An often overlooked aspect to our business is communication. How effectively we communicate with our students, prospects and our community. Communication is important in any service industry. Whether you are waiting tables, working the counter at a dry cleaners, being a nurse in a hospital, teaching public school, an airline attendant, hairdresser, police officer or you running a martial arts school, your level success will be related to how well you communicate with your customers.

The United States has shifted from being an industrial country in which we manufactured products for most of the world to now our largest industry is the service, servicing the various needs that the citizens of U.S. require. For this reason, the number one suggested college degree for people wanting to succeed in the business world is not a MBA, but a BA degree in communications! Knowing this, it is important that we exam all the ways that we serve our students and make sure we are effectively communicating the benefits of each service to our customers and to the general public. By thoroughly training your staff in, and implementing information systems for your school, you can be assured that you will not overlook any areas of your business that need to be effectively communicated.

An effective information system should be designed to communicate with two import targets, prospect communication, and client communication.

Prospect communication should begin with staff training on recognizing prospects. Here, I will give you my definition a prospect. Prospect – any live human being that is between the ages of 3 and 63 that can effectively chew gum and walk at the same time, can focus as well as my Jack Russell and does not need the use of any type of diaper system. Prospects include people that have not yet been educated about your company, people that show an interest and inquire about your services, and people that are trying out your service but have not yet joined your school.

Next step is learning how to verbally communicate with prospects we meet daily in the public, ones that walk into our center or prospects that call for information on the phone. Your staff should be able to effectively explain the benefits of your business to people they meet. Be able to walk up to a prospect and invite them to attend a beginning self defense seminar. They should know how to handle inquiry questions like, what style do you teach? What is the difference between styles? ….Do you have to registry you hands as deadly weapons with the government?

Your staff should know how to control a conversation by asking question that lead to setting an appointment for an introductory program and how handle any objections from the prospect that might be thrown at them, like I have to speak to my spouse, I am just looking around, or how much does your lessons cost? A good prospect information system should have quality marketing materials, like brochures, invitations, passes, and CD-Rom or online video brochures that are given out or emailed to prospects.

Our prospect information systems should include the use of our Studio Pro Martial Arts Management and Marketing Software to track information we have on all prospects, send them periodic information about our business, and to track the progress of our communication with them like, the last time we spoke to them, what their reply was, what information have we sent them, how they heard of our school, and what follow up steps should be taken for this prospect in the future. Tools that we should include in our information systems with prospects that are taking our introductory program or some special trial offer are good job cards that are sent to the student after their first lesson. An information pack given that includes a brochure, current newsletter, guest passes, and a video brochure. Thank you card that are sent to the parents and a congratulations letter sent to the student after the prospect has become a member.

Never before has high-quality materials been so affordable for us to market the benefits of our services to the public. Just take a look at www.martialartsmarketing.com.  We are adding new and affordable materials almost weekly. Taking the time and effort to organize and implement effective information systems in your schools will give your business a professional look, help educate the community about your services, and turn those prospects into students.