By Elite Consultant Jason Flame
Making a sale and providing excellent service go hand-in-hand. This has been on my mind a lot lately, and I’ve had many staff meetings focused around building this mindset. If we place just a little more focus on providing first-class service, we will not only generate sales now but also promote future sales through repeat business and referrals.
This is a challenge in any business. It’s easy to get caught up in the sales numbers alone. But if you take good care of your students, they will take care of you.
Here are five simple reasons this mindset is essential:
1. You’ll Attract New Students
This one is obvious! If you teach awesome classes, recognize and treat every student as an individual, pay attention to small details and genuinely take interest in your students, they will be happy to refer new business to you. When your students experience results, they will tell people. When they learn something of value, they will show people. When they enjoy being there, they will invite others to come visit.
In general, when your customers are happy and satisfied with the results, they will sing high praises about you and your business to just about everyone they know. Their contagious enthusiasm will lead new prospects to your door.
2. You Can Offer Extra Value With Upgrade Programs
The upgrade programs we have created for our students help offer different levels of experience at our school. We purposely have different levels so we can guide them on their journeys toward their black belt.
Each level of your upgrade programs must offer a higher level of experience and added value, rather than just being a “club.” This way, you can create opportunities for students to move at their own pace within the level of involvement they want to commit to in your school.
3. Curriculum Should Automatically Drives Retail Sales
Every program has a set curriculum and a required set of gear, weapons, uniforms, etc. These are not just random items we tacked onto the program — they will be used throughout the program. The last thing a parent wants to do is buy a bunch of “stuff” that their kids will barely touch. The last thing kids want is to get something “cool” like nunchaku or sparring gear and never get to use it. In our curriculum, if an item is required, you’d better believe you’re getting your money’s worth using it!
During the summer months, it gets hot in our school. So we allow students to wear school T-shirts and MMA shorts bearing our school logo all through summer to the end of August. We don’t have to push those apparel sales down anybody’s throat, either. In fact, we often sell out and have to order more because of the demand.
4. Special Events Benefit Everybody!
When you look at some of our events from a different point of view, it will remind you of some of the added value attached to the events that many owners host at our martial arts schools.
Parents’ Night Outs are one of our most well-attended events. Not only are they fun for the kids but they also provide parents with a dual benefit. They can also be some of the most inexpensive entertainment parents can find, while giving them some kid-free time to go out together. And they’re profitable for you. Talk about a win-win-win situation!
In my school, parents thank us — often and sincerely — because we host day camps so frequently when the academic schools are closed. Here, once again, we’re offering an inexpensive opportunity to entertain their child while keeping them active and learning something beneficial.
5. Service Equals Retention
If our focus is based on the superior service we provide to our students, it is natural that they will remain training with us longer. Each of the above categories also contributes to our overall retention.
It is truly our mindset that will affect our results. If we focus solely on bringing in more money, we will do so, but that approach is shortsighted. Focus instead on your ability to serve, and you will reap the benefits both financially and in continued repeat business.
Some unknown but obviously savvy person once said, “Sales go up and down. Service stays forever.” He or she was right!
MAIA Elite Consultant Jason Flame can be reached at [email protected]
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