Unanswered Phones Represent the Biggest Marketing & Recruitment Leakage in FE
I’ve written about unanswered phones before. It is no good spending £000s on marketing only to ignore the calls when a prospective student calls.
Sadly the blight of unanswered calls continues. In the last two weeks, I’ve repeatedly called two providers that have failed to answer. One just lets the phone ring and ring without going to answerphone. The other plays back testimonials (with background noise) for several minutes before saying it has not been possible to connect you and cutting the call. Continue reading
Posted in Business Development, Business Strategy, Communication, Contact, Customer Care, Customer Service, Employer Engagement, FE News, Income Generation, Management, Marketing, Ofsted, Reputation, Telephone
Tagged phone, phones, unanswered phones
When the Sector Cries Out for Students and Income; 50% of Course Enquiries are Going Unanswered.
It’s incredible .. but our recent mystery shopping survey results are clear. Read more in our Exclusive Article on FE News ……. 50% of FE Enquiries Go Unanswered
Chatbots carry out repetitive admin tasks 24/7 .. they don’t just work in factories
Chatbots or bots are an automated or semi-automated software tools that can carry out repetitive and mundane tasks 24/7. They are usually used as a communications tool.
Bots are very common and can undertake admin tasks such as answering emails. Other examples you will undoubtedly come across include the Googlebot. Google uses Googlebot to index the huge volumes of new content being uploaded to the web every second. Its a repetitive admin task that’s been automated with a bot. Continue reading
Posted in Business Development, Business Strategy, Campaign planning, Communication, Customer Care, Customer Service, Websites
Tagged automation, bot, chatbot, repetitive, simplify, tasks
I Know Several Ways to Acquire New High Value Clients .. But Only One of Them Works
I’m not talking about acquiring students or low value commercial business. I mean the high value clients that bring in five or six figure sums.
The businesses that pay big money.
High Value Clients May Come From ..
Marketing a College Restaurant: This is Often Low Down on the Priority List in Many Colleges. But When You Effectively Promote the College Restaurant The ROI is Huge
To simplify the college restaurant marketing process I use simple templates to determine answers to a series of questions that lead towards the marketing plan. The templates vary from college to college but you’ll get a feel of what I’m looking for from these typical questions. See Below …. Continue reading
Posted in Advertising, Business Development, Business Strategy, Campaign planning, Income Generation, Marketing Plan, Restaurant Marketing
Tagged college, how to market a restaurant, marketing, promote a restaurant, promotion, restaurant marketing
What is the Curiosity Gap and how does it apply to Employer Engagement & Business Development ?
George Lowenstein coined a theory he called the Curiosity Gap. In it he suggests that as soon as we realise there is a gap in our knowledge, we strive to fill it.
In Employer Engagement and Business Development we can take advantage of the Curiosity Gap by using a very simple formula. Continue reading
How to Achieve Success in a Busy Action Packed World
All Around Me I See People in Constant Motion. They are in Hamster Wheels of Activity
They are running from task to task, meeting to meeting, often with a phone welded to their ear.
But when you are this busy there is only one certain result. You miss the overview. You fail to learn enough to plan a strategy. You miss out on the crucial elements vital for you to achieve success.
The only results you get are activity and low achievement because when you have your nose to the grindstone life is pretty awful. The problem is that ……….
Constant Action Drives Out Deep, Meaningful Thought
The Power of Three Makes Sales More Certain
The Power of Three is a very simple idea that can really provide improved sales and marketing results.
What is the Power of Three?
The power of three is simple, but lets start with the number one. When you offer people one option .. or a take it or leave it option .. they have no choice and there is a high chance you fail to make a sale.
But give people several options and the choice goes from deciding if they want your course to deciding which option they want.
Sadly FE rarely offers people options that could sell more. But they could if they follow this advice.
Examples of the Power of Three Options
Say you are selling a First Aid course.
Lots of colleges sell these courses and buyers decide on location and price. Where several providers exist in a buyers area they then often buy based on price alone.
The Power of Three says you should offer the standard course at a given price but then offer two further options. These could be based on anything to providing free coffee and or lunch to things like online QA after the course. Continue reading
Using a Phone Number or Email You Can Obtain Customer Profile Information Direct From the Facebook Database
OK, thinking about your customer profile; you probably know how you can target audiences and create lookalike audiences using an existing email list.
But did you know you can take an audience segment and get audience insights for that list? This is powerful customer profile data that really helps you boost sales and marketing.
