There are a lot of companies that train admissions staff and give false promises to owners. The problem is, many of them have never worked a day in their life in a school. Or, it’s been 20+ years since they did.
Advance 360’s education focused division, has first-hand experience working directly in schools and seeing results with millennials and Gen Z. The world has changed. Have your strategies changed, too?
We asked Advance 360 Education’s admission expert, Sarah Holmes, to provide some insights and tips.
Q: Sarah, from your experience, what is the #1 obstacle to admissions converting leads to enrollment?
Q: What are student prospects looking for these days? Has it evolved? And what can a school do to make sure they are appealing to today’s student prospect?
Students are looking for authenticity! The old phrase say what you mean and mean what you say is really relevant for Gen Z and beyond. Students want to do business with companies that are transparent! The no longer fall into the “sales pitch” and are educated on the expectations of their future. The biggest evolution I have seen with our students is emotion driven decision making. They make decisions based on emotion and justify them later. Many of the reasons that leads chose our schools is something tied emotionally to them.
The best way to appeal to today’s student is be kind and give back. Gen z loves doing business and they want to align themselves with businesses that give, not just take. Make sure your school is big on philanthropy. And when you are be vocal about it! Your students will be much more likely to chose a school that is present in their area.
Q: What’s are the best way to foster productive communication between Marketing and Admissions and why is it important?
The relationship between admissions and marketing should be one of the strongest within your organization. Marketing can learn SO much about our students and future students, they just need to ask admissions. The best way to foster a productive relationship is getting them both involved together. Admissions & Marketing each play a huge role in the success of the organization. Weekly meetings as well as shared goals for the organization will help increase ideas on how to attract students. I have noticed that when Marketing asks for admissions thoughts on campaigns or blogs, it creates a sense of cohesiveness. Everyone likes to be included right?
Q: How about setting goals? How do you know what’s realistic?
I love goals. They give me something to reach for and something to exceed. Goals are important to know what you are doing is working! I like to work backwards when creating goals for my Admissions teams. I look at how many students we want this year, what is our conversion rate. Then I will know how many leads we need to make our goal happen. I break it down into manageable monthly numbers. Looking at YOY is always helpful, but remember things might be different this year than they were last year.
Q: Any other bits of advice?
Admissions is one of the most fulfilling careers you can have. You get to meet new people all day and see their passion for their career turn into a reality. This is exciting!
It may be your 4th admissions interview of the day but remember it is the first time your lead is hearing this information. I recommend always having at least 10 min in between each appointment. It gives you time to reset mentally and remind yourself that this is a whole new experience for our leads. Don’t fall into the “cruise control” mindset when meeting with leads.
Prior to joining the Advance 360 Education team, Sarah Holmes worked for more than 12 years in vocational school admissions. She has worked with dozens of schools across the country and most recently served as the Executive Director of Admissions for one of the most prestigious beauty schools in the nation. Sarah combines her knowledge of both admissions and marketing to serve Advance 360 education clients. She is dedicated to helping Advance 360 clients, driving quality leads and helping to turn those leads into enrollments.