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Effective Counselling & Sales Techniques for Education Agents


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"Listen more than you talk and use the insights you gain into your customer's needs and decision-making processes to close more sales." This is a simple but powerful idea, and it is at the heart of how educator and consultant Magdy Attalla approaches his work.

Mr Attalla is a Regional Marketing Director at Benedict International Education Group and Business & Hotel Management School (BHMS) in Switzerland. We are pleased to share Mr Attalla's slides from a presentation he gave to audience members at the 2013 ICEF Berlin Workshop.

In his seminar, Mr Attalla explains that education agents spend a considerable amount of time giving information about the education institution and the destination to prospective clients. However, student recruitment requires much more than simply presenting various institutions’ education programmes and destinations. It requires comprehensive knowledge of prospective clients, knowledge of the education benefits of the partner institution, and knowledge of various education offerings in the marketplace. It also requires exceptional skills of managing face-to-face sales encounters to handle and deal with qualified prospective clients.

In addition to his slides, you'll find an embedded video interview with Mr Attalla which expands upon the concepts of developing customer personas, identifying the decision maker, listening to your consumers, and role playing to fine tune your sales techniques.

We also invite you to read our accompanying article "The art of listening: Better results start with understanding your customer," which is here:

For more industry news, market intelligence, research and commentary for international student recruitment please visit, subscribe for free daily or weekly updates, and follow us on Twitter

Published in: Education
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Effective Counselling & Sales Techniques for Education Agents

  1. 1. Effective Counselling & Sales Techniques for Education Agents Magdy Attalla Regional Marketing Director – Benedict & BHMS Schools, Switzerland
  2. 2. Objectives • Know your customer. • Know your partner’s education offering. • Know your competition. • Learn effective techniques on Face- to-Face Sales.
  3. 3. Do You Know Your Customers? • Who are they? What do they look for? • Do you have more male or female students? • Do you have older, non-traditional students? • When do they enrol? • What geographic regions are they from?
  4. 4. Do You Know Your Customers? • What websites do they visit most? • What keywords do they search for? • What are the major “sticking points” that are preventing them from becoming students or learners? • Develop detailed “personas” of your target audience.
  5. 5. Do You Know Your Education Offering? • Know your education offering inside out. • Differentiators might be things like esteemed programs, campus location, experience, etc. • Make sure to “customize” the benefits message for each of your targeted personas.
  6. 6. Do You Know Your Competition? • Why do students choose your partner school or education institution over others? • Do you know the education offering of the main competitor schools or education institutions? • Can you realistically compare and contrast most competitor institutions on behalf of your client?
  7. 7. Face-to-face selling separates your company • ALWAYS try to get in the same room as your prospect in the shortest amount of time. • Sell “YOURSELF” first before selling your service. • Sell your passion for your job! • Sell your concern for their welfare!
  8. 8. Face-to-face selling: First Encounter • Pre-qualify your shopper (over the phone or via email). • Suggest a meeting in the right place and time. • First impression, a smile, firm hand-shake, eye contact, never skip anyone. • FACT: Prospects are judging your actions and words closely within the first 30 seconds.
  9. 9. Face-to-face selling: Compliment your prospect • Make a meaningful – not shallow – compliment. • Don’t compliment “commodities”, instead the people who chosen/designed them. • FACT: Everyone likes to feel special.
  10. 10. Face-to-face selling: listen & praise • Let your prospects talk about themselves, about their career & study plans. • Ask open- and closed-ended questions. • Actively confirm understanding (and praise) their opinions. • FACT: The more they talk about themselves, the quicker you can cater your pitch to their needs.
  11. 11. The best counsellors spend 80% of their time listening to customers, and 20% talking.
  12. 12. Face-to-face selling: Sell Benefits • Increase your knowledge of your partner’s education benefits. • Ask your prospect to confirm your understanding of their needs. • FACT: Your client is not buying education. They are buying a career, a better life, escape, life experience, a “solution” to their “problem”.
  13. 13. Face-to-face selling: Closing • Seek agreements and potential commitment in the right session and timing. • Apply pressure – nicely – but don’t be “pushy”. • FACT: You can’t sell education until you ask the prospect to buy it.
  14. 14. Thank You Magdy Attalla Regional Marketing Director – Benedict & BHMS Schools, Switzerland