As a trade school owner, you know that the enrollment process can be a challenging and frustrating experience. Prospective students may seem unresponsive or disinterested, and it can be difficult to understand their thought process and decision-making. However, by understanding the phases of the 90-day student lead journey, you can gain insight into the psychology of prospective students and tailor your approach to meet their needs.
Phase 1: Narrowing Down Options (Day 1-30)
During the first 30 days of their search, prospective students are in the process of narrowing down their options. They may have a general idea of what they want to study, but they are likely still exploring different schools and programs. During this phase, students are unwilling to speak on the phone as they do not yet know what they want, and therefore are not likely to answer unsolicited calls.
To attract students during this phase, focus on providing helpful resources and information that can assist in their decision-making process. Such as how your tuition compares to other schools if it is lower, convenient schedule and tuition/ financial options.
Phase 2: Considering Costs and Fit (Day 31-60)
By days 31-60, prospective students have likely narrowed down their options to just a few schools. During this phase, they are considering factors such as costs, program fit, and overall value. They may be more receptive to communication during this phase, but it is still important to approach them in a way that is helpful and informative rather than pushy.
To engage students during this phase, provide detailed information on opportunities for advancement, job placement and student success stories. Consider hosting informational events that allow prospective students to interact with current students or alumni to get a better sense of the student experience.
Phase 3: Making the Final Decision (Day 61-90)
The final phase of the student lead journey occurs during days 61-90 when prospective students are making their final decision. At this point, students have likely completed their research and are actively comparing their final options. They are much more likely to answer phone calls and respond to communication during this phase.
To convert prospective students into enrollees during this phase, focus on providing personalized communication that addresses their specific concerns or questions. Offer incentives, such as waived application fees or personalized campus tours, to help seal the deal.
Planning Ahead: How to Adjust Your Resources Based on Enrollment Trends
Understanding the seasonality of enrollment is critical for small schools because it allows you to plan and allocate resources accordingly. For example, if you know that enrollment typically drops off in the spring, you can focus your marketing efforts on attracting more students during the fall and winter months. You can also adjust your budget to account for the fluctuations in enrollment and ensure that you have enough resources to get through slow periods.
Understanding the psychology behind the student lead journey is critical for trade school owners. By tailoring your approach to meet the needs of prospective students during each phase of the journey, you can build trust and establish your school as the best option for their needs
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