You might decide you want to know more about 16-18 year olds that are on engineering or beauty courses.
Or perhaps you want to target employers that attended a particular event or college webinar (you are doing college webinars aren’t you?).
Once you do this you open the door to seeing where they live, their gender, age, interests etc. Continue reading
Posted in 14-19, Advertising, Apprenticeships, Business Development, Business Strategy, conference management, Employer Engagement, event management
Tagged customer profile, employer engagement, facebook, student profile
How Often Do Your Clients Become Past Memories?
For example you might have had students from a particular business for years and then they suddenly stop enrolling one year. Or maybe a school was an excellent feeder for years and then started to tail off. The answer could be coffee!
The schools issue is not so common with most providers as they often have a dedicated schools liaison person. And that fact indicates the problem with the former. You see if no one is tasked with keeping in touch with current customers they soon get forgotten. It isn’t enough to think that your courses are great and they will keep on coming. All it takes is for a competitor to appear and woo them away from you.
But if you keep in touch with them on a regular basis then they are far less likely to disappear. Ideally you should be sending them some useful snippets of info, or some top tips relevant to them, on a regular basis.
Generating More Income in FE isn’t Always Easy
…. but that is usually due to our mindset.
One major asset we have is space .. and it is worth money but not if we think about it in the wrong way.
You see we think about space in terms of how we would normally use it and can’t see beyond this.
But turn your thoughts upside down and look at the space in a different way.
The space doesn’t need using for its original purpose. It’s just space and can be used for a myriad of purposes.
Link your space to a local or national event and marvelous things happen.
Posted in budget, budget saving, Business Development, Business Strategy, Events, Marketing strategy, mindset, Resources, Restaurant Marketing
Tagged budget, FE, income generation, pop up, pop up restaurant, Space utilisation
In Business Development & Employer Engagement We Are Often Told We Must Network
But what is the real value of networking? And how should we network? Do we need to go to regular meetings and meet like minded people?
Based on my own experience and the available research on networking I believe the need to network via networking groups is largely a myth broadcast by the people that organise networking groups.
Certainly some businesses benefit from attending networking groups but they tend to be the exception rather than the rule. The people that benefit most are those that take our fees!
Selling to businesses, and indeed engaging students, isn’t just a sales activity.
In fact, if we try to use hard sales technique to prospective customers they will frequently avoid us like the plague. You need credibility with your prospects and students.
The thing is, we need to build credibility with business clients and students. We want businesses to regard us as a trusted partner; one that is there to help them rather than just to sell to them. We need to build these relationships at all levels. That includes building credibility and trust with key executives in these businesses. Continue reading
My recent article on FE News had the phone ringing and was shared over fifty times. In it I said that FE needs to rethink their business model and offer people what they wanted rather than what providers thought was needed.
I agreed that qualifications were important but suggested that not everyone wants a qual. Some people just want to be able to apply new skills very quickly and others were looking for a leisure experience.
I provided three examples of FE businesses that were thriving and had no government funding and no Inspection hassles.
London FHE Marketing & Business Development 2014 was a closed door event I recently held for invited guests only.
But there are some topics I wanted to share with you personally.
The first is about Strategy. This is a word that is often bandied about but rarely understood. People often show me their business or marketing strategies and they are often weighty tomes.
Often the strategies I’m shown are more like wish list and say things like “We want to be the provider of choice for local SMEs by September 2015”. Continue reading
Senior staff at Microsoft, Google, Merrill Lynch, Chubb, IBM, Johnson and Johnson, Deutsche Bank, Accenture. Tata & Yahoo pay big money to get advice from Dr Srikumar Rao.
Not only is Srikumar a noted academic and TED presenter; he is someone who also advises me from time to time. I’ve known Srikumar for a quite a while for a simple reason. We mastermind together. That means we get together once a month and exchange ideas.
Srikumar used to teach on MBA programs at Columbia. You can also find his TED talks on YouTube (see below) and he runs a Personal Mastery course that gets rave reviews.
This course normally costs $1000s and is normally only run for private clients.
Is Your Customer Acquisition and Sales Process Reactive or Proactive?
Reactive systems are fine when they send you a steady flow of new and repeat customers but they are unreliable and frequently fail.
Proactive customer acquisition and sales processes are reliable, predictable and mean you get less stressed about hitting our targets.
The system I prefer is called FLOW, which stand s for: