Oh, the all present dream of just signing up language school agents and expecting the sales to start flowing in without any additional efforts.
If it would be just so easy. The constant pressure of cutting costs and increasing sales volume steers many language school owners into the wrong mentality. See also our article “Is Your Pricing Strategy Killing Your Profits?”
Agents could be one of the greatest assets you can have.
If you are able to rethink what kind of role they actually should have in your language school service business, you would be surprised about the improved results.
Important Elements Of Educator-Agency Relationships
Seeing an agent as a partner and not like a cheap source of sales (after all you do not have to pay any advertising and she/he does all the work and you only pay for results!).
A clear established partnership that involves sharing with them your complete marketing strategy so they can see how they fit in and what priority they have in the overall strategy helps them to perform better and be more involved with your long-term success.
Agents can provide you with very helpful insights from their marketing efforts – but why should they share them with you? They will only do so if they feel that there is a true partnership established between your language school and their professional activities.
On the other hand: what kind of training and support do YOU GIVE THEM in the first place?
The more they know about your brand, specific selling points and all aspects of your language product the better they can position them in front of their audiences and potential new language students for your school.
If an agent is officially part of your team they also present your offers with a totally different mindset that will communicate a sense of authority to close sales not just “for your school” but “together with your school”.
This is an immense quality difference in customer acquisition.
Also working with agents as partners they are probably one of the best sources to help you to develop new language services based on the customer feedback they get, especially if that agent actually works with several language schools.
So you might get helpful insights that you would not be able to obtain otherwise on your own: how to enter new markets, how to screen and qualify new potential students – giving you a better and improved perspective on how to student recruitment works today.
Ongoing Analysis of your Educator-Agency Relationships
People change, markets change, products change – all the time. It is important to have systems in place where you can analyze and communicate clearly with agents that you work with.
It is important to monitor the flow of sales and leads coming in through agents. Consider if those are marketing channels that you can reach on your own and focus on utilizing agents for exploring and entering new markets.
Do not allow “piggyback marketing” where agents, in fact, are not bringing in new contacts and sales but profiting from your existing marketing and cutting into your own marketing efforts.
In order to avoid misunderstandings and such problems, it is very important to have clearly written contractual requirements that can be monitored and clearly enforced.
It should be a win-win partnership on both sides. Trust is the motor for all long-term success and it all starts with clearly written statements of expectations and the role you want to offer the agent to become a true catalyst in your language marketing success.