You know what happens. You take a call from a parent inquiring about enrollment. You ask a few questions and then tell them all about your center. AS the conversation comes to a close, you know you should actually ASK them to come in. But you feel like that is awfully pushy. So you tell them you recommend they see the center, they are welcome to stop by, and that they should call if they have any questions in the meantime. What did you just do? You just let a potential enrollment walk away. When you consider the time and resources it took your company to get that inquiry call to come in at all, it is like tossing money down the drain – and even worse, denying that prospect’s child the opportunity to experience the high quality education and care you provide – if you do not use good closing techniques to actually ASK that prospect to come in for a scheduled center visit.
How can you ask for a center visit without feeling like a used car salesman? Here are three easy ways to make asking for the visit a skill you use regularly with comfort and confidence.
Remember your role. When a parent calls to inquire about enrolling her child, your role is two-fold. One is to help her make a good buying decision. The other is to get her to act on your recommendation. Telling her about the benefits of your center is helping with this important family decision. Merely recommending that she come in for a visit is not enough to incent her to take action. You must ask for the visit in order to get her to act on your recommendation.
Gain prospect agreement with trial closes. In my last Marketing Exchange tip, I suggested asking questions to confirm that your enrollment prospect agrees with the information you tell her as you present center benefits. Questions, such as, “Is this the kind of program you are looking for?” or Security like ours in important for the children’s safety and your peace of mind, wouldn’t you agree?” are trail closes. When your prospect has answered several trial closes with, “Yes,” a final question to ask for a center visit will be much easier for you to ask and for her to answer with yet another, “Yes”.
Ask alternate choice closing questions. For your final closing question to attempt to secure a schedule visit to your center, try using a type of closing question called alternate choice. This style of question gives your prospect a choice, the answer to either means she has just agreed to schedule a center visit. For example, you might say, “Is Thursday morning at 9:30 or Monday afternoon at 4:30 a better time for you and Robby to visit our center?” When offered a choice, most prospects who are truly interested and qualified to enroll will select one of the choices or offer you an alternate choice that still means they are coming in for a visit.
When you conduct a helpful, professional inquiry conversation and include a final closing question, your prospect sees you as just the resource they need to make a good decision. They begin to trust you and rely on your recommendations. When you ask a final closing question, they want to take the action you recommend. And do you know what else? By then, most qualified prospects are already looking forward to visiting your center, are delighted to be asked, and will say, “Yes!” long before they ever would have considered doing so to that guy selling used cars.