You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink, and a student can come to your lessons, but you can’t make them stay.
Or can you?
In this article, we are going to teach you one tactic that you can use to reduce the chances a student will ever leave your lessons, prevent them from quitting your school/ club or class and ensure they are happy with your services.
Sound too good to be true?
Trust me this will blow your socks off.
The Question You Need To Ask (and when to ask it)
Last time on this blog we talked about the implied promise of self-defence instruction and training.
We mentioned that there is an implied promise in self-defence training, both from the teacher and the student.
That promise was that one (the coach) would teach you practical skills and the other would promise they would train hard.
But what happens if your student starts to wander off the beaten track, what if they start to get bored, fed up with weekly classes and eventually stop paying and coming to training?
This is not good for your business or your morale.
But there is a solution, and it is so simple that it might scare you!
Enter The Law Of Consistency
Psychologists have figured out that we must be consistent.
We need to be consistent with what we say, our beliefs and of course our actions.
Here is an example:
Once a child says to you ‘I don’t like that (food)’ what happens?
Getting them to eat it, try it, or even be in the same room as the food is impossible. Even though you know, they have never even tasted a mouthful.
They made their mind up, and that is final.
Take adults for example.
Once they decide that they dislike a politician and say that to others, most will never even listen to another word from them again.
I am sure you have heard an adult say they ‘hate’ something or someone and this then creates a bias for every decision that they ever make again.
In fact, we can have that in the workplace, once a ‘boss’ says they dislike an employee or do not like their work, they will always find a way to ‘pull’ what they do apart.
However, the power of consistency can be harnessed by any martial arts instructor
Start With Why
Do you use ‘Why’ clauses in your contracts?
You should give them a chance because they are incredibly useful.
When you are selling something, it helps to ask questions and the best questions are open ones:
Why do you want to learn self-defence?
‘To protect my family and me.’
Why do you want to do that?
“Because I love them, they mean the world to me, and I want to keep them safe.”
Why can’t you keep them safe now?
“I don’t have the skills or knowledge.”
So you want to train in our self-defence system so that you can protect the people you love?
“Yes, that is right.”
Now, this is very compelling; you have a person who has told you that he wants to train to protect that which he or she loves dearly.
But how can you use this?
The Doctors No Show
Have you ever been to a Doctors or tried to get an appointment and the waiting time is three weeks?
Infuriating, isn’t it?
But then when you get to the Doctors they have a sign that says 15 people failed to attend appointments this week.
Appointment fails are a serious issue.
Behavioural scientists experimented to reduce this rate and were able to cause an 18% reduction in wasted appointments.
Could you imagine if you could cut your martial arts student dropout rate by 18% what the results could be for your business?
Now before you scoff at an 18% reduction as not being that much, think about the compound effect of such a reduction!
18% more students over the next 30 years!
So what did they do?
They asked the person to write down the appointment themselves on a card.
Yes, you heard that correctly, they simply asked them to write down the time and date of their next meeting on a card and over four months of studying they saw the 18% reduction in no shows. source: The Small Big; (Profile Books)
So how can you use this principle?
When they told you why they wanted to train, give them a card and ask them to write down:
“I want to train in self-defence because………….”
Now pop this card with their reasons into a file.
And next, we will discuss how to use this principle.
When They Want To Leave
That dreaded call when a student says ‘they want to cancel payments’ is one that all instructors hate to get but there is a great way (if you have the why cards) to handle this.
Once they call you or message, you then say ‘OK’ no worries, can I ask you why?’
You will get one of the numerous answers such as ‘Can’t afford’, ‘Not enjoying it anymore, etc.’
When this happens to go to your files and pull out the card they wrote and either show it to them or tell them on the phone;
“4 months ago you came to us and said you wanted to learn self-defence so you could protect the people you love most.”
Read from the card and say: “Do you feel that you can now protect yourself and family to the level you wanted?”
If they say yes, then you have actually done your job well ( if they actually can).
But if they look for a moment inwards, pause in their voice or perhaps say no then you have a chance to keep them.
You cannot underestimate the power of consistency.
It is at this moment you can offer them a solution to keep training.
Perhaps you can move them onto a reduced cost plan or provide them with another special offer you have.
But by reminding themselves of their commitment, you engage the promise they made in writing.
If you are unsure about this approach test it out and let us know how you go on!
Sometimes the pen truly is mightier than the sword.