While advertising is responsible for generating leads, prospects or calls, selling is key to winning the customer. To increase your chances of winning customers, you should approach selling in a systematic way with a formal selling process. A good sales process decreases the chance of you losing a prospect prematurely. Furthermore, a sales process allows you to easily spot, analyze and tweak stages in your process that needs improvements. It also allows you to document best practices and strategies that leads to many customer registrations.
The key advantage of a sales process lies in its ability to replicate the steps used to generate a high rate of customer wins or parent registrations. Your goal now is to build a sales process that can be followed consistently, and will give you the best chance of winning customers.
A sales process, however, is more than just a diagram and its steps or stages. A complete sales process should include forms, marketing collateral, sales scripts, checklists and other items to support each stage of the process. You should allocate time to build your sales process, along with its collateral and a pre-enrollment package.
A pre-enrollment package should be given to the parent at one point in the sales process. It should contain both marketing items (e.g. magnets and program highlight sheets) and materials that the parent needs to be aware of before registration such as: (1) a fee schedule specifying your daycare program fees, and (2) a Parent Handbook informing parents all policies and procedures applicable to him/her (e.g. payments, deposits, late fees, vacation policies) and to the staff (e.g. health and safety policies, behavior management policies).
A daycare tour checklist is also suggested. The checklist ensures that all daycare highlights and information are presented to the parent during a tour of your daycare, increasing the chance of a customer win.
A sample sales process used in most daycare centers involves the following stages presented below:
1. Parent Engagement
Naturally, all your marketing campaigns such as distributing flyers will generate leads – that is, parents will call you to express their interest in your daycare service. During this engagement, politely answer all of the parent’s questions or inquiries. At the same time, highlight unique programs and features of your center. The ultimate goal at this stage of the sales process is to schedule the parent to come in for a center tour. It is suggested to have scripts or talking points prepared at this stage so that you do not miss any important details during your conversation (e.g.phone) with the parent.
2. Daycare Tour
Being the most important stage in the sales process, this stage allows you to show, present and highlight your daycare programs, activities and services to the parent in person. Parents can decide much better once they have physically seen the environment their child will be in. If you successfully deliver a very pleasant tour experience, your chances of winning the customer increases significantly. It is highly recommended that you have a checklist prepared so that you do not miss important details during the tour. In addition, provide the parent a pre-enrolment package as described in this article above after the tour is completed.
3. Child Registration
As the final stage of the sales process, child registration stage is when the parent has decided to register his / her child in your daycare. Provide a pleasant registration process by giving the parent an enrolment package consisting of various forms that the parent needs to sign such as your sickness policy form and child registration form. Giving a positive experience to the parent all throughout the stages of the sales process goes a long way in retaining the customer, as well as making them talk about your center positively throughout the community.
For more daycare marketing tips and strategies, you can visit the marketing section of this How to Start and Manage a Daycare online tutorial.