In the preparation you do to be ready to secure enrollments, one consideration is the setting you choose for taking inquiry calls and conducting center visits.
Let’s talk first about the setting for your telephone inquiry calls. A private area in your center, such as your office, s always the ideal place to answer the telephone. I know, though, from being in so many childcare centers, that it is not always the place where you answer the phone. What is important to remember is that background noise very common to you may be very distracting to the prospect who is calling your center for the first time.
So if you must answer the telephone in a classroom or other noisy area, you need to give your prospect two options:
- Ask the caller politely if you could move to another phone in a more private area in order to give her your full attention.
- Ask for permission to call them back. You could say, “This is a very active time in the center, and I would like to be able to talk with you when I can give you my full attention. At what number might I call you back in about 15 minutes?”
In the center visit, the most effective setting to begin the enrollment conversation is a private place, like an office, or in a corner area where there are a couple of chairs and a basket full of toys for the visiting child to play with. It is in this more private place that you can begin to develop a personal bond with your prospects that helps them feel comfortable with you from the very first moment they’re in your center. You can review their needs by saying something like, “I recall from our phone conversation, that you were concerned about Bella’s shyness. Let me review for you some of the things we do here at our center that will help her adjust. Then we’ll go back and meet Mary, who would be Bella’s teacher, and she can tell you even more.”
As you near the close of your center visit, take your prospect back to the private area where you began. There, discuss enrollment documents and any questions they have. This is also the best setting to ask them to enroll. It is so much easier for both you and the parents to gain their commitment to register when you ask in the privacy of your office or quiet area rather than in a busy classroom.
So the order of the setting in the center goes: private area, classroom, then back to a private area.
Good luck and Happy Enrollment Building!