You put in the work, you put in the long hours, and of course you know your daycare is amazing. However, you need to show it, too, and that’s where giving a daycare tour hops in.
While daycare tours are often subject to staff availability, it’s important to come up with a strategy and pick the right person for the job. After all, they will be the first person that the parents see, so make sure you leave a great first impression.
1. Identifying the ‘Sales Person’ on Your Staff
It might seem odd to see daycare center staff as potential salespeople but when it comes to giving a daycare tour, that’s exactly the kind of person you need.
Forget all the infomercial sales types. Selling means believing in what you are doing, and not being afraid to show it. These are the only skills you’ll need in the person who is going to be giving a daycare tour:
- Confidence. They believe in the benefits of the school. They can easily explain how the daycare center can meet the needs of the parents.
- Great listeners. When the parents arrive, they can hear exactly what they are looking for and then tailor the tour to speak to the points raised.
- Always prepared to present. They are well versed in every aspect of the school’s features and can easily jump to attention with positive energy.
- Instill faith in people. They aren’t pushy but know what the daycare excels at, and highlight it with easy.
- They are extroverted. These people love spending time with other people and truly enjoy interacting with parents as they guide them along the tour route.
Keep in mind that on your staff this person doesn’t have to be the manager or the assistant manager. In fact, they are already wearing so many hats that it’s impossible to keep track of them. Keep an eye out for one of your staff who’s actually working with the kids and parents the most, and who will know exactly what they’re most concerned about.
2. Strength Finder Testing
A good daycare tour giver is an amazing asset to every daycare, but it can be a bit hard to identify them.
Choose the person on your team with the highest ‘score’ on the test and nurture their skills in this regard. Create a tour ‘script’ and have rehearsal time so they are comfortable with what needs to be covered. As you are dealing with teachers who generally have a ‘people’s person’ archetype, there shouldn’t be a problem with sourcing this role from your staff.
In an ideal scenario, this would only be one person (maybe two) who take on this vital role in your organization. This staff member will understand prospective parents and address their needs accordingly, turning them from prospects to clients.
3. Choosing the Ideal Time of Day for Tours
It is important to offer tours at a specific time of day. This means everyone is prepared to receive the guests.
It can be mid-morning when the children have all settled into the day’s activities or a time that works for your daycare center. The rest of the staff will become used to the tour-giving time and it won’t catch them off guard.
When a parent makes an appointment for one of the tour slots, you should follow it up immediately with a confirmation email and then a reminder notice the day before, to reduce the risk of no-shows. This also helps make your daycare’s expertise and understanding truly shine.
4. Define Your Tour Route
You can decide on the highlights of the tour package that your chosen person will be conducting.
It’s not necessary to show every nook and cranny of the school. Instead, be prepared to adapt the tour based on what the parents are interested in or concerned about. Small talk may be boring but one right at the beginning of giving a daycare tour can help you focus on what they are looking for from a daycare center.
5. Be Thoughtful
When you meet the parents, make sure you find out the exact ages of their children so that when they leave, you can give them an age-appropriate gift. An inexpensive toy or clothing item with your logo on it shows parents how much you pay attention, even if they haven’t made a decision yet.
And even if you highlighted the specialties of your daycare center, it’s good to remind parents around the end of the tour. For example, if you use software like HoppingIn that allows them to get partial refunds from dropped slots due to absences, make sure you mention it. To you it’s a normal part of the job but to them, it’s a life saver.
6. After the Tour
Don’t force your staff to behave in a way that’s not natural to them. For example, if they are good at creating a sense of urgency and have a vibrant energy, they can offer to start the paperwork right away or offer a discount.
If they have spent the previous part of the tour connecting to parents, the empathetic approach is the best way. Throughout the tour, parents have probably come up with more questions, so make sure that the employee giving them a daycare tour addresses them.
In case the parents leave without making a decision, follow up after a few days with a phone call or an email. Thank them for their time and offer to address any concerns they may have. After all, choosing a daycare is a matter of trust and believing that it will satisfy their child’s needs, and a tour can only last a short time. It’s impossible to show everything.
But if you follow-up, you can show them that you care and that comunication comes first to you. If they are interested, you can even add them to your mailing list and keep them updated.
7. Success Analytics
Keep track of the success rate of your daycare center’s tours. How many tours have been given, and how many parents signed up? The goal, as with any business, is to increase enrollment and choosing the right person for the daycare tour job will help you get there with ease.
Sometimes the parents just aren’t the right fit now, but that might change. Offer to keep them updated about the most important changes in your daycare center through a house list. They might change their mind as both your daycare and their child grow.
How to Succeed in Giving a Daycare Tour
Even though daycare is a business, it’s all about people. If you can make parents’ lives easier by offering daycare on demand with less difficulty than any other center, show it. And find a person on your staff who believes in your daycare just as much.
From kids to parents, show them how much you care. and so will they.
Author: Hopping In Blog
Sholom Strick is an expert on the business of running daycare centers and founder of Hopping In, a tool that helps childcare centers and family daycare providers fill unused spots.
To contact him or for media inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org