Selecting College Counseling Clients

Selecting College Counselors, College Counseling Clients, Admissions Clients

Malcolm’s lessons have impacted how we do business at Ivy Coach. Thank you, Malcolm (photo credit: Kris Krüg).

We’re rather selective with who we choose to work with at Ivy Coach. We’ll own it.

Have you ever read Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking”? We think about the lessons Malcolm taught us in that book from time to time. Sometimes even Malcolm takes a seat next to us. He hangs out in a lot of our spots, in New York’s West Village as well as in Beverly Hills. He gets good use out of his Equinox membership. He likes to stay fit, from what we can tell. But enough about Malcolm. It’s what he taught us from this particular book that matters.

One thing Malcolm taught us in that book is that short glimpses of behavior can provide great insight into that person — often more accurate insight than longer glimpses. And we incorporate this truth into our business strategy here at Ivy Coach. We’ll give you an example. We offer a free consultation to answer questions about our service offerings. But there are some folks who think they can take advantage or milk us for information on how to improve their child’s case for admission. But we’re a business so we’ll have none of that. When a parent reaches out to us with a line like, “I’m comparing multiple private college counselors, I want to know why I should choose you,” that’s a short glimpse into what it would be like working with that person.

Do we believe in the Pareto principle here at Ivy Coach? You bet we, as a business, believe in the law of the vital few so we Pareto it up!

We don’t need to prove anything to anyone. And we won’t try to convince any parent to work with us over another private college counselor — here’s why. We’ve found that parents who write such nonsense to us don’t fit our business model. We like to work with nice people, people who want to work with us. And we’re selective with who we work with because life is short. So that quick glimpse into that parent’s behavior, well, you can bet he’s not getting a free consult this Friday at 8 PM in spite of his request for this time slot. Does he really think we’re giving up our Friday nights for him just because he said so? If he’d like a free consult, his can be two Tuesdays from now at 11 AM. If that doesn’t work for him, we wish him all the best. All thanks to Malcolm.


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