It can be all too easy when in the driving seat to forget what potential learners are looking for or need to hear to make the all important decision. This is understandable but at the same time it’s important for ADI’s to be aware of what motivates a potential learner to convert in to your student. For a lot of ADI’s this knowledge is the difference between success and finding yourself having to compete on price.

Here are 5 things every potential learner wants to hear from you.

1. “What’s your name”

We know this may seem ridiculous or obvious, but any effective telesales operator will tell you getting somebody’s name in a call is the first step to forming a relationship with them.

Think about it, when was the last time you went to purchase something over the phone or make an enquiry without being asked for your name? This first step lets the potential student know that you’re interested enough in acknowledging that they’re a person and not just a potential income stream.

2. “Why do you want to drive”

This is important to know for you as an ADI just as much as it is for the learner to verbalise and rationalise exactly why they want to learn. This question forces the potential student to move away from the impulse-calls (the ones where an enquiry is made or even a lesson is booked and nothing happens) to the invested call. Through this question you have made the learner invest in you. They’ve moved from what they assumed would be a simple ‘how much, can u do cheaper’ call to one where they appreciate the complexity and life-changing impact of learning to drive.

Make sure you listen carefully to the answer to this question and don’t be frustrated or put off if the answer is ‘dunno’ or ‘cos my dad says I should’. Remember, nobody does anything but doesn’t know why and young people rarely if ever do something just because their parents told them to do so.

3. “that’s interesting because I have a learner called Joe Bloggs who was in your situation, he’s now..”

This is a follow up to number two. You’ve found out why they want to learn and now you need to apply positive association. This is what some marketers call selling the dream and not the product.

So for example if the caller says they want to learn to drive because they can’t find any jobs local, a great way to follow up is to think of a learner who had the same issue and where they are now, such as;

“that’s interesting, quite a few people are in your situation, I had a student called Joe who was at the end of his tether trying to find local jobs, he’s now sales manager in Stoke”

Remember, we’re not saying make something up, keep the link relevant and factual.

4. “this is why you should hire me”

This is where you need to tell your potential student why they should hire you. Note the word hire, that’s what they’re doing. They’re recruiting and you’re applying. Keep your key selling point short and unique. For example, do you have a top of the range car? Have you got an extremely high pass rate?

Think about something that would impress the learner and not your fellow ADI’s. Saying you’re a Grade 6 means nothing unless you elaborate on what that means. What sounds more powerful to a potential student, that you’re a Grade 6 instructor or that you’ve got the highest grade possible?

5. Let me get your email address and number

Always ask for an email address or phone number. Always follow up enquiries. Just because a potential student doesn’t go ahead and book with you there and then it does not mean they do not want you. Learning to drive is a massive investment costing approximately £1000. Remember, you probably wouldn’t make a £1000+ purchase or investment for something as a result of just one phone call, so you shouldn’t really expect potential students to impulse buy in to you.

Follow up the phone call. If they ask why you want their email address you can explain to them that regardless of who they go with you’d like to send them some great information on learning to drive or their theory test.

If they want to know why you want their phone number tell them the truth, you want to find out how they’re getting on with their search. A follow up call tells the potential student that you care. Who wouldn’t want to hire someone who cares about their needs?

Always follow up. The least that can happen from a follow up call is that they tell you they went with somebody else, from this you get to know who they went with and possibly why. Most people will say why without being prompted. This information is important for you to have.

These 5 things are what potential students want to hear when phoning up about driving lessons. All of them collectively have the dual benefit of information gathering for you and client-centered communication for them.

Remember, if you do these 5 things just imagine how much more likely you are to gain a new student then the next instructor they ring that doesn’t.


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