By Jeremy Tiers, Senior Director of Admissions Services
2 minute read
Last week I received an email from a Director who’s part of my newsletter community asking for advice on how to best proceed with “late” applicants who have recently been admitted.
The biggest thing I cautioned her and her staff against doing was trying to rush the student’s decision. Even in late May that’s the wrong approach to take.
Besides overwhelming the student, more often than not you’ll end up coming across as pushy and completely transactional.
Instead, I encourage you to focus on building a personal recruiting relationship, and quickly figuring out a student’s needs, concerns, as well as how and when they plan to make their decision.
All of that requires getting, and more importantly keeping, a back-and-forth conversation going.
One of the things we’ve learned from tracking thousands of student interactions with admission counselors over the years is, the more you dig, the more you follow-up, and the longer you can keep a conversation about any topic going, the better the results.
And by ‘results’ I mean you’re able to better understand a student’s mindset and whether they’re moving closer to, or farther away from, choosing your school.
The key is making your digging and follow-up feel personal and relevant, and asking direct questions that lead to a deeper and more detailed response because they open the door and give a student ‘permission’ to go deeper.
During your conversations it’s also important to by infuse empathy whenever possible. Little things like acknowledging the stress that comes with a decision, telling the student you appreciate them whenever they share information, as well as consistently making it clear that your #1 goal is to find ways to support them during their decision-making process.
Here’s my advice. As you’re talking about different topics and sending various emails and text messages in the coming days to these students, be sure to ask one or both of the following questions:
“When you think about making your decision, <First/Preferred Name>, how are you seeing things?”
“What advice are your parents giving you at this point?”
The feedback you receive will help you make a strategic decision on what you should do next with the student.
If you’d like to talk more about something I said, feel free to drop me a note at email@example.com
And if you found this article helpful, forward it to someone else on your campus who could also benefit from reading it.