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Ask the Experts – September 2017

I have a friend, and she has around 900 students. I noticed a huge increase in the amount of students she has, almost 280 more, just since last year. So, intrigued, I went to visit her, and when I arrived, she gave me a tour of her school, and it looked real nice, a great facility. So after the tour I asked her what the main reason was that she gained so many students in that short period of time. Well of course, there were all the usual reasons, like good marketing, but her marketing hadn’t really changed, no, the thing that had the biggest impact and the real reason for the large and quick growth, was the way she did her introductory classes. Her method is very exciting, and I am going to tell you about her intros and why they are so successful.

She uses a 3 class introduction to her school. The first thing I noticed was that she had an assistant. Having an assistant is great, and it is very important for introductory lessons because it can take a lot of the stress off of you. Having an assistant frees your time to make a good impression by mingling with the parents. You can either hire an assistant or have a volunteer from one of your older classes.

Another thing you want to do is teach your intros very near to where you have the parents sit. A parent who is making a decision whether or not to join your school wants to hear exactly what you say. They need information to make a decision. The words that you say and the actions you have their child perform need to be well thought out. You don’t just show up to class and wing it. Every word spoken and all actions called out should be positive and designed to show the parent what a positive teacher you are and that their child will flourish at your school. To reinforce this issue, my friend has a school motto that the kids would have to learn and be able to repeat. It has all the good stuff relating to respect, discipline, dedication and such. It wasn’t long but got the message to the parents about what she stands for. You could see the parents light up when their child repeated these encouraging words.

On day 3, they would do something very unique, they would test the kids for their white belt. This didn’t take very long, all they would do is execute a block and a punch, maybe a kick too, plus they had to recite the all-important motto. At the end of this testing they created incredible excitement. Everyone stood and clapped. You should see the sheer joy in the kids and the parent’s eye. Then she stood next to each child and took a picture with the child holding their new white bel. The picture went up on a special board. After watching all this I can see why she is so successful. Wow!

You have to specify to the parents that day 3 is going to be a very important day and special for their child, because the white belt is their kid’s first big step. This is important because it usually gets both parents there, so you don’t get “I have to check with my spouse” when you ask them to sign up their kid for your classes. This is such a fun and exciting day for both the parents and the child it is rare for them not to sign up.

This is definitely something to think about. Give it a try. Good luck with your school.