Just about everything that has to do with Taekwon-Do makes running your school as a referral based business, a no brainer.
Taekwon-Do is a martial art and a way of life.
You students are naturally going to be excited about training, working hard, seeing results and having it all happen in a courteous, respectful, accepting environment… And they’ll be talking about it!
As they promote to the next grade level or compete in a tournament, you know there will be pictures all over social media… And they’ll be talking about it!
When they’re about to test for their Black Belt and Taekwon-Do has become more than just a workout for them, but a way of life… they’ll be talking about it!
The question I have for you is… Is all that talking leading to more students coming in your door?
There may be some, but for the most part, the answer is probably no.
The next question I have is… Do you have a system in place to maximize your ability to receive referrals?
I know you’ll accept referrals and you may even have events that encourage students to bring friends and so on, but do you have an actual system in place that you can count on to produce referrals on a regular basis? Something that you know is going to cause the average student to refer at least three new members in their first year?
At Karstadt Taekwon-Do we do very little advertising. Almost every promotion we do is internal marketing, meaning marketing that goes to just our members. As for referrals, we have ways for people to refer built in to the events and activities where our students are at peak levels of excitement about their training.
There are others, but the three biggest moments when their excitement (and their family’s) is at it’s peak is immediately after they enroll, the week following any testing and right after they upgrade, if they choose to do so.
With the referral process we’ve built into these moments and events, just using these three events alone, I know the average student will refer at least two more students that year.
What are the moments you can identify when your student’s excitement is at it’s peak?
What can you do to encourage them to refer friends?
- Have a referral contest
- Hand out referral cards
- Schedule an event where friends and family are invited
What incentives can you think of to offer your students?
However you choose to execute this, you must keep in mind that it must be super simple for your new student to refer a friend and there must be an incentive. We’ve done everything from patches and ipods to reduced tuition. It just depends on how you are setting things up and what you want to offer. I can tell you that the prizes aren’t really all that important. Students love to win them, but being able to workout with their friends and share something as important as Taekwon-Do with them is much more exciting.
For this to work effectively, you students must know that this is how you do business, and it must be integrated into everything you do. When your students know this, they will become your partners in the success of your school. You know this because you’ve felt it. There was a point in your training where the place you trained went from your instructor’s school, to your school.
You may not have owned the place, but you felt as if it was yours, you took pride in it, and you wanted the best for it.
Your students are no different.
Give them a way to make a difference for you and your school (their school) and you just might be surprised!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org