By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
1 minute read
Last week I received an email from an Assistant Director of Admissions who was part of a training workshop I led back in 2017. At the time he was a brand new counselor with only a couple of weeks experience.
He reached out to let me know that one particular piece of advice I gave him continues to work extremely well.
I’m confident that it will work for you, too.
When you’re having a conversation with a prospective student and you want more information or context about something, ask them, as a follow-up question, “How do you mean?” Try to sound a little puzzled or confused.
We continue to find that particular phrase is a casual and non-threatening way to let a student know that you’re interested in hearing more details.
Oftentimes, students will only give a little bit of information without being prompted. They need to hear from you that it’s o.k. to keep telling you what’s on their mind, and saying “How do you mean” works really, really well.
Here are two additional strategies that are also effective when it comes to extracting more details:
- Telling a prospective student what you’re hearing on a certain topic from other students at the same stage or grade level, and then asking for their opinion on the topic.
- Letting a prospective student know why you’re asking them a particular question or follow-up question. (Ex. “The reason I’m asking you that question <First Name> is because…”)
Digging deeper or “probing” is one of the most overlooked aspects of student recruitment communication.
It’s a simple strategy that shows you’re listening and you care.
If you’d like to talk more about something I said, hit reply or email me here.
And if you found this article helpful, forward it to someone else in your campus community who could also benefit from reading it.