Three Ways to Ask Parents for Referrals to Your School

Sometimes we have not because we ask not. 

I believe it is important to ask for referrals when you are marketing your private school.

Think about all of the different groups of people you connect with and then develop a strategy to ask them for referrals.

Prospective parents and brand-new parents can be one of your best sources for referrals.

Let me give you three ways you can ask for referrals:

Prospective Parents

When a family is visiting your campus, you should ask them if they know of any other families at their current school, in their neighborhood, or in their church that might be a great fit at your school. Here’s what I would say at the end of my meeting. “Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I have really enjoyed our time together and am looking forward to your son enrolling in our school. As we look to grow our enrollment, I am searching for more families like yours. Do you know of any families that might be a great fit at our school? Would you be willing to give them an admissions packet and my business card and invite them to tour campus?”                                

That’s all you need to do. It might sound like a high-pressured sales tactic, however it really isn’t. It’s about complimenting the prospective family and their fit at your school and your desire to find more families like them.

Applying Parents 

An application is a perfect place to ask the applicant to give you the name and address of another family they would recommend to your school. You could then send a packet to the prospective family with a personal letter telling them how you received their name and that their friend is applying to your school.

You can make note of this on the application so that the applying parent is aware of what you plan to send them. The good thing about including this section on the application is that your applying parent will most likely think that they need to provide a friend’s name. 

New Parents

It is best to reach out to new parents at your school within the first few months at your school. You need to do this for two reasons. First, they will be most excited about their experience at your school, and secondly, they will most likely have friends that might be interested in enrolling.  

For this group, I would recommend taking a personal approach. You should reach out to your new parents in small groups, one-on-one meetings or phone calls to check in with them about their initial experience at your school. Then, you can ask them who they might know at their former school, in their neighborhood or church. You can even ask them to help you reach out to these families to recruit them to your school.

It really comes down to making a focused effort to ask your prospective and new parents for referrals to your school. It can make a difference in your school’s marketing effort as you seek to generate leads.

So, go ahead and ask!

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