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#383130 - 02/15/08 05:25 PM Re: How to answer the phone.. [Re: Dannyl_K]
Dannyl_K Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 35
I have to bring up another point... I'm getting the jist of handling cost question (but thats not always going to be the first question they ask)

Lets say someone calls and asks

"Hello, do you teach (certian style)"

No we don't, but how do you tell if they don't really know what to ask, or if there just looking for a certain school.

I did no research before joining a school I just knew what I wanted in a school, thats it.

#383131 - 02/15/08 05:51 PM Re: How to answer the phone.. [Re: Dannyl_K]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA

"Hello, do you teach (certian style)"

No we don't, but how do you tell if they don't really know what to ask, or if there just looking for a certain school.

"We teach XYZ here. XYZ is a system that focuses on ABC. What is it exactly that you are looking for in your training?"

<they answer>

"Well, we would love to have you come in and try out a free class. You will work with one of our instructors one-on-one, and be able to get a good idea of how the training is at our school. This will give us an opportunity to get to know each other, and see if training here is right for you. You've got nothing to lose!"

Something like that.
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#383132 - 02/16/08 03:19 PM Re: How to answer the phone.. [Re: JAMJTX]
bwhite55 Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 59
not being an instructor or martial artist, but being in retail or in sales for the past 3 years, making a living off of commission to some degree(yes, horrible), the best advice is to not sound like a salesman. don't give people what they wanna hear. don't make them try to ask a million questions and go around it, because i hate it and everybody else hates it when you seem like you are trying to either hide something from me or just giving me a load of what i want to hear. don't be afraid to say you don't know the answer if you don't know it. don't bs them, they know, you can tell when somebody is bsing you to make a sale. be straight and to the point. its also better if you have different packages(again coming from selling point of view) to make sure you can pick the most affordable and economic thing for everybody(ie, depending on what MA it is maybe have a kid's package, family package, couple package, self defense package, ground or standing grappling package, total packages etc) and call local businesses to see how you can drive in business. say, give a local business or women's gym 10% off the self defense package or something like that. but as far as phone etiquette, this is one of the hardest parts to get down regardless of what you do. in normal circumstances 75-90% of first impression is based on body language, and out of the rest, probly around 75% comes from tone, and that only leaves a total of about 5% or less of what you actually affects the first impression, and in the phone situation, about 80% of the tone will determine whether or not you made a good first impression. somebody might not even remember what you tell them, even when it comes to price, but what they will remember is if you were up front with them from the beginning and had a pleasurable tone, or in the other case if you were dodging questions and had an attitude or had a "i don't care" tone.

hope this helps.

#383133 - 02/16/08 07:17 PM Re: How to answer the phone.. [Re: Dannyl_K]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Dannyl K:

"...Dannyl when our time together is done what will I have learned..."


#383134 - 02/16/08 07:18 PM Re: How to answer the phone.. [Re: Ronin1966]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Dannyl:

"...what is different about you than any of the other places I've called tonight..."


#383135 - 02/16/08 07:34 PM Re: How to answer the phone.. [Re: Ronin1966]
Dannyl_K Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 35
bwhite55 - oh yeah, that does help especially since you do that for a living its advice well taken, considering that people (despite all the weird things we do) manage to remeber the worst of what happened before the best.

and adding on to that I like how MattJ worded that statement considering someone who askes what style you teach

Practicing in my head with myself as a consumer and not the seller, I would try it even if it wasn't the first thing you were looking for.

I'm considering as a response for those who have previous exprence as well something along the lines of

"What did you enjoy about that class"
Then a slight rewording of the statement Matt made earlier

#383136 - 02/16/08 07:54 PM Re: How to answer the phone.. [Re: Ronin1966]
Dannyl_K Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 35
Jeff, if your speaking of what our trial lesson would entitle what I would say to that -

"Shou Shu is an unarmed self defense system, you will learn pressure points, joint locks, as well as many different kicks, punches, throwing, falling, and fighting techniques. Why don't you come in a try out the adult class, then I'll have an instructor give you a private lesson on some indiviual techiques. Try it and see if its for you"

..... then from there if you agree I would get your info and set up an appointment


As for your second statement ("...what is different about you than any of the other places I've called tonight...")

We give the personal attention that you won't find in many other schools through our private lessons and open floor sessions after adult class. The adult class itself offers a great workout and an opportunity to practice your techniques with a partner(s) to achieve a level of confidence that you know you can use what you have learned!

**Practice round - what are your thoughts?

#383137 - 02/16/08 08:23 PM Re: How to answer the phone.. [Re: Dannyl_K]
Dannyl_K Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 35
So I have an enlighting moment and considered this

I can't win them all, and if I call any fitness place in town they would tell me rates but also give insight as to what there about

and thought of more a structured conversation than scripted - we both get the info we need and take it from there

For the past (lord knows how many posts) I've been paranoid over cost - and what is it doing, making me sound like a salesperson.

I'm not concerned about money so much as I want to teach, and don't want to be judged on price alone. Thats the source of all my paranoia. I need to let it go and get a new stradegy. peroid. (gahhh, I'm running myself in circles)

So I try a structured conversation over a scripted

1. Who is this for
2. What are your goals, and a little of what we teach
- this allows me to figure what program they'd like best

3. If they inquire cost, then well discuss the basic stuff but nothing that sounds like an auctioneering

4. Have them come in for a trial

I thought about everything thats been posted since I started this thread.... honesty is best policy

** compared to all my previous post I feel I'm on the right track, do you think that the structured conv. sounds better than the scripted by a long shot? its basicly what we've been talking about the entire time, but this time I'm starting to get it (ish)

#383138 - 02/16/08 09:06 PM Re: How to answer the phone.. [Re: Dannyl_K]
bwhite55 Offline

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 59
sales pitches don't work unless the person who you are talking to are completely ignorant. you can structure statements and conversations to make it sound better, but if i feel you are giving me a scripted sales pitch then i politely thank you for your time and hang up. i use structured statements all the time, but if i am a robot, then people aren't gonna respect several times a week

think of all the questions or things that might come up: ie costs, programs, info on your style, location, etc.


