CD on phone crop (1)Maximizing the enrollment potential in your school is a big responsibility. Filling your school means you not only reach your capacity utilization goals, it generates revenue that can make life easier in many other areas of your job. However, it is easy to make costly mistakes in enrollment building when you have so many other responsibilities demanding your time and talent.

Avoid these five enrollment building mistakes…

1.    Depending solely on word of mouth to generate inquiries.

Though still by far the strongest inquiry generator, word of mouth is just one way discerning parents investigate and consider potential early childhood programs. They also look at your website, your social media, your presence in family engagement in the community, your advertised methods of parent communications, etc. Ask your enrolled families what ways they found you other than word of mouth. It will be unique to your target audience. Then make sure you have a good presence in those marketing venues.

 2.    Having a website that educates but does not generate inquiries.

Use key elements of website marketing to do more than merely educate visitors. To generate inquiries, your site must also make it easy for them to take action to learn more and convert from prospect to inquiry.One key element is to have a “Schedule a Visit” button on every page that links to a brief inquiry form. Visitors compete the form and submit it to your email or CRM as a populated form.

 3.    Waiting more than 24 hours to respond to an inquiry.

Whether your inquiry comes in as a lead form, phone call, or email, it is a mistake to wait very long to respond. Your families expect immediate response. When you do not get right back to them, you will likely inadvertently knock yourself out of the running as a choice for their family. Use a system that triggers you or a team mate to contact prospects within a next-business-day window.

 4.    Telling more than you ask.

It’s natural to be proud of your center and want to tell interested families all about it. However, it’s easy to tell too much. When talking with your enrollment prospects, ask as much as you tell. Ask good open questions to gather their specific needs and wants. Ask closed agreement questions after presenting benefits. Ask for the scheduled visit or enrollment. Ask for permission to follow up until they make a decision. With the right questions at the right times, your prospects will tell you exactly how to enroll them.

 5.    Waiting for parents to follow up.

Big mistake. Those directors who initiate regular follow up with prospective families secure more enrollments that those who wait for interested families to contact them. The key is to first get permission to follow up. Then do so on a periodic basis with information of value that positions you as the knowledgeable, helpful, professional resource your prospects can trust. To learn more about specifics and to see why I always say, “The fortune is in the follow up,” contact me.

 Julie Wassom
The Child Care Marketing Coach
Marketing and Sales Speaker/Consultant/Author