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Enrollment Marketing Stories Podcast Episode 5
Enrollment Sales Conversations with Ben Sitton & Jonathon Lewis
- Enrollment Marketing Stories Podcast Episode 6 00:00
06:45 “We have an AI approach for inquiries that come in that are after business hours. They’re still replied to immediately by artificial intelligence vendor that we’re using. We also have humans that are not with our company that we contract with to actively recruit the internet leads. And then, of course, in-house we have our own admissions rep that immediately try to respond to the lead via telephone, text, email, whatever the best method of communication is for that person. We’re going to try and attack that lead.”
09:54 “As far as the third party vendor reaching out to them directly during business hours, the internet leads come in all throughout the day and during business hours our admissions team could be conducting interviews, they could be doing training, they could be doing something other than working the inquiries coming in. So in order to effectively work an inquiry in a timely manner, we contract with a third party. That’s all they’re doing is contacting the internet leads when our in-house representatives may not be available because they’re taking care of other duties.”
11:22 “There’s never been a better time to enter into the aviation industry. We have a retiring workforce so the market is demanding that we produce more qualified aviation maintenance technicians. Currently, we have more jobs available than we do graduates. So the demand is there and thus driving enrollment.”
16:42 “If you are focused on just getting a person here and not really thinking about what that student needs as far as their life is concerned, their aspirations or their goals, that’s always going to be a mistake because, for one, you’re bringing someone in that’s less likely to finish the program. And our whole goal is not just start their training but they complete their training and get into a career. So you have to look at the whole person as to what their needs are not just can we get them to start classes. So that is one of the biggest mistakes a lot of schools make.”
17:37 “A high-quality lead for us is someone that is communicable. I know that sounds weird but they’re willing to talk to us about not really just what they’re looking to do. They’re willing to talk about how to do it as well. So if the person actually speaks to us, whether it’s by text, email or voice to voice, we want to be able to actually speak to them about not only what they want to do but how they want to do it and why it’s important to them.”
This episode of the Enrollment Marketing Stories Podcast with Jason How of Agency J features two special guests from the Aviation Institute of Maintenance, Campus Executive Director Ben Sitton and Campus Director of Admissions Johnathon Lewis.
They talk about the important systems in their school that have driven their massive growth in the past years, namely, lead qualifying and improving responses to inquiries using AI, third parties and in-house admissions reps. They also share some insight into the care they show their students to help them finish their courses and even get employment after graduating.
04:07 Leads: Inquiries and responses
08:45 Working leads with AI, third parties and admissions reps
10:55 Factors into growing the school
12:44 Employer partnerships and regulations
16:21 Opinion: Biggest mistakes others make in recruitment
19:45 Ben and Johnathon’s roles in campus
Ben grew up in a small town in North Georgia and left there to attend the University of Georgia. He graduated with two degrees and started in the field of Admissions after college. He was the Director of Admissions for a residential treatment center where he developed the company into one small campus outside of Athens to 3 different residential campuses in Georgia and one of the largest residential centers in the state.
He then moved into the adult education industry as the Director of Admissions at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance outside of Atlanta. After leading the Admissions Department for 3 years, he was promoted to be the Campus Executive Director in 2014. Under his leadership, the school has almost tripled in size and has now become the largest training provider of aviation maintenance in the United States. The campus has also been named as “Campus of the Year” in their school system for the past 2 years.
Before the Aviation Institute, he had worked many years in sales and sales management. His main focus was and is to provide the best possible support for those he manages and the ones needing the services the company he works with provides. He started his journey with the Aviation Institute of Maintenance in 2012. He came to AIM with 20 years of customer service experience and 10 years of sales and management experience. The first position he held with the company was that of an Admissions Rep. In that role he learned the intricacies of enrolling and following up with potential students. After 3 years of excelling in that role, he was named as the Assistant Director of Admissions. As an Assistant Director he learned how to manage an admissions team. In 2016, it was his turn to take the reins as the Director of Admissions. Three years later and he is still maintaining that roll. He was recently given the opportunity to join the Executive Training program with Dr. Joel English as his mentor. He hopes to continue his career at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance for many years to come.