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Make Them An Offer They Can’t Refuse!!!

Type:

Studio Owner Article

Category:

Success with Marketing and Sales

So, you went ahead and tried out some different marketing ideas and new families are starting to contact you who are interested in your program. You are noticing perhaps that things are a little bit different. Kids who have never ever danced are interested in coming to take a Contemporary class! Hip Hop is the current craze for 5-7-year old’s! Baby ballerina classes are slowly rebuilding and kids who have never taken a ballet class in their lives all of a sudden want to become ballerina’s! We aren’t talking about our usual customers here; these extraordinary times have created a new type of dance aficionado!

The cause is this, people have been locked up in their houses watching movies, TV shows and you tube and the after-school programs are dwindling as we speak. Parents are desperate to get their kids out of the house doing some kind of positive program that will help these young people release some energy through exercise and give them some way to use their imaginations and be creative. The children are equally eager to do some activity that will give them some sort of a social life where they can have fun and be stimulated at the same time. We are all trying to rebuild our businesses right now and we should welcome this new type of client with open arms because they will be able to provide a new stream of revenue that we would not have received in other circumstances.

But, tread cautiously, I have noticed that many of these people are not used to signing up for anything of more than a couple of months and are amazed at the concept of actually studying for almost the entire school year! Many people want to feel that they are getting a deal! This is partially because it is something unfamiliar to them and many of them cannot imagine that their child would be interested for the long haul! The other side of it is that many families have been affected financially by the shut downs and would love to do something for their child but are afraid they will not be able to afford it.

Once I realized how some of our new customers were thinking I quickly came up with a plan to make every new client feel that there were ways to make this happen for their child no matter what kind of financial circumstances they found themselves in. The only stipulation was that they had to leave a credit card on file with us and choose whether the payment would be taken out on the 1st or the 15th of the month. We use Authorize.net but there are plenty of other companies out there.

I made a new breakdown of payments up to ten months adding in the costume payments for the end of year show. I broke the costume payments down into 3 equal parts that would be added to the monthly tuition total for October, November and December  so  that all costume payments would be in by December in time to order.

Depending on whether the new student was taking 1-8 classes per week I made a chart breaking the payments down for 5-10 months. I would first offer them the 5-month payment but if there was any hesitation, I could go right to the 10 month one. In these difficult times we have to run our businesses in as flexible a manner as possible, having confidence that once we get these new customers with their children in through the door that they will be happy to stay for years to come. We want our families to feel that the dance studio is a safe, caring environment for these new students. Most of them will start with one or two classes but you never know when you will find a diamond in the rough!!  By offering different options I believe that the word is out because in the last few weeks we have had a steady trickle of this new type of student sign up for classes. By the way these charts that I made up also made it easy for my other front desk staff to get new people to agree to sign up. Keep in mind that I do believe that people will be signing up all through the new year and probably into the spring. This is not your usual time and we must be ready and willing to take new students in whenever they walk through the door, something that is quite foreign to most of us.

This is a new time for all of us and the more that we look at ways to get people in the building and stay to take classes the easier it will be to get over this temporary hump in the road. Keep thinking creatively and you will succeed!

Author

Angela D'Valda

Angela D'Valda

Originally from England, Angela spent her early years in Hong Kong where she studied with Carol Bateman. She continued her training at Arts Educational Trust in England. After moving to New York City she continued her studies with Martha Graham and Matt Mattox. She appeared with the Matt Mattox Company and toured with the first Disney On Parade working with Disney and N.B.C. Contracted to the Teatro National of Buenos Aires she performed for one year and spent an additional year as a featured soloist at the Teatro Maipo, Argentina. Travelling to Madrid, Spain she worked for Spanish television in a weekly variety show Tarde Para Todos and from there decided to form her own Dance Company. With the Company she choreographed and performed throughout Spain in theatres, and on television. Angela met her husband Steve while working together on a television special The Valerie Peters Show filmed in Tampa, Florida. In 1979 they formed the Adagio act 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. Angela and Steve have owned and directed their dance studio in Fairfield, CT. for the past twenty two years and in 2005 added music and vocal classes to their curriculum. Angela served as chairperson for the tri state panel of the Royal Academy of Dancing and is Co-author of a Partner syllabus currently used for teacher training by Dance Educators of America. She continues to adjudicate and teach for major dance organizations and choreographs for theatre, television and conventions and was commissioned by Boston Ballet 11 to choreograph the highly acclaimed Brother Can You Spare A Dime? DValda & Sirico are currently in production choreographing the opening to the National Speakers Association convention on Broadway at the Marriott Marquis for August of 2008. Angela is co-owner of Dance Teacher Web designed as an online resource for teachers worldwide.

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