Why don’t all MBA applicants post reviews of admissions consultants?

Online reviews of products and services are here to stay. The popularity of websites such as Yelp and Trip Advisor is undeniable. When someone buys a t-shirt on Amazon or dines at a restaurant booked through OpenTable, it’s quick and easy to provide a review.

When it comes to admissions consulting, many clients are happy to post their feedback on a variety of platforms. After working with more than 5,000 applicants over the past three decades, The MBA Exchange is proud to have more glowing testimonials than we could ever hope to publish.

However, there are lots of reasons why an otherwise satisfied and successful MBA admit might not publish a review:

•  “I already told my consultant how much I appreciate all of her guidance and support. That’s sufficient.”
•  “Applying to business school was really stressful for me. I’d rather move forward and leave all that behind me.”
•  “I’m so busy with my job, family and friends. I really don’t have time to sit down and write a review.”
•  “No way. I’m very cautious when it comes to my privacy. I read about what happened at Facebook and I just don’t trust any third-party review website that claims to protect my confidentiality.”
•  “Anonymous online testimonials don’t mean anything. I’m not going to waste my time writing one.”
•  “Hey, I paid in full for the services of my admissions consultant. I got my money’s worth and thanked them. So, it’s over.”
•  “Working with an admissions consultant is my little secret. Kind of like going to a doctor or lawyer. Even my family doesn’t know about it.”
•  “Some admissions consulting firms chase and pressure their clients to post reviews. That’s makes me very uncomfortable. No thanks.”
•  “My consultant was amazing! I’ve just recommended her to my best friend, so I don’t want my consultant to get so busy she turns away my buddy.”
•  “I found this consultant on my own after doing a ton of research. Let future applicants figure it out for themselves.”
• “ My consultant never asked me to post a review.”

So, given that happy b-school admits don’t always publish feedback, how else can serious MBA applicants confirm which firm and which lead consultant are best for them? Here are 6 proven steps to consider:

1.  Get a free, expert evaluation of your MBA candidacy that reveals the firm’s confidence in your admissions potential and how their expertise can benefit you.
2.  Review a written overview of their service model to make sure that it covers all aspects of the application, interview and waitlist process.
3.  Require independent, documented proof (e.g., a CPA report) that documents past admissions success. Why choose a resource that can’t prove its success?
4.  Have a candid conversation directly with a senior manager at the firm to confirm their fit with your values and priorities.
5.  Participate in a thorough, thoughtful matching process that considers your background and goals, starting with a short list of potential lead consultants for your consideration. This takes some time but it’s well worth it.
6.  Trust your gut: the way the firm and consultant treat you as a prospect is indicative of how they will treat you as a client. Are they prompt, professional, empathetic, accessible, and responsive?

Finding and partnering with the best possible admissions consultant could make the difference between you being admitted or denied by your dream business school. Invest the time and effort to make this decision based on facts rather than hopes. Your future is far too important to do anything less.