Step Three: Articulate Your BCAs in Benefit Statements
Mastering the enrollment conversion technique of stating benefits, versus features, is what I call “the difference between telling and selling”. Features tell, benefits sell. So Step Three in using your Basic Competitive Advantages to increase enrollment is to learn to articulate your BCAs in good benefit statements.
Remember, these statements must tell your prospects what they get, or what your BCA means to them; not just what you have to offer or what the teachers and children do at your school. You want to communicate in such a way that you create a word picture in your prospect’s mind of their child in your school, causing them to feel a sense of peace of mind in the knowledge that they can get what they seek from your center.
For example, if you say, “The lead teacher is this preschool room has been here for seven years,” you have only stated a feature, or fact, about your classroom. Even if this feature is a BCA, you have not yet communicated it to your prospect as a meaningful benefit to them. Your statement is all about you and does not include them. Nothing in this statement creates a word picture in the prospect’s mind of their child being in this classroom.
If instead, you say, “The lead teacher in this preschool room has been here for seven years, so Aiden will have a great deal of stability and will get learning opportunities based on all her experience as a teacher of quality early care and education programs,” you have made a good benefit statement. Why? Because you not only presented your BCA (long-term teacher), you expressed what that means to Aiden (the benefits of this BCA). The last phrase is the part that makes this a good benefit statement and will help this parent visualize Aiden enrolled in your school.
You may argue that your enrollment prospects are smart people and will know what your center’s BCAs mean to them without your articulating what they get. Chances are, they will not. Even if they do, confirming that assumption in their minds by making good benefit statements will help them feel more confident that your center is the right place for their child.
Try these three techniques for articulating good benefit statements:
State the feature and add a phrase beginning with the word, “so…,” to answer, “So what does that mean to the prospect or child?” The example above illustrates this technique.
Start with the word, “Because,” then add the feature and finish your statement with the benefit phrase. “Because we open at 6:30 in the morning, it will be convenient for you to drop off Matteo on your way to work.”Which part of this sentence put the prospect in the word picture and tells them what they get? You’re right! The final part.
Start your statement with the benefit phrase, “From us, you (or child’s name) will get…” Then state the feature. “From us, Emma will get a wide variety of learning experiences and fun activities in her after school program.” There is a huge difference in prospect perception between this good benefit statement and stating this BCA as a feature only, such as, “We offer a wide variety of learning experiences and fun activities in our after school program.” The benefit statement describes what Emma gets from you. The feature statement tells only what you offer.
Articulating your BCAs in good benefit statements is all in how you say it. Go back to the benefits you developed in Step Two. Then practice using use one or more of the techniques above to state the benefits when you describe each BCA, making sure your statement answers, “So what…does this mean to the prospect?”
When you have determined your Basic Competitive Advantages, defined the benefits of each BCA, and mastered articulating them in good benefit statements, you are well on your way to converting more prospect calls and visits into enrollments. Your potential customers will more easily see what separates you from your competition. They will clearly understand how your BCAs can address their needs and concerns. And they will appreciate your knowledgeable approach to helping them make the best choice for their child and their family. And you will never again think about “So what…?” in the same way.
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Julie Wassom is a trainer and consultant who has helped thousands of directors and managers build significant enrollment in their early care and education programs. An internationally recognized authority on marketing child care services, Julie is president of The Julian Group, Inc., an experienced marketing firm specializing in the early care and education industry. She is the author of The Enrollment Building Success Library of training resources, and the free online newsletter, Wassom’s Child Care Marketing Wisdom.
“The Speaker Whose Message Means Business”
Marketing and Sales Speaker/Consultant/Author
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