Don’t go getting all upset thinking that I’m accusing you of not caring about your Taekwon-Do students. I’m sure you do.
Unfortunately, without knowing it, you might be sending a different message and not know it.
All the marketing research out there shows that most purchasing decisions aren’t made after one contact with a potential customer. In fact the majority of purchasing decisions are made after 5 to 7 contacts.
Ever wonder why you keep seeing the same commercials over and over again? Why they mention their name or product 5 to 7 times in every ad? Or why companies bombard you with mail, catalogs, post cards and email? They do this intentionally because they know you aren’t going to make any decisions after one interaction with them.
So what does this have to do with you caring about your new members?
Well, in addition to having to get in front of your new prospects 5 to 7 times, you should know that the number one reason people don’t do business with someone or stop doing business with someone is because of perceived indifference.
They think you just don’t care.
If you take a close look at what happens during the buying process from your customer’s perspective, your perceived indifference becomes painfully clear. Let me explain.
What usually happens is you do some one shot marketing (an event, place an ad, or hand out a flyer) and someone responds. You have a short conversation, they try a class and you ask them if they want to enroll and they do or they don’t. End of story.
As the customer in that process, at what point do you feel like you were paid attention to? At what point did you think that someone was truly looking out for you? At what point did you realize that Taekwon-Do was more than just kicking and punching? IT DIDN’T HAPPEN!
And if it did, it was what I like to call a “happy accident”.
There are many steps in the buying process that are all opportunities for you to interact with your prospective customers. It all begins with attracting traffic, next is your methods for collecting leads, then there’s whatever actions you make to bring them to the point of coming in to your school. Those are followed by converting them from a prospect to a new student, delivering exceptional customer service, upgrading them and asking for referrals.
Each one of those steps is your chance to develop your relationship with your new member, to have them feeling recognized and appreciated, and to solidify yourself as the expert and authority in your field. Or, it’s your chance to not take action, fall to the back of your prospects mind and be forgotten. You choose.
Let’s break these down with a few examples:
1. Attracting Traffic:
This is all of your Taekwon-Do school’s advertising and marketing activities. All of these should clearly communicate the message you want to get to your prospects. If you have the right message getting to the right people, they will already begin to feel a connection to you because of the fact that they think what you do and why you do it is important and matters to them.
2. Collecting Leads:
The opportunity here is to offer them something of value, a free report, tips on _____, secrets of _____. Maybe an audio recording about creating confident kids or an E-book. You offer this so that you have a reason to collect their contact information. This is critical for you in order to follow up with them, and the act of giving personal information also shows you that they have a certain level of trust with you. How you follow up and follow through will validate that trust in their mind, or not.
3. Nurturing Prospects:
Some people skip this step and schedule an appointment to see you right away, but that is not always the case. For those that don’t, this step is critical. It’s not that they don’t want what you offer, they just may not want it now. This is where a series of email follow ups or newsletters are used to stay in touch with the prospect until the moment when they realize that they do want to come in and check out your Taekwon-Do school!
4. Converting Sales:
This step is critical! This is where you are face to face and laying it all out on the line. They get to see who you are, how you act, how you interact with parents and kids, the impact you can have on a student, and finally they get to choose whether or not to do business with you. During this whole process they are determining if what you are saying and what you are doing is genuine or if they’re just participating in some sales pitch. At the most basic level, yes, it is a sales pitch. But they are deciding if you are someone they want to do business with and if you are someone they can trust their family and their time with.
This step should bring the first three all together and validate the choice they made to take time out of their day and come see you about Taekwon-Do training.
5. Deliver and Satisfy:
This step is made up of whatever actions you take, or create, to make your new student feel at home in class, to make them feel like they belong and are part of the Taekwon-Do family. Things as simple as taking the time to help them with their belt or introducing them to the people in their class go a long way.
There will always be a percentage of people who want more, will commit longer, desire extra training or just want the best thing you’ve got. So give it to them! This can be a leadership program, special competition classes, private lesson packages, etc. It could be anything you create. But whatever it is, you must make sure that you are letting your students know about it and how they can participate in it!
7. Ask For Referrals:
This is great for developing your relationship with your new member. When you share with them how much you value having Taekwon-Do students like them in your school and that you want more students just like them, they usually will not hesitate to refer friends and family to your school. Plus, if you have some incentive such as referral contests or a special gift for those who refer someone, that will increase your referral rates even more.
So you can see here, there is an enormous difference between how new members are usually handled and the opportunity that exists for you to really create an experience for that new member that they will never forget and even share with others!
About the Author:
Mr. Karstadt is the founder of 1 TKD Consulting and owns the longest running ITF Taekwon-Do school in Arizona, Karstadt Taekwon-Do in Phoenix, AZ with his father Master David Karstadt. He has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline, leadership and business skills of Taekwon-Do in classes and seminars to Instructors around the world. He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do. He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy. Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children. Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com