Mr. Watson – come here. I want to see you.

The famous first words ever spoken over the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell on March 10, 1876. Now, if Alexander Graham Bell had written a letter, it probably would not have had the same impact on the astonished Mr. Watson. Alexander Graham Bell created a revolutionary communications tool that would forever have a lasting impression on society. Can you imagine the enthusiasm he must have had in his voice and how quickly Mr. Watson probably came running? Now think about it. That was done over the phone! With that said, why do admissions reps shy away from the phone?
Nowadays, the thought of using the phone seem so foreign to many people. Many people want to e-mail to get their point across. Why, you may ask? For three reasons:

  1. E-mail has less emotional consequences. The admissions rep will not hear the dreaded "NO." With e-mail, there is so much left unsaid, or the message is interpreted incorrectly. The only true way to clear up the confusions is to give the prospect a call.
  2. Everyone is so scared of the "Do Not Call Registry." I do not believe the "DNC" is in place to prevent educational institutions from reaching out to their prospective students. Its true intent is to stop annoying phone calls from telemarketers who want to upgrade you to super duper titanium credit cards with low interest rates. As for admissions reps feeling they might offend someone, this really means they are scared and probably not going to ask the tough, probing questions that are needed.
  3. There is no escaping the facts. Admissions reps DO NOT like to make outbound phone calls and are apprehensive to do so. "I feel like a telemarketer" or "I feel like I am being pushy." Does this sound familiar? This really means that they are scared and probably not going to ask the tough, probing questions that are needed. I have not met one rep who likes making phone calls and it does not matter how much pizza you try bribing them with; their opinion of outbound calling will not change.

My admissions experience started at a little private college in southeast Iowa called Iowa Wesleyan College. My Director of Admissions, Jim Lynes, whose mentor was John Klockentager, had a major impact on my ability to sell the college. Jim’s unflinching belief toward recruiting by use of the phone shaped my ability to be a top performing admissions counselor, coordinator, DOA, trainer and now Trainer/QA manager for Target Admissions Support Center (TASC). I have a firm belief that if you can get a hold of someone over the phone and create a rapport, half your work is done, and you now have a better chance to get them in for the all-so-important campus visit.
If you want to be sure your leads are being called and your reps are keeping busy, leave it to the professionals at Target Admissions Support Center. Whatever ideas you have of a call center, erase it from your mind. We are not a call center but an Admissions Support Center focused only on education. Our Admissions Support Representatives, ASRs, receive training by me personally to have the feel and passion of an admissions department.
We are able to work with your current database, new inquiries and even create solid quality leads based on your school’s specific demographics and warm transfer them directly to your admissions department. With our Predictive Dialer, we are able to make 2500 calls per hour. If that shocks you, did you know that in a manual dialing environment each employee spends over 70% of every hour being unproductive? Now think about – how much pizza do you have to buy to make 2500 phone calls?
If you would like to learn more please visit our web site at www.tascforce1.com.

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2 Comments on "Mr. Watson – come here. I want to see you."

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Aileen Dodds
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I agree with you 100 %. For some reason people have a problem using the phone for business. I find too that things can be taken out of context in an email but over the phone you can ask questions and receive answers right away, no waiting. Perhaps your employees just need to learn to relax and build the confidence of those they are calling. Being honest and helpful is what it is all about.

Sandra Kemp
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Not only is email communication easy to take out of context, it is unreliable. Days are lost waiting on a response when, come to find out, the person never received the email. Global Financial Aid Services operates a financial aid contact center that provides pro-active financial aid counseling. Our staff makes multiple outbound calls at key milestones and when inactivity triggers have been exceeded. By proactively connecting with the students to provide counseling, walk them through the FAFSA, and ultimately generating an estimated award letter, we provide the high level of service students are expecting. We offer and also utilize… Read more »