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To Get More Business, Focus On The Customers


Studio Owner Article


How to Increase Revenue and Energize Enrollment

A lot of advertising focuses on the company that is trying to get your business and what makes them the best choice. You read about how a company does this or that. How they care about their customers and how they are number one in service.


Instead, we like to market our studio in a way that will create an open dialogue, one that gets the customer to talk more about them instead of you talking about your company. Think about it: When a customer asks a question, if you can find a way to ask them one back, you create a two-way conversation. This engages the other person. Now find a way to do this in your advertising, to ask questions that will get them to think.


The fact is that when most people read an advertisement, they have one thought in mind, why do I care about this and what are you going to do for me? Think about how you feel when you meet someone and all they do is talk about themselves. How long is it before you start to lose interest? If you want results in advertising in today’s world, focus your ads on the customer. Ask questions in your ads that will get them to think in a positive way. Then, when a prospective customer calls, ask questions that will get a positive response. Focus on the customer and your bottom line will GROW! Here are some thoughts to consider:


Golden Rule Number 1:


Ask questions that get your customer thinking in terms of Yes!


I have had several e-mails about the feature we did last month on finding ways to ask a customer or prospective customer questions that will deliver a yes answer. The results have been great for those who have tried it out. When a potential client comes in to inquire about lessons, find a way to ask them two questions that they will have to answer yes to. If you can get them in "yes" mode, chances are when you ask them to register their answer will be YES!!! There have been several studies done that show that a certain biochemical response happens when we say 'yes.' This sets the psychological process of the listener moving forward in the affirmative direction. The questions do not have to be deep or overly thought provoking; just try to get them to say yes. This will put them in a positive frame of mind. These are questions that have worked well for us: "Is your child interested in learning how to dance?" and "Is it important to you that your child has fun while learning at the same time?" Then let your prospective client talk.


You may like to try, "Is it important to you to have numerous choices of class times?" This works if you have a lot of options of classes at your studio and you sense that time management is an issue for this particular family.


For returning students before they register you may ask 'Did (child’s name) enjoy the classes last year? Now you can focus on positioning the questions to try to have them sign up for more classes. You may ask the parent 'What style of dance do you really enjoy watching?' Then ask, 'Would you like to see (child’s name) in that class?'  Next time you get a complaining client try the same tactic and watch the issues melt away.


Golden Rule Number 2:


It is easier and less costly to get your current customer to continue or to buy more from you than it is to get a new customer to buy.


Do you continually market to your current clients? If not, you are losing money every day! When you market to a current client, it is easy to create a dialogue with them. You can ask for feedback, find out what their hot buttons are and find a way to be a useful source for their needs. You can market to your current clients in a variety of ways:


·         Create a newsletter with helpful tips that parents can use.


·         Create partnerships with different businesses in your area and send out coupons digitally for savings, not just at your business but others as well. If you do, they will open your emails.


·         Have a free 'try a new dance class day' in December for your current students only, encouraging them try a different class than the one they are signed up for. When we do one of these events we add thousands of dollars of income. Yes, you do have expenses like paying the teachers for the event but the cost to market it is very inexpensive.


·         You can send out a flyer and do an e-mail blast. To build customer loyalty you need to let your current ones know you are there for them. Let them know that you are eager to hear from them and create ways for them to interact with your studio on a monthly basis.


Then when you have something you would like them to do (like sign up for more classes!) you will be more apt to get what you want from them.


Golden Rule Number 3:


Create a friendly, happy and welcoming environment.


This factor is one of the biggest reasons for people to continue on with you or go elsewhere. Is your front desk staff friendly when a customer walks in or calls? Do you have a set outline of dialogue for them to follow for prospective customers? If not, you are losing money each day!


People can be moody. The person at your front desk may be feeling under the weather and if they are left to their own devices on how to handle a new client, chances are you will not be happy with the overall job being done. Now I am not recommending a set script that they will deliver robotically, but by giving them an outline that they can follow to make sure each call is handled in the fashion you desire is critical.


·         Create an environment of YES!


·         Have welcoming signs all over the place. Have positive reinforcement messages posted throughout your facility.


·         Check out next month’s article on 'Positive Thought Provoking Messages!'


Use these tactics and the parents and students will notice. The other benefit is it will sink in to the minds of your clients. When you build a can-do atmosphere it is contagious—unfortunately, so is a negative one. If you leave it to chance, you will be at the mercy of other people’s moods and whims. Take control over your school and the results will be terrific!


Steve Sirico

Steve Sirico

Originally from Norwalk, Ct, Steve excelled in track and football. He attended the University of Tennessee at Martin on a sports scholarship. Deciding to switch and make his career in the world of dance, he studied initially with Mikki Williams and then in New York with Charles Kelley and Frank Hatchett. He has appeared in a number of theatre productions such as Damn Yankees, Guys and Dolls and Mame in New York and around the country and in industrials and television shows. He was contracted to appear as the lead dancer in the Valerie Peters Special a television show filmed in Tampa, Florida. After meeting Angela DValda during the filming they formed the Adagio act of DValda & Sirico appearing in theatres, clubs and on television shows such as David Letterman, Star Search and the Jerry Lewis Telethon. In 1982 they were contracted to Europe and appeared in a variety of shows in Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland and Italy before going to London, England where they appeared as Guest Artists for Wayne Sleep (formerly of the Royal Ballet) in his show Dash at the Dominium Theatre. Steve is Co-Director of the very successful D'Valda and Sirico Dance and Music Center in Fairfield, CT for the past thirty years. His students have gone on to very successful careers in dance, music and theater. Author of his Jazz Dance syllabus and co-author of a Partner syllabus both of which are used for teacher training by Dance Educators of America, He has also co-authored two books one for dance teachers and one for studio owners in the "It's Your Turn" Book series. Steve is co-founder of Dance Teacher Web the number one online resource for dance teachers and studio owners worldwide. He is available for master classes, private business consulting and teacher training development

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