Sneaky marketing tricks to bring new business to your language school never really helps long-term and will back-fire for your reputation.

Knowing essential psychological marketing strategies that help you understand how people can be influenced to take steps toward becoming your next successful language student is another thing.

One of the most effective strategies also known as the “foot-in-the-door-technique” originated back way before the Internet age when salespeople were going from door to door in the old days.

The strategy itself is simple and works almost every time because it deals with basic human psychology.

How does this technique work? You ask potential language students for a very small easy commitment to take. You start a string of tasks that someone will keep saying “Yes!” to. This compliance strategy makes people agree on small things and then once they have committed to them, then you ask for a larger thing.

For example, you can get potential students to start a language evaluation training test online, then follow up and offer them a one-one-session with Skype to meet one of your teachers.

This does not have to be “free” offers at all. You might be able to qualify potential students if you ask a small (!) fee for the language evaluation or you alternatively create a free self-guided test and then upsell a Skype-based one-one-one consultation for a small (!) fee.

The key for this technique to work is to create a series of tasks that naturally lead to each other.

The “foot-in-the-door-strategy” originated in a 1966 study conducted by Jonathan Freedman and Scott C. Fraser where they asked people for favors.

Your language school marketing can benefit from this marketing strategy if you design your student-enrollment-process around it.

While it certainly does not make any sense to convince people to start learning a language who do not need it, this psychological effect is very helpful to push undecided language students toward taking action and learning more about your language school.

The strategy plays also with people’s positive self-image. People do not like to see themselves as inconsistent, so once some action was taken, it is very likely that additional reinforcing action steps are taken to confirm that the first action was in line with someones self-beliefs.

Interesting enough this strategy works along with something known as the “sunken cost fallacy”. We as human beings often hang on to things, people, and situations where we have invested time, money, efforts and emotions into.

In relationships, it is often obvious that some people stay together for decades even if the original benefits and affection are no longer there.

To learn from this and to keep the whole experience positive and without regrets from your language business customers consider this. Create a series of reinforcing tasks to be completed that are based on improving someone’s positive self-image and that also show you as a school and language service provider as the source of this powerful change.

Fact is that every day the “foot-in-the-door-technique” is being used with or without people being aware of it. Now that you know about it, you can put it into action and to good use to reach out and influence your potential language students to their own good.

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