What percentage of enquiries turn into enrolments? For me I always thought it was 90 to 100% for my studio, but this morning I've been cross-checking some of the enquiries in my archived emails against our enrolments, and I'm realising there's plenty that didn't follow through... or more accurately, that I didn't follow through.
I remember a few years ago I was looking at new cars. Well not even really looking, just dreaming. Imagining what it would be like to have a nice new Mazda 3. My current scratched, weathered and beat-up 10-year-old Mazda 3 still gets me all over the alphabet so I'll drive it until it dies on me. I was really just playing the imagine game.
So I was on the Mazda website and I just wanted to see the photos of it, and how much it would cost. Well to download the special info pack with all the exciting specs and beautiful photos, I had to pop in my email address. No problems. I already received a few thousands spam emails every hour, what's another one going to matter.
Next thing I know, Jeff from Mazda calls me asking if I'd like a test drive. "Sorry Jeff, I was just trying to get a bit of info, I'm not in the market for a new car at the moment." But he still managed to get a bit of extra chat from me, before wishing me a good day.
3 months later, almost to the minute, my buddy Jeff calls again. "Hey Ben, we spoke a few months ago about the Mazda 3. Just wanted to check in and see if you were interested in coming in and having a look this weekend. We've got a big sale." WOW!! That's persistence. "Thanks Jeff, but I'm still not in a position to buy a new car. Enjoy your day."
6 months later again.
9 months later.
12 months later. It's been a year.
"Hey Ben, how've you been? Have a good Christmas break? We've got a new year sale on at the moment. I'd love to get you into one of our nice new Mazdas."
Eventually I had to end my relationship with Jeff. But it was done with politeness. "Look Jeff, best to take me off the call list for now. I appreciate the efforts, but I will come right on in and see you the moment I'm ready for a new car. All the best."
And you know what? I probably will. Because one day my little shitbox of a car is going to go over one speedbump too many and rattle itself into pieces and I will call my old friend Jeff.
NO JOKE... as I was writing this post an email came through, and it previewed in the top right corner of my mac. "Hi Im so sorry your reply to my enquiry went to my spam! My son starts preschool on Mondays now. Do you think he can try the Tuesday class when you are back from holidays?" I'M HONESTLY TELLING YOU THE TRUTH! THIS HAPPENED LITERALLY AS I WAS WRITING THIS POST. And I'd replied to her enquiry in mid June. Come on... how well timed is that!?!?
And this is my point. How many thoughtful replies of yours have been lost to the spam gods? How many well-intended parents forgot to call your back, then you just forgot all together? How many people got distracted between deciding to join your studio studio and physically finishing the enrolment form?
Of course the best of you, maybe even the most of you have all kinds of processes in place for this. I'll admit, on this one, I had a fairly weak processes, and clearly it failed me. So I've implemented a shiny new one. Something beyond simple... fool-proof and fail-proof.
I've created a new SHARED NOTE in my notes app on my phone/ipad and mac. I live my whole life on the notes app. I could not function without it. It's my second brain. All my lists, my ideas, my draft posts, my dreams and my goals. This particular "Commotion Enquiry Follow-Through" note is shared between me and my admin staff computer account, so whomever is working at the desk can also access it.
It's a simple table with the following columns:
Child's Name & Age
First Contact (How they first reached out e.g. Stall, Website, Facebook etc.)
Status (Would you contain information such as Replied by email 11/7, or called 8/7 or coming in for a trail on 23/7, until eventually it reads either 'Not Interested' or 'Enrolled'!)
Effective lead management going to be like a game for me and my admin team. The fish I'm still trying to reel in, in an overused fishing metaphor.
How many have I lost along the way? My goal today is to go back to the last 6 months of enquiries archived away in my emails, phone and business Facebook page, and cross-check them with current enrolments... and anyone who isn't enrolled, I'm going to reach out.
Here's to never losing a lead again.