A parent looking for child care calls you and it seems like she will be a good fit for your program. She ends the conversation saying that she will call you back.
But the days pass and the parent doesn’t call you back.
The same thing can happen after a visit by a parent to your home.
What do you do?
I think it’s always a good idea to follow up with parents who have contacted you. (This assumes you think the family will be a good fit for your program.) Call and say, “I’m calling to find out if you’ve found care yet for your child Elana.” If the parent says that they haven’t found care yet, say, “Is there anything else I can do to help you with your search.”
Then talk about a benefit of your program – “Elana will enjoy our field trip next week to the zoo.” Sometimes parents start their child care search and then stop without finding a provider. They get tired. They can’t make up their mind. Calling back can be an opportunity to close the deal.
If the parent says she has found care, you say “I’m glad to here that. Can you tell me what was it about the program you chose that made a difference to you?” You’re trying to find out what was an important benefit to the parent to give you ideas about how you can promote your program to the next parent who calls.
Regardless of whether the parent has found care or not, end your call by saying, “Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. If you know of any other parent needing child care, I would appreciate it if you would give them my name.”
In my trainings around the country I find that the vast majority of providers don’t conduct follow-up calls. The best way to promote your program is through word of mouth. Parents with young children know other parents with young children. Making follow-up calls costs nothing and neither does asking for a referral.
What do you do if a parent doesn’t follow up? If you do a follow up call, what has been your experience?
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com
For more information about how to promote your program, see my Family Child Care Marketing Guide.