You MUST have screwed something up

You MUST have screwed something up….for that Prospect Not to have signed up!

Let me start this column with the following statement for all owners, managers, and program directors, “Once a prospective student visits your studio, you almost have to screw something up for them not to sign up.” This may sound harsh the first time you hear it, but let’s take a closer look at this statement. In our analysis I will use a mother bringing in her eight year old into your studio to check on lessons, but adult prospects defiantly apply as well.

First think of what it took for a parent and child to show up at your studio. They had to begin with some basic interest in martial arts, they had to hear about your studio from an advertisement or word of mouth, contact you to inquire about lessons, agree to visit your school, and actually make time to come by your facility to check you out.

Now realize what negative images of martial arts a family may have to overcome to even decide they are interested in lessons. Television shows, video games, movies and more that often show only the violence side of martial arts, leaving many parents with these images as their only perspective of martial arts. I mean, as much as we all love to watch almost necked men beating each other to a bloody mess locked inside a cage every night now on TV, parents may be assuming that this is what martial arts really is and not want that for little Joey or Sarah. The fact that after all the above, the family still comes to your studio to take a firsthand look to decide if martial arts training is for them, means they must have a reasonable amount of interest in martial arts training to begin with.

Next, realize that they came to your studio maybe once for their inquiry visit, maybe again for their first introductory lesson, and maybe again for second introductory lesson or to try a first class. These people are pretty interested in martial arts lessons or they would have never come back after their first visit!

Finally, martial arts is FUN for kids and adults! It is not like we are piano teachers and kids hate us, or we are a Huntington Learning Center and the parents are making their kids receive after school tutoring. It’s not like we are a boring gym where adults lose interest. WE ARE MARTIAL ARTS! WE ARE FUN AND EXCITING!

Do you now understand my above statements that, You MUST screw something up for these people not to sign up! Your prospects that visit your studio really are interested or they would have never made it to your studio in the first place. This is why we set the goal of signing up 80% of the prospects that take our introductory courses. Because this goal should be very realistic and achievable.

There are only three reasons why someone does not join your studio after their introductory experience.

  1. They don’t like you or your studio. Meaning you did not live up to their expectations or you studio is just not what they are looking for.
  2. Commitment. Meaning they object to make any type of contractual term agreement.
  3. Money. Meaning they can’t or don’t think they can afford your program, or they simply don’t see the value to justify the expense of your program.

These above reasons can be overcome easily with things like great customer service and a clean professional studio. By having a well trained professional staff that operates the basic business systems of the martial arts industry like a solid introductory program for kids and adults and a professional enrollment conference. By realizing and believing in the benefits of your martial arts teachings. And most of all, understanding that people see martial arts as something that is exciting and fun and they have a high interest when they seek us out. So program directors out there in martial arts studio land… relax, have fun, be professional, use your systems, and assume the sale!