You: "Hello, Thank you for calling So and So, my name is So and So, how can I help you today?"

Me:"Yes, my name is Brian, and I was looking for a nice place to help me get in shape and teach me self defence. I was wondering what you guys offer and how much it costs?"

You:"Hello Brian, we actually have a program for people just like you. We start off with a simple warmup with some stretching followed by some exercise, then we go straight into real life situations. We also have different payment plans as well. I'm sure we can find something in your budget."

Me:"About how much are we talking here?"

You:"Well, we have different options, they range from $amount to $amount per month(or session, or however). Our cheapest for a single person would be our military or senior discount, which gives you 15% off. Besides that we have different companies who support us, and if you work for any of these companies you can get a 10% discount on any plan, and 15% off on your gi. Also if you work out at Powerhouse(or whatever gym you choose), you can also get a 10% discount with us. We also have a family or group package, in which you, and up to 3 immediate family members can join us for 15% off, OR up to 3 friends can join with you and you get a 15% off as well. If none of those options are availabe, we have contracts that you can sign for 1-3 years, which would be our next cheapest option. We also have a month to month package, which is our last option, and also the most expensive. You can, however, choose to drop the program at any time with this package with no cancellation fee."

me:"Well, is the military option a contract?"

you:"Yes, it is. But there is a military clause, so if you get restationed and choose to continue, not only will we waive the contract, but we will also prorate your membership to help you get into a credible school where you move to."

me:"oh okay. See, I'm in flight school right now, so I've got a tight schedule. When do you offer classes?"

You:"We've got a schedule with so and so amount of classes each week, and that program also gives you X amount of private sessions each month, and X discount on any other private sessions, so if you miss one, it won't be too much trouble at all to keep you on track and catch you up to speed."

Me:"Oh, okay, that sounds good, I'd like to check out the studio sometime, what are your hours?"

You:"Well, we close in an hour tonite, but we have a class that sounds like what you'll be wanting on X days and X times, if you'd like to come and check it out?"

Me:"Okay, if I come and check it out on Saturday, does it mean I have to get a gi and everything?"

You:"Oh no, you can just come and dress comfortably. You can join us if you want, or you can just sit and watch, and we can talk afterwards and see if its right for you."

Me:"Okay, I'll do that, thanks for the info."

You:"Alright, its nice talking to you Brian, I will look forward to seeing you on Saturday."

ME:"Alright, I look forward to it, have a nice day."

You:Alright, have a nice day."


okay, so, i told you what i was looking for, then asked the price in the same question, then you answered them one at a time in the order that i asked them. You laid out everything about the type of program I'm looking for, as well as told me about the prices without being dodgey, 100% on that. you also let me know that you would be more than able to accomodate my busy schedule since i'm in flight school in the military, 100% for that. also, when i asked about the military contract, you gave me bonus info that i didn't know about, and i was pleasently surprised about that, +10 points, so 110% on that. you actually remembered my name, so you recognize me as a person, not just another customer, + 10 points. total phone call score = 110%

small things like this matter to customers. they wanna know that they are an individual that deserves not only your respect to them as an individual, but also that although you aren't reading a script or saying a memorized script, that you know enough about your business that you know everything right off hand and are willing to work with them however you need to because they are important to you.

sorry for the long post, also all the figures were just examples. just make sure you give them plenty of info when they ask for it, that way when you meet them face to face, closing the sale will be much easier. if you took the time to talk to them, then chances are, that by the time they get to the school, then unless its a totally horrible class and you are a horrible instructor, they have already made up their mind because they know there's something a little bit different, and a little bit better about your school.

hope this helps. and i'm not calling you a horrible instructor btw.

a key to the success is driving new people to the school. if you have benefits that the other dojos don't have, like programs for military or families, thats gonna drive in business through word of mouth that wouldn't otherwise be there. that's why the key is to find some way to be innovative and very flexible. lots of small things add up to more than a few big things, especially when they multiply. i'm not saying make it a McDojo by any means, but to continue teaching, you need students and money to keep it open.

Edited by bwhite55 (02/16/08 09:18 PM)

#383139 - 02/16/08 10:03 PM Re: How to answer the phone.. [Re: bwhite55]
Dannyl_K Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 35
Oh no I'm not taking it as I'm horrible at all BWhite.. any constructive critism helps (a lot, btw) so I don't become a robotic sales-pitcher when I open my school. (a.k.a mcdojo)

The area that I live in now has an Armory and an Air Base on the edge of town so the military discout would be a huge benfit to them and myself for business. I like the idea a lot.

By the time I open my school I hope to have wrinkles ironed out so I have that reputation as a honest and trustworty instructor. Once again to everyone who has given opinion and advice I say thanks

What I would like to do is some research on the plans that our school offers, (or make some mock ones for practice) then do some mock phone conversations with anyone who visits this thread

(its doesn't have to be the same person replying everytime)

Example: Lets say (phone rings) I answer, some one will reply with a question and I'll reply back to it and we'll keep this going until I close a deal (a.k.a you come and "visit")

be honest - don't hestitate ask if something sounds questionable (thats the point)

anyone want to try this?

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