They often say one thing and do another. Why?

We will answer that critical question in our next co-sponsored study, “Hidden Influences: Revealing the unspoken perceptions that prospective students have about your college and why it matters in your ability to grow and control enrollment.” This unprecedented study will break new ground in exploring the hidden perceptions and opinions that influence students in choosing your college or another. Unlike any other higher education research or non-matric studies, Hidden Influences will dive deeply into the emotions and perceptions that factor into the college selection process. This study will provide you with actionable information you can use immediately and effectively.

For more information or to reserve your participation in this study, contact me at (913) 492-1265, ext. 708 or by email at rmontgomery@longmire-co.com or Bob Longmire at (913) 492-1265, ext. 709, blongmire@longmire-co.com. Colleges are signing up now so we encourage you to contact us soon if you are thinking about participating. CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE INFORMATION.

We help colleges with their recruiting efforts every day. If we can help you please call or shoot me an email. 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 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.

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