10 Traits Institutions Should Look for in Their Agents

10 Traits Institutions Should Look for in Their Agents

For many institutions, agents represent a cost effective way into foreign student markets that might be difficult or expensive to get a toe hold in otherwise. But just like everything else, not all agents are equal whether as sales people or as ambassadors for your educational brand. That’s why you need the right people out there recruiting students on your behalf.

To get the right results you require agents that are going to impress and engage with potential students. This means having a range of personal abilities, skills and experiences that they can draw upon when promoting your institution or courses. Here are some of the personal traits that make for ideal agents.


1) A Genuine Passion for Learning Abroad

It is immediately obvious when globe-599486_1280somebody simply doesn’t care about what they are selling. A genuine enthusiasm and belief in the product shines through wherever it exists. The ideal agent genuinely sees the value inherent in your programmes and can enthusiastically convey that to interested students.


2) Personal Experience Learning Abroad

Tying in with the above, the best sales people are those who use and believe in their own product. Agents and educational consultants who have themselves benefited from studying abroad make idea ambassadors. Having done it themselves, they are well placed to inform others of the adventures and life enhancing experiences they had when they were students.


3) Knowledge of the Destination

Furthermore to the previous two points, the ideal agent will have been to your country before, preferably even undertaking a visit to your institution. They will therefore be able to make recommendations and suggestions from personal experience and also be well versed in the various hurdles that a student may experience in coming to the country; for example dealing with native customs, getting a visa and so on.


4) Presentation Skills

Presentation SkillsEvery time an agent tries to recruit a student for a course, their personal presentation skills come into play. Through whatever methods, they need to leave the student convinced that the course or study plan they are selling them will meet their needs. One way to test this? Have your agent give a presentation to you so you can gauge how effective you think they are in promoting your message.


5) Language Skills

Generally any educational consultant worth their salt needs to speak two languages – yours, and whatever language their market speaks. It’s amazing how much difficulty can arise when using agents with poor or under-developed English language skills. And for obvious reasons, if your Agent in China can’t speak Chinese to the locals you’re going to struggle to recruit.


6) A Natural Go-Getter

A bad agent will take your promotional materials and sit with them at their desk, only giving them out to the students that come to them. A good agent will be actively out there bringing more students in to sign on through them. In the process their pro-active nature will be promoting your name and expanding the agents business.


7) Tech Literate and Modern

Tech Literate and ModernEven agents in the developing world need to have modern IT skills. Today’s students are voracious users of technology and social media and mastery of both is now a pre-requisite for anyone looking to sell to the student market. E-mail addresses, websites, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts are some of the very minimum things a quality agent should have.


8) Committed to Personal Development

Markets evolve in their demands and consumer, that is student, needs change over time. Good agents must also change to meet the new challenges that they will face as the industry continues to develop. Look for agents who can demonstrate a commitment to self-improvement and are prepared to invest in themselves and their staff.


9) Meticulous and Thorough

Meticulous and ThoroughAll of the above are entirely useless of course unless your agent has a commitment to getting things right first time. Lazy agents who give little thought to the quality and correctness of their work are a potential source of disaster. Missing or incomplete student data, failure to arrange for Visa’s in good time and a general shoddy attitude towards their job may be bad for the Agent personally, but acting as your representative in a distant market, it can be catastrophic for your chances of recruiting.


10) Internationally Recognised

QISAN LogoWhile finding an agent with all of the above traits is a great start you’ll also want to know that your agent can be trusted, not only to find you students, but also to act in an ethical way as they represent your brand abroad. As part of the ASIC group of companies we are able to put you in touch with agents who operate under a detailed code of ethics from our sister company QISAN – the Quality International Study Abroad Network. Not only does membership of QISAN mean that you can be sure of your agents working practices, but so can your potential students, which will give your potential students confidence that you, through your choice of agent, care for the well-being of your current and future students.

For more on QISAN and what benefits holding membership will offer to your institution contact the Applications Officer who will be very happy to answer all of your questions and begin the process of putting you in touch with QISAN Agents.

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