The 7 Key Ingredients of a Quality Day Care Tour to Prospective Parents
Your daycare center’s tour strategy should never be an afterthought or conducted by just anyone available at that moment. If you wish to see enrollment soar, it’s time to invest in a long-term plan to conduct useful tours of your daycare center. The key ingredient to high conversions rests with the choice of individual/s who will be ‘selling’ the school during the walkabout.
1. Identifying the ‘Sales Person’ on Your Staff
You have to identify who on your team has the right strengths and skillset to be your number one salesperson. It might seem odd to see day care center staff as potential salespeople –but when you are showing prospective parents around your facility that is the exact personality type you require to get the job done. Often this is not the director or assistant director of the school. They are already wearing so many hats and aren’t necessarily born salespeople. You’re looking for the person in your organization who loves to sell. Some of the characteristics of a great salesperson include:
- Confidence. They are self-assured and 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 make the tour to speak to the pain points raised. Parents want to feel heard and that the school will have their best interests at heart.
- 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 at a moment’s notice.
- Instill faith in people. They don’t have to hard sell, they are subtle in their approach, educating the prospective parent without seeming pushy. They highlight the unique selling points of the school with a gentle assuredness, which breeds trust.
- 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. They are great at making real connections quickly.
2. Strength Finder Testing
It is important to identify the person will these characteristics on your team so that they will always be in charge of leading the tour. Childcare Marketing coach, Kris Murray, suggests getting staff to take the Strength Finder 2.0 test to help you identify those people on your team with the ‘innate DNA’ to get the job done.
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 be engaging with prospective parents, identifying their needs upfront, emotionally connecting with the prospect, winning them over with charm and ultimately attempting to close the deal at the end of the tour.
3. Choosing the Ideal Time of Day for Tours
It is important to only offer tours at a specific time of day. This means everyone is prepared to receive the guests. This would usually be mid-morning when the children have all settled into the day’s activities or a time that you deem ideal for your daycare center. The tour time becomes a set standard and doesn’t catch anyone off guard. The tour guide will always know when to be ready to lead the parents. You can also ensure that the center looks and smells great at that time of day.
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. Your daycare center will also look professional and organized when you follow-up in this way.
4. Define Your Tour Route
You can decide on the highlights of the tour package that your chosen person will be conducting. Don’t try and show every nook and cranny of the school. They won’t be able to take in all of the information. However, be prepared to adapt the tour based on what the parents have articulated they are interested in or concerned about. You can adjust your ‘script’ to tie in the answers to their questions en-route. It is essential to take a moment to converse with the parents before embarking on the walkthrough so you can focus on what they are looking for from a daycare center.
5. Staying Top of Mind
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) is a valuable marketing tool that makes parents feel welcome.
6. Making the Sale
At the end of the tour, the salesperson must attempt to ‘close the deal.’ They should always aim to make the sale. They can offer to start the paperwork right away or offer a discount on tuition if they sign up by the end of the week, etc. They should create a sense of urgency at the close mentioning that there is a waitlist and should sign up in order to ensure the child has a spot available. This must always be the culmination point of the tour which is why a natural salesperson is required in the tour guide role. If the parents leave without committing to signing up, then be sure to follow up proactively. Send a note (handwritten is often a great personal touch) to thank them for visiting your daycare center and see if they have any more questions after the tour.
7. Success Analytics
Keep track of the success rate of your daycare center’s tours. How many conversions happen every month from X number of tours. The goal is to increase enrollment, and having an expert sales personality on your team is going to ensure you get there with ease.
By creating a well laid out plan for tours you can ensure prospective parents will have the best possible experience touring your daycare center. These steps will help to ensure your daycare is maximizing it’s tour conversion ratio and help you to fill your childcare roster!