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When a Touring Family Says “No Thank You”

Your school dazzles touring families. Your teachers are superstars, your program is the best around, and your building is filled with laughter and the sounds of young children learning all day. So when a touring family says “no thank you” to enrolling, it can be a bit deflating.

In any sales situation, being prepared for hearing no from a prospective customer can make it easier to handle in the moment, and give you tools to switch channels after your service is declined.

Here are some steps to take after you hear “no.”

It’s not personal.

This is worth saying out loud. The people in your school are like family and it can feel pretty terrible when a visitor doesn’t see how great they are. Remember that there are a thousand reasons that go into choosing a school and not all of them can be articulated when a family says no to yours. Once you accept this, you can move on the the next few to-do’s with a clear head.

Make a polite move.

The family is not enrolling, but that doesn’t mean you’re through. Call, email, or send a handwritten thank you note after you learn they are not enrolling.

Tell them it was nice to meet them, nice to get to know their child (be sure to use her name), and that you wish them the best wherever they land. It’s polite and it leaves them with the knowledge that you are a warm and positive environment in every circumstance.  

Never discount someone who doesn’t choose your school as a source of referral. If they had a good experience with you, they may refer others to your school even if they didn’t enroll.

Stay in touch strategically.

Whether you use a CRM tool, Excel spreadsheet, or a simple notebook, keep contact information for these families in a list and put a strategy in place for them. Invite them to school festivals, open houses, and other events appropriate for their child’s age.  

They may have enrolled in another school but that doesn't mean they are happy there. Staying in touch with them means an email or invitation occasionally – avoid constant promotional offers and invitations. Once every few months is a good frequency of contact.