When is the best time to sell a home? When is the best time to sell a business? When is the best time to sell an EB-5 investment project? The answer is always the same: when someone wants to buy it.
If you are looking for a calendar date for the best time to meet with Chinese students on the campuses of U.S. universities, you should probably practice asking, “Would you like fries with that?”
Let’s probe this matter by reasoning from our opening axiom. The best time to meet with Chinese students is when they want to meet you. We’ve already talked about the problems with approachability. Now we are discussing accessibility.
The admissions office or the dean’s office may be the best place to find out the best time to try to arrange meetings with Chinese students. If you are on the campus of a private institution, failing to take this first step may only make things more difficult, as private universities may have regulations forbidding solicitation. Regardless, having a resource inside the administration will make this task much easier.
Now let’s add a few assumptions:
1. Serious students are always busy.
2. Students are exceptionally busy immediately before and during
3. Students are exceptionally busy during registration.
4. Students are usually focused on the things that they need to do.
Now, let’s put this together. If you really want to sell your EB-5 projects to the children of high net-worth Chinese investors, you need to get them to come to you. While we are not invalidating contradicting everything we have already said, the best timing is their timing. The best approach is to sell the idea to someone who wants to buy in on the idea. Don’t put them on the defensive by approaching them. Be prepared to sell them when they approach you. The trick is getting them to approach you.
If you have done your homework and made at least one ally in the administration, work with that individual and others, like the dean of the business school, to engage in activities such as the following:
Conduct an on-campus seminar about the EB-5 visa program.
Speak to individual business management classes.
Participate in an on-campus job fair.
Advertise with posters and flyers on school bulletin boards and in
Conduct a classroom survey designed to ascertain awareness of
business opportunities and the EB-5 program.
Establish an on-campus presence as an authority on business
Ascertain what other avenues can give you a high visibility that
attracts Chinese students instead of trying to hunt them down.
Offer Chinese students free consultations about jobs, investments,
travel and other opportunities.
If you hold either a closed classroom talk or an open seminar, invite oral and written comments. Compile a list of attendees and their contact information. Offer a response card that reveals their level of interest and provides an opportunity for them to request more information. Pass out literature from your business and from the USCIS. Post slick advertisements that invite student to contact you. Publish your posters and flyers with at least some content in Chinese. The point is to
Make yourself visible
Make yourself believable
Make yourself available
Make your project desirable
Here’s a rule of thumb that should be given careful consideration. When a student responds, don’t act like a used car salesmen. Check your appointment calendar. You’re going to your best to squeeze them in, aren’t you? “It looks like today is full, but I’d be glad to move a few appointments around so that I can fit you in tomorrow.”
Planning is always essential. Keep the holiday and break schedules in mind. You’ll have to decide whether those are opportune times or not. Don’t just think in terms of American holidays. Think Chinese. For instance, many parents visit their children enrolled in U.S. schools during Chinese New Year. Don’t wait for that time to go trolling through the parents on campus. Prepare for it, by building your relationship with the students in advance. If you’ve planned wisely, the parents will already know about you and your EB-5 program to some extent. Ideally, they should already be coming to visit with a meeting with you as part of their agenda.
There is an old adage that, if you want to sell your house, then put up a sign. You’ll attract people who are interested in buying your house. You’ve got to wonder if that might apply to an EB-5 project or two.
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