Back to Basics:   Importance of Second Appointment

Vince Norton, January 2016

While our talented enrollment solution professionals are busy helping admissions teams and our creative department is rolling out clever collateral our mystery shopping personnel shared some staggering statistics last month.

2 out of three prospects leave their interview without a follow-up visit scheduled

For the mathematically inclined, that’s 65%.

Certainly I’m not talking about your school.  You would never allow your admissions representatives to let a prospect walk away without establishing “next steps.”  Or would you?  Do you know the stats from your campus?

Actually I probably am talking about you and your school.  These stats were compiled randomly from almost 100 mystery shops spread across five school groups with campus locations ranging from California to New York and Florida to Michigan.  All of the schools in the data set were nationally accredited with a variety of programs including Cosmetology, Medical Assisting and even Welding.

Surprised?   Shocked?  I hope so.   Unfortunately I have been watching metrics like this for years, and mentioning them often on the conference speaking trail.  But apparently not often enough.

Lets back up and do the math on what it may cost to get a prospect to visit your campus.  Factor in the inquiry cost, labor cost for contacting and scheduling, staff  time for the interview itself.  I’m guessing you’ve got $900 invested.  (15 years ago I pulled the marketing budget apart for a client and the total was $700 – so pretty sure I’m close – or even low.)

So after your $900 investment spends 45 minutes with admissions, goes on a tour, and maybe chats with financial advising for a preliminary meet and greet – and we just let them walk out the door?   Yup.  They leave without a scheduled follow up meeting 65% of the time.

Ok – I’ve outlined the problem and reiterated the percentage.  Now what?

I’d like to think its simple.  Have your director of admissions conduct a debrief with your admissions representatives at the end of the day and ask about outcomes.   Did you make a connection with the prospect?  What was it? (BTW learn more about making a connection and using our communication hierarchy by attending one of our EnrollMatch® workshops).  Tell me about their motivation for pursuing additional education?  Did you explore barriers they may need to overcome to attend?  What were they?  And finally…. drumroll please….. Did you schedule a second appointment?

Then pause, wait, listen, probe and ask:  When are they scheduled to come back in?

I’d like to think if this exercise is repeated daily you will increase the number of prospects scheduled to come back for a second appointment.

Try it and let me know your results.

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