The Three Foot Rule

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The Three Foot Rule

Once you’ve set an appointment for an intro, its important that you confirm the appointment 24-hours in advance.

Confirming appointments greatly increases the likelihood of your potential students showing up for their classes prepared for action. In your phone call you mention that you’ll be following up with a courtesy call (either the day of their lesson or the day before).

The call isn’t to ask them if “they’re still going to make it,” or some other negative statement, but to make sure they know exactly where the school is located. It’s meant to be a friendly reminder.

And, if there’s time, the rapport-building process should be continued during the confirmation, regardless whether a secretary or the instructor makes the call. The information sheet for a scheduled introductory should have the essential information for the caller, such as: Parent(s) name, child’s name, age and any other notes taken during the course of the call (For example: “Johnny’s been getting bullied at school.”).

Adding Friends and Family

During the initial phone call and then again on the confirmation call, it’s a good practice to ask a prospective student if they would like to invite friends or family members to participate along with them in their first lessons.

The Greeting

Anyone coming through the front door of your school should, at the very least, be acknowledged before they can take their fourth step into your reception area. No matter how many introductory lessons you might schedule in a single evening, it is important to treat each lesson as if it were your only one of the night, or the month, or the year.

You should know their name(s), and so should your entire staff. It’s best to have a welcoming board at your front desk where the names of your next lessons are written for all to see. They’re VIP’s, and having a front desk person say, “Hi, are you the next intro?” is a universe away from, “Good evening Mr. & Mrs. Johnson…and you must be Johnny? We’ve been looking forward to teaching you!”

The Three-Foot Rule

Make sure train your staff to greet everyone within the first three steps into the school and to come out from behind the counter to greet intros and their families.

It’s also during the greeting that the potential student fills out a school application/questionnaire and release form.

In a perfect world, your front desk person is a master of entertaining everyone who walks through the doors — incoming and outgoing students, parents and potential students. And anyone in your school who comes in contact with an instructor or other staff member should get the same kind of consistent courtesy and goodwill.

John Graden is the Executive Director of the Martial Arts Teachers’ Association and the author of the bestselling books on how to run a successful martial arts school without selling out.