What happens after you receive a phone call from a prospective customer requesting information about your school? Do you send out a brochure and schedule? Then, what do you do next? I have found that most small businesses especially dance schools do nothing after that. There is no continuing dialogue. Think about how much money you spend just to get someone to call your business through your different marketing plans. If the only thing you do is send them information that one time without any follow up, then you will probably lose money in the long run.
Here is another thing to consider. If your front desk person is not doing a good job of selling the services that you have to offer at your school to prospective clients, then you are really in a tough spot because that could certainly put you further behind your competition. Since you want to make sure that everyone who calls or comes in to your school finds out all the positive things you are able to offer them and their children, you need to make sure that they are being given enough information to get them interested but not too much so as to overwhelm them. Following up on every phone call or visit is the key and is the biggest reason that a new customer will do business with you.
Here are some important numbers that have been documented by extensive research from major marketing companies:
2% of sales are made on the 1st contact.
3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact.
5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact.
10% of sales are made on the 4th contact.
80% of sales are made on the 5th-12th contact!
Take a real good look at those numbers. Let it soak in for a minute. Most people do not make a move until they see or receive your message more than 5 times!
Can you imagine how much profit you are potentially being cheated out of if you stop contacting a prospective customer before that 5th time?
What follow up is and what it is not!
The first thing to get out of you head is that you do not want to bother people. When someone calls for information that is what they want. Why not send them a series of educational and valuable packages of information? They will appreciate the personal touch and will generally be eager to receive new information. Try to get their email address and let them know that you will be sending them updates, offers to save not only at your school but possibly at other great area businesses is one idea. Sending an online newsletter with updates about your studio usually is well received and helps to get new clients involved. Once they agree to get your emails they can always unsubscribe to your list if they decide they are not interested. If you are not using a service to connect with your clients via email you are missing out on a great and inexpensive way to connect not only to prospective clients but to your current ones as well.
You may want to try some of these ideas after a new prospect calls for information:
1. Send out a DVD brochure with your schedule.
2. Send out a letter thanking them for their interest in your school and let them know that you are available to answer any questions they may have.
3. Send out a 'dance class at home' video or DVD where they can learn some simple steps that you teach and try them out with their friends.
4. Send out a coupon book with special discounts from area businesses that are family friendly. These are easy and quick to produce. Just contact area businesses that you think would be a great fit. Most businesses will be happy to be a part of this type of venture.
5. Send out a hard copy of your newsletter.
6. Call them once again.
These different ways to connect further with prospective clients have worked very well for us. Even if they come in to sign up before we do all of this follow up we will still continue to connect. Think of the impression you will make on your new customers and how they will spread the word about the great dance school they are going to!
The key is to continue a dialogue with them until they sign up or they tell you to stop. We have found that very few people do not want to get valuable information. They just don’t want to be the recipients of a hard sell. Simple and fun reminders of what your school has to offer will continually help your business to grow. Make it a New Year’s resolution to put some of these ideas into place.