There exist 4000 Indian B-Schools targeting 6,00,000 MBA aspirants every year. In such a competitive scenario, having a well equipped marketing plan is a must. However convenient it may seem, reaching out to prospective applicants for admission over telephonic calls has never been easy. According a report by the Inside Sales , 2007 it takes 3.68 cold calls to reach out to a particular person. In fact the number of attempts has increased to 8 now-a-days.
Now there are two sides to the same coin. Obviously, a telephonic call is a more trusted source of information than all other mediums. Keller Center Research Report out of Baylor University conducted a study according to which it takes approximately 7.5 hours to get a referral through cold calling methods. On a large scale, this is pretty effective in wooing applicants.
However, this is not the upper limit of efficiency. The study reveals that for every 330 calls made, approximately one appointment was set (a 330:1 call-to-appointment ratio). Since prevention is always better than cure, here are a few things that should be taken care of before the call:
Know why you are calling
What is the objective? Normally, it won’t be to introduce yourself, count the features of your B-school and convince the student to apply in a single call. Instead it should be limited to one of these. So make an agenda beforehand whether you intend to only publicise your B-school or set up another meeting. Also, most Indians rely on chit chatting with the person in order to pave way but it is better to stick to your discussion so that the impact you leave is professional.
Know who you are calling
Given the data quoted above, it clearly shows that if you have a list of disconnected phone numbers, you aren’t going to reach any prospects. Learning everything that you can before making the call can help increase the efficiency by heaps and bounds. Given the enormous amount of options available in India, the MBA aspirants as well as their parents tend to be picky. Therefore, getting to know the students’ needs are, what their objections might be, and what interests them will help.
Most of the lead provide companies lack the students’ profile, preferences and ambitions. Admito has student record consisting of more than 20 parameters for a student that include, but are not limited to, CAT percentile, Other Entrance Exams given, Academic Qualification, Job profile, Location preferences, Ambitions and much more.
Know when to call
There is no denying that the call becomes awkward if the student gets interrupted at college or at dinner, more so all you get is a Click. Therefore it is pertinent that you call during the peak hours, or better off, take an appointment.Kellogg School of Business conducted a study which states that the best times to call are between 4:00-5:00 p.m. and 8:00-10:00 a.m. Coming to the days, Wednesdays and Thursdays are considered as the best days.
Once you know the aspirant you are calling, scripting the call becomes easy. Not only do the target aspirants get segmented but the the conversation you have with them can easily be personalised, increasing the chances of making a student interested.
This was the first segment of a series of three articles written about acing telephone calls to MBA aspirants. The next article is on improving the quality of interaction with the student over phone.