I think she was starting to get a bit angry now as she replied, “I’ll have you know we offer the best, most caring, family-like child care in the city! We provide free diapers, wipes, 3 hot meals a day, we’re flexible with pick up times…”
I listened to the long list… I knew it already, as we’d helping with their advertising for a while. But I’m not the one who needed to hear it again. Once she was done, I explained: “Well, then I’ll go back to saying you must detest prospective parents.”
“You’re doing them a DISSERVICE by not following up. By not being pushy, you’re actually pushing them… into the hands of your competition.”
I then continued with, “When you sell, you’re not being pushy, you’re honoring their needs, you’re honoring their children, their spouse, you’re supporting their lives, making their world a better place by keeping their child safe, loved, and preparing them for the rest of their lives!”
Her glare softened a bit, but the intensity remained; the fire of anger was starting to get replaced by fire of purpose.
I followed up with, “If you have such a great program, and *I* know you do, then it’s your DUTY to sell it. To follow-up. To follow-up every day until they do what’s in their best interest! Don’t let them sign-up with the center down the street that’s not as good as you. You know the value you provide. Pushy is not pushy when you BELIEVE FULLY in what you sell.”
Look, VERY FEW PEOPLE love, much less like (ok, even tolerate!), the sales role. It’s a special kind of person who is naturally keen to make the 9th follow-up call. And yet, business doesn’t happen without sales.
Right now, you’re fighting for EVERY ENROLLMENT. Don’t lose a single one. Double – TRIPLE – down on your sales process and follow-ups. If you truly believe in the value you provide, then selling is not selling, SELLING IS A SERVICE to your community. Now here are a few tactics that’ll help you feel less pushy:
• Do NOT leave messages on ANY calls; when you leave a message you put the ball in their court. When you don’t leave a message, you can call back 15 times and not feel like you’re being a pest.
• TEXT then call. When they come in for the tour, ask for their mobile number so you can text, if they text back, call them immediately!
• Take a selfie with the family after the tour; text it to them as a reminder so they can put a face to a name. You can also take a picture of the family near a cool wall/background or your sign — ditto you can text it to them a few days later “Hey, I just remembered this pic we took!”
If you’re feeling self conscious about taking a photo, use this phrase, “Let’s grab a quick pic for posterity so we’ll remember this little adventure finding KAREN her first perfect preschool!”
• As a last resort, try this magic 10-word email with a 1-word subject line:
Email: Are you still looking for the perfect preschool for __child’s_name__?