Connecting for the Future: Higher Ed Lead Gen is About Relationships

By aiwpadminMarch 2, 2016

By Kieran O’Brien Kern.

Higher education lead generation is more than just A+B = C. Comparing tangible big-ticket items like mortgages and solar panels happen by checking off a list of objective values. This apples-to-apples comparison can be wrapped up in a short time by a well-trained associate. A student looking to invest in the right MBA program for them requires careful consideration. The wild card of higher education lead gen is presenting an inherent value which is both personal and subjective.

Making a sale based on subjective value requires more than a well-trained associate; it requires a relationship. Martin Lind, the business development director of the Education Vertical at Velocify, explains how the sales process in higher education is different. “If the associate is not the right fit for the lead, the conversation isn’t going to happen. It’s like dating — you have to connect.”

Lind explains how Velocify helps clients improve their admissions process. “We start a client out with a template gleaned from best practices our most successful clients in their industry are using.” He notes that putting a phone in an admissions representatives’ hands and instructing them to call everyone before 4 p.m. is the best way to waste not only the team’s energy but to throw away viable leads. One of the best means of making and maintaining that good connection or indeed “date-ability” is through matching the admissions representative that is most capable of working with a specific candidate based on the lead and through automation, so a phone call or an appointment is followed up with an email or text.

Where do higher education leads stem from? How is that interest sparked? Lind notes that one of the most successful channels for higher education leads is referrals. The others are social media destinations such as Facebook or Instagram. Referrals are a classic and timeless opportunity, hearkening back to relationship building; they move forward with the thought that “the best school for people who are like me may be the best school for me.” Social media is a great way to engage with potential leads because it has the tools to not only engage with students who like the schools’ pages but to see their friends and target them with advertising. Referrals and social media are the most fruitful to avenues to reach out when targeting potential students because they are already interested.

The future of Higher Education lead generation combines traditional relationship building and time with technology and best practices to ensure funneling of calls to match admissions representatives and candidates and ensure timely and seamless follow-up.

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