But here is the million dollar question...
Do you want more students or more income?
I hope the main goal is the latter. Furthermore, if you are in a remote area or in a place that has a lot of competition you may be spending a lot of money always trying to get more students that are just not there. You need to have a rock solid strategy in place
Do you see all the Facebook ads about different webinars that will help you get more students? Well the truth of the matter is that there is no magic bullet! Good marketing is an ongoing process and takes a solid plan to work well over time. Do you have one?
Here is what I can tell you that has been the most important part of our marketing and has helped studio owners around the world that we coach. One studio we work with has reported an increase in revenue that has just about doubled and that doesn't include any of her new students.
It is all about upselling your current customers. It is amazing how little this is used by small businesses of all kinds. Think about how much you enjoy an establishment that you frequent. It may be a restaurant, clothing store or any other place you enjoy doing business with. Do you mind when they send you a special offer or let you know what they are doing? How about when you are at their business and they inform you about a special dish or clothing accessory? I love it! I recently went to buy a new suit. I had no plans to buy a new shirt, tie or shoes but I bought all three! I just needed guidance. How about the major food chains. Do you want fries with that burger? What about supersize? I also love to hear from business that I frequent. I enjoy getting an email or post card it gives me a reason to do visit them.
Do you reach out to your customers on a regular basis?
If you think that you cannot upsell to the customers who love your studio, think again. Let's face it, most parents want direction on what classes they should sign up for. If you or your front desk staff knows how to position your classes and all of the wonderful benefits then it will be seamless.
Do you have classes in different genre to the same age group back to back on your schedule? If not I recommend that you try to do so for your next semester. This way it is easy to have a student who is signing up for one class easily sign up for two.
Increase revenue by 90%
A studio owner who we coach did exactly that by using this approach and that does not count any of the new student she acquired during this time.
Here is how she did it.
When someone came into register the front desk would be prepared with several question that would get the parent thinking. Once they opened the dialogue it was pretty easy to show all of the wonderful benefits of adding 2, 3 and in some cases 4 additional classes. Angie, my wife is the Queen of that. Many a times parent come in with the form all filled out and they end up ripping it up and doing a new one with many more classes. And they are thanking her for her time and guidance as they walk out the door!
So this little, rarely used strategy during her registration period produced fantastic results. Plus you can and should use this same technique with new people. They need your help. Show them why taking more than one class will produce expedited results and you are half way there.
Think about when you go to a restaurant and the waiter reads out the specials for that night. The good waiters know how to make those specials sound so appetizing that you can't help but say yes, especially if it is some food item that you really love. Dance is the same. If a child loves her tap class why wouldn't she love add jazz, hip hop, ballet or all three!
Here is the key: It is not high pressure or some big sales pitch. Remember these are your fans or new people who probably know nothing about dance training. Most people are eager to hear what you and your staff have to say. People are starving for information so that they can make an educated decision on classes for their child. If this somehow makes you feel a bit uncomfortable than I recommend you take a hard look at your program. Because if you don't believe your classes are terrific and will make a huge difference in a child's life than no one will!
Start now to plant the seeds of taking more classes next year.
If you have more than one studio and several classes going on at the same time. With 10 minutes left do a share a dance session where say your ballet class can watch jazz, lyrical or tap class
Have a trial day of free classes and invite your current student to come in and try a different class.
Send out season end student evaluation forms to your current students letting them know what level they will be in next year and suggestions on what additional classes you recommend for the upcoming season.
Offer priority early registration. We do this every May for two weeks and it works like magic. Your current costumers love the fact that they get to sign up first. Just make sure you get the word out early and often. If certain classes have a tendency to closeout make sure that your customers know that to!
Have a plan in place to help parents make an educated decision. Once you and your staff have a clear vision as to why additional classes are beneficial it will be easy to show others why it is a good idea to add more
Send out regular emails and mailing during the year informing your current clients of events, class options and trial class week. Plus suggestion for how to get the most out of their dance education.
Have an open audition for your competition team right after your recital. We always do and invite the student we feel are ready. Plus right after the recital everyone is pumped up because they have seen the results and they want to be with what they perceive is the elite group
"Flip That Class" week. We do this in October for a few days where we flip the class the student is signed up for. So jazz turns into a jazzy ballet class and tap turns into afro. The options and varieties are endless. Just make sure that whatever class you are flipping that you have that class in your curriculum and that the class has space because when we do it students always sign up for those flipped class!
Well there you have it! If you are looking to increase revenues, and let's face it who isn't? Then instead of always looking for new customers try tapping into the ones you already have. There is a goldmine of income waiting for you to prospect. Your customers will even thank you for showing them the way. And you of course will thank them for doing business with you!
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