Campus beat: Globe University training manual outlines sales tactics

  • Article by: MAURA LERNER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 23, 2014 - 7:45 PM

The training manual for recruiters at the Globe Education Network is stamped “Confidential and Proprietary.” But this week, it burst into the spotlight when Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson filed a lawsuit against two for-profit colleges, accusing them of consumer fraud.

The training manual provides a rare inside look at the strategies that members of the Globe network, a consortium of for-profit career schools, use to recruit students.

To Swanson, who handed out excerpts at a Tuesday news conference, it’s more like a blueprint for a “high-pressure sales boiler room.”

Swanson accused Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business, both part of the Globe network based in Woodbury, of luring students into their criminal-justice programs with false promises and questionable sales tactics.

The schools issued a statement saying the allegations “could not be further from the truth.”

But Swanson pointed to the training manual as Exhibit A.

“The training focuses around ‘don’t take no for an answer,’ ” said Swanson.

The manual notes that recruiters are hired for their sales expertise, but you can’t tell from their job titles. “If you look at our business cards, they don’t say sales representatives,” it says. “You are an admissions representative or a career advisor.”

The manual offers tips on how to encourage students to enroll. “Let the prospect sell you on all the reasons he or she should be accepted for training — use the soft sell!” it says.

It also tells recruiters: “Remember, we are selling a feeling, an attitude. The only way to motivate the prospect is to keep eye contact.” And: “You are there to enroll that student, not to … leave without a commitment.”

Asked for comment, Naomi McDonald, a Globe spokeswoman, said: “We are committed to providing accurate and complete information to our students.” She said the company plans to work with Swanson “to address any concerns that she may have.”

 

maura.lerner@startribune.com

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