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Best Way to Sell at Your Front Desk

Type:

Studio Owner Article

Category:

Success with Marketing and Sales

Your front desk needs to serve a variety of purposes. As a result it is important to train anyone who is working at your front desk to be a reflection of you and your philosophies. Most often the people at your front desk are not all that familiar with your classes and what you are trying to sell simply because they are probably not dancers or teachers—they are office workers. So it is really important that you have a very good description of your classes and the different programs that you offer as well as any other information that is important to your business, all at their fingertips.

Why is this vital for the best running of your studio? To a dancer or dance teacher some things that are obvious to us will not be so to others. It is because of our training that we very often assume that other people will know the reasons why we do certain things. It really wasn’t until some years ago, when one of my front desk people told me that she was not a salesperson and could not talk to customers as I did, that I realized that the knowledge I took for granted had to be better explained to everyone else. It made perfect sense to me to tell a customer that their child should take two instead of one ballet class per week because it was more balanced for the student and would produce better results. What I primarily saw as a better option for the child and also as an end result—more income for the studio—my front desk person saw as 'selling.' It was a different way of looking at it, but I had to make sure we all saw it the same way.

As a result I started to give my front desk people a much better description of each class that was offered and how they could link groups of classes together for the students that would not only make sense to the parents, but also be beneficial to the students and to the studio. Often a parent will come in and tell us that their child is going to take certain classes and unless someone says something to change their mind that is how they are going to register…for just those classes. So many times when I have pointed out to them the benefits of adding an additional class or classes, they have been happy to include something extra in their child’s schedule, which in turn will make us happy as we will have more income to be able to pay everyone and to make some for ourselves, too! So, yes, in a way it is being a salesperson, but it is also just being aware of what your clients want for their children. I personally am never pushy about adding classes, but I was told a long time ago by a business person that I respected, as long as something is reasonable people are more likely to agree to it.

This is one reason why I am not totally sold on online registrations. I think they are perfect for preschool students because the youngest children are not able to take a lot of classes, but so many times I have found that, with the right direction, current students have increased their classes. Two things then happen: the students become better dancers and, because they look better, they are a more valuable advertisement for your school.

Getting your front desk staff to understand your philosophies and the 'why' of what you want to do really gives them the tools to become a great salesperson for your company. After all, who talks to your clients and students every time they enter or leave the studio? Your front desk staff! They become your most effective bridge to your customers. Once they fully understand the positive impact they are able to have with the students and the parents, they will not feel that they are just salespersons, but will actually feel more committed to helping you increase not only your student body, but also your bottom line.

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Author

Angela D'Valda Sirico

Angela D'Valda Sirico

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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