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100% Honesty brings long-term Business Success

Published on Saturday, March 30, 2019

Ireland has a limited number of places in boarding schools and this makes it very competitive for schools

This is my first post here and there will be a trend to some of my posts in the future.  Apart from announcing new services, I will be commenting about international education in Ireland and all that that entails.  Today I am going to talk about Ireland’s popularity and the importance of selling a service without embellishing or exaggerating what is on offer. 

Ireland’s popularity is what keeps us in business.  This popularity also causes its own problems when it comes to international education., especially when it comes to students applying from the EU.

I would estimate that 90% of parents that step into our partner agent’s offices in the EU will probably request a very good school with very few international students.  We have a network of very good schools throughout Ireland so we are lucky as we can normally find public and some private day schools that allow us to accommodate this request. 

When it comes to boarding schools it is a different story. 

Ireland has a limited supply of boarding places, their competitive prices combined with Ireland’s recovering economy means that these spaces fill quickly with both Irish students and more often than not with quite a large number of international students.  This is a fact of boarding life in Ireland.  Some schools control the numbers better than others but most will have a high percentage of Spanish and German students.

We work with very good partners and they know the market in Ireland and more importantly they know how to deal with this type of request.  As an Irish agent that doesn’t like stress, I always sell only what I know to be true, if this means losing business that is fine, but it means I can stand behind the quality of my product.  The agents I work with also believe that you should only sell what you know you can offer, if you lose a sale, parents will appreciate the honesty and that is worth more than that sale you lost.  Parents talk and if they feel an agent is honest you will be approached when they are looking for a placement for their student cousins, siblings etc.

Here is a real life example that I deal with every year.  I always have a decision to make around November; do I send my agents a price list of all the private day schools in Ireland (giving the impression that I can get into all of them) OR do I send them a price list with just the private schools I know will take students?  I only send the schools I know I have a chance of getting into.  I always opt to put a limited number of private schools on the list as I’m sure of places in these schools.  It’s probably a bad idea when you look at it from a marketing point of view, but I am ok with that.

As a company EDEX improves every year, we are not perfect but we strive to be.  If an issue arises, we learn from it and we try to ensure it doesn’t happen again.  We are all learning, but we are starting to learn from a vey high base level as we have a wealth of experience and knowledge in this field.  We have been working with many of our agents for over 20 years and are also working with new agents who are just in the startup stages.  No matter who you are we can offer you stability, security and some patience. 

At the end of the day as the owner of EDEX I am selling myself.  My company reflects my personality and my work ethic.  I am not corporate person, however  I have a successful company. I believe we can offer an exceptional programme and still keep the personal and fun approach. 

I want each student to return home with a smile on their face, I want them to spread the word and I want them to fondly remember their time here in Ireland and tell their children when they are looking at a map of the world while telling them a bed time story.  That is what I would want for my children and isn’t that what all this is about. 

Honesty sells. Maybe not always in the short term but definitely in the long term.!

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