While it is very important that the entire school participates in the admissions process, the Admissions Officer is by far the most important link to the parent. The Admissions Office is the first place in the school the parent visits and the officer is the first person they encounter, the first storyteller they meet. So what should we keep in mind while we spend time with parents talking about the school and showing them around?

When culture allows, refer to parents by their first name
The receptionist can get the enquiry form filled by the parent and then send the form to the admissions officer. The officer would do well to remember that everybody loves their name and it is the sweetest word to their ears. While this does create a closer relationship, do pay attention to cultural customs – in some cultures this may not be a good idea.

Casual talk
Refrain from jumping immediately to questions like which school they are from, what grade they are looking to apply for, and other admissions-related enquiries. Let them breathe! Start with casual talk. Example – “So, what do you do?” “Hope you did not have too much difficulty in finding our address?” Casual talk helps you build rapport with the parent.

Engage the child in the conversation
Remember the parent has come to enquire about admission for their child. If the child is excited, parents will be really happy. Find ways to engage the child either in your conversation (if the child is older) or provide things for him/her to do (toys – if younger).

Building contextual relationships
Refer to other students who are from the same area of residence or may be from the same country. This will help parents feel more at ease about not being the only ones from that area. Again, very important!

Create Value
We have to talk about the qualifications and expertise of our Principals, Head of School and senior heads of departments. When we share personal information about the school’s senior leadership, it builds confidence and it creates value.

While it is always good to stay authentic, some punch statements may help

  • “Quality comes with price…”
  • “We don’t believe in filling seats…”
  • “Education is an investment and not a cost…”

Reciprocation
It is really important to give a small token to every child who visits the school. If we give them something valuable, the parent will be inclined to give us something back and that something is ENROLLMENT! Brochures are not unique – every school hands those out. Some creative art made by students comes in handy here. A goodie bag in which there is a brochure, a small gift and a chocolate or cookie for the child goes a long way in making an impression!

Admissions Officers are key in the relationship any international school is looking to establish with any of its prospective parents. Active listening, trust building, confidence, care, good storytelling techniques and presentation skills are some important elements that help make parents’ first visit a meaningful one.

About the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad
The Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School and is the second in the network of Aga Khan Academies established by His Highness the Aga Khan. The Academy features state-of-the-art facilities, a multicultural student body, and an experienced team of educators and staff. We provide students with education of the highest standard in order to prepare them for lives characterised by leade

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