There’s no ONE way that works. You like paid trials? Go get it! You like 12 month terms? You go girl. You like month to month with no commitment? Holla!
The reality is that for every time you see someone who’s just KILLING it (you know, those 300+ student schools that just amaze you) doing things one way, there’s someone else you haven’t heard of who’s doing it completely different.
I’m not going to name drop, but I know if a super school owner (1000+ students) who wouldn’t dream of letting his members go month to month. To him, the commitment is important, and everyone signs a contract. But I also know another owner who has multiple schools (each 400+ students) who does NOT use contracts.
Look, it isn’t about the contract – that’s just such a point of contention among us martial artists that it lends itself well to example making.
What it’s about is your PROCESSES lining up with your CULTURE.
Example: I don’t do paid trials in my school. Why? They annoy me. To ME, I know full well that the potential client either DOES see the value on class number one, or does NOT see the value on class number one.
So they take the class, and I ask them to enroll. I get 50-60% (MUCH higher during the school year) from inquiry to enrollment.* Now, HEAR ME OUT. This works because the next step after I say me three secret questions (those are another topic for another day) is NOT to ask them to enroll on a 12 month membership.
Instead, I say “see Chris at the front desk”. Chris asks them for $139 for that month, gives them a FREE uniform (if they enroll on that day only), and schedules auto drafts at $139/mo that can be cancelled at any time.
That’s just the culture of my school. Now, if you need to show people why they should sign up for 12 months worth of lessons, yeah, you probably need to show them more value, and a paid trial might be the way to do that. Or a 2 intro process, or whatever.
I *hope* I’ve gotten my point across. I adhered strictly to a mental diet of “IT ONLY WORKS ONE WAY” like a little black belt business automaton, and it really, really held me back. I hope that you don’t experience that!
P.S. You saw that little *? It wasn’t because I was lying, it was because I thought you might want the math. let’s say 10 people call the school. Of those 10, 9 will schedule appointments. 8 will show. Of those 8, 5-6 will enroll. That leaves me with 5-6 out of 10. 50-60%.
P.P.S DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND ME. I’ve seen a LOT of people say “There’s more than one way to do it” as an excuse for their failures. Hear me: if your school isn’t growing, you’re doing it wrong. Don’t be that guy/girl who doesn’t have the courage to implement vital change in their business, but doesn’t have the guts to admit it, and instead says they “do it differently”. Yeah, cop out. For real.