The best source for new students is a good referral system. Having just one referral a month can drastically increase your yearly cash flow, as long as you also have good retention numbers. And one referral a month is not that hard, especially if you have a healthy student base.
Another great thing about referrals is that, itâ€™s very cheap, if not, free to implement. It also has a higher marketing value because of the persuasion factor or the PF. The PF is the thing that makes you want to do whatever your friend is doing. I canâ€™t fully explain it, but people weâ€™re designed to do certain things together. People mostly call it peer pressure or conformity, and this is the reason why trends are born. Point is, friends usually do stuff together, which is good for your numbers and ultimately, good for your martial arts school.
Now that I have discussed the benefits of referrals, letâ€™s now move on to referral tactics to increase enrollment. The first one isâ€¦
Ask For Referrals at the Right Time
There is nothing wrong with asking for referrals but asking at the wrong moment can be perceived as blunt. The best time to ask for referrals is when a student is already enrolled in your martial arts school. Your delivery should also be not too direct to the point like â€œGive me the name of your friends!â€ Itâ€™s creepy and too aggressive. Instead, you can take a relaxed approached by starting with a â€œwelcome to the schoolâ€ followed by simple reminders to ease them with their transition, after that, ask for the referrals. Include lines for email addresses, telephone, or cell phone numbers. Most people will be happy to put in referrals because itâ€™s a form of doing a good deed, and they also want to include their friends into whatever activity they are currently in to. If a new student is hesitant, then offer a discount coupon for a restaurant or a coffee shop. If thatâ€™s not enough then use this methodâ€¦
In referrals, there are 3 kinds of people, you, the new student, and the friend of the new student who will be referred. Normally, you get the most out of the deal because you have a new enrolee plus referrals. But if your new student wants something more, you can give a discount for every successful referral. Now, take it up a notch by giving another discount to the referral which will even out the situation for everybody. You get something because you have two new students and the new students both get discounts. Itâ€™s a triple win situation for everybody.
Up the Incentive
The 2nd tactic is good, but if you want something that will really motivate your students to refer their friends then do this method. For every successful referral, give your student a 25% discount. If he refers 4 students, then he can train free for the rest of the year. The incentive may look crazy, but itâ€™s not. When you add up the numbers, youâ€™re still going to make more money that you used to. It will also get people talking, which is another great way to market. Plus the motivation will push your students harder to make those referrals rain.