These are the 5 main tips Diego Cardoso, a counselor with 4 years of experience learned after all this time. Explained so you don't have to make the same mistakes, grow faster and achieve your own goals. The tips are applicable to anything really but were specially created to new agents.
Hope you like it, and feel invited to share your own tips and stories.
Are students all the same?
Since my first day working in an agency I heard the above, that students are all the same. However as I developed myself as a professional I started to realise how missguided and unwise it was. The reality is that there are students a few types of students, the main ones in my opinion:
- Students that really want to study, they care about their knowledge and the learning process;
- The ones that will do the bare minimum to get their grades;
- And the students that will avoid going to school and care more about experiencing Australia then their studies.
In my experience, it takes some time to understand and "feel" what each student is looking for, and some students may be quite more demanding then others. Therefore, the tip is, try talking to them, and as you have a conversation, try to ask questions and understand what they really want.
Create a 24 hrs max mindset
Students want a quote with three different courses, the cheapest options, and quick. They want a follow-up and WhatsApp response immediately, and want things to get done asap.. I learned after many lost leads to send every information the student may require or ask in up to 24 hours, no more than that.
Sometimes it's "not possible", well, find a way. The mindset of trying doing everything for the student in up tp 24 hours you start becoming more detailed-oriented and the customer service improvements, which makes them much happier. Always return to the student in 24 hours, never more!
My strengths and my weakness
We all have strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes you may be a great sales person, but not good in day-to-day back office tasks, like applications. Or perhaps you are great with getting the best application done in record time, but doesn't close that much sales. Yep, you know your weaknesses, just like I know mine.
When I discovered the points which I was below the average I started using Google, talking to my team leader, talk to my colleagues and anything else imaginable. The important part is to know what you don't know, to know what you're not great at, that's the only way to start improving.
Institution information and visa procedures
You need to know the college, uni or any other product/service information (such as insurance). You need to know the prices, the promotions the differences and information that it's relevant to the student. You also need to know the visa procedures, and this will vary widely: maybe your agency has an agreement with a migration agency, or maybe you're a migration agency. Whatever is the case, you need to be authoritative on what are the steps to guide the student through the process, even if they are the ones applying for their visa.
Authority. That's the feeling you need the student to feel, from the first 5 seconds and throughout the whole process.
If you have walk-in leads asking for more information about courses, or even how to get an Opal card (if you're in Australia) or details regarding GNIB (in Ireland), help them. Provide support, information, and help. Be charismatic, empathetic and be there as someone which solves problems, not one that creates them or do nothing.
These are future referrals, future clients and human beings. You are gaining their trust, and business can only happen when people trust each other.
Do you have any tip of your own you would like to share? We're all together in this, share your tips and help someone. :)