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The obvious answer is anytime, but you will find that certain times will offer the opportunity for a quick and easy sale because of a students heightened state of emotion. Remember that people always buy out of emotion backed up by logic.
When the student first enrolls his interest is at a peak. Give him a few days to get into the program and recover from his initial investment in your lessons. By then he should already be expressing interest in one or two products and is almost certainly open to “cross-selling.”
The first major “high” in a student’s experience in your school is after they pass their first rank test. This is another period of time when their emotions are high and therefore a prime time to sell them products. Books, videos and equipment related to the new material they are going to learn would clearly be well received at this stage.
One time a student really appreciates some suggestive selling is if they get hurt. A barefooted student who has just stubbed his toe will be very receptive and appreciate a suggestion of martial arts shoes.
When someone gets a bruised shin, forearm or bone, let them know that protective pads are available. Consider also, carrying dit dat jow, a Chinese herbal preparation of some repute. It significantly enhances the healing of bruises. Stretching machines and books and videos on stretching can be sold as a preventative measure to strained muscles.
Keep your eyes and ears open at all times. Opportunities to serve your students will present themselves on a daily basis. When you order and stock your merchandise, pay attention to other factors that influence spending habits. For instance, don’t load up with t-shirts in January unless you live in a warm weather climate. Instead, buy school logo sweatshirts and warm-up suits.
The same is true when approaching summer; sell off all those heavy sweats at a pre-summer sale using the money to get your new line of t-shirts on display. Remove any leftover winter stock until next season so as not to clutter up your display. This also will serve to keep seasonal merchandise from getting old.
Sparring equipment will traditionally sell better in the winter than in the summer. One reason is because people tend to workout much harder when it’s colder and also because you normally will have more students in the winter than in the summer.
Books and videos sell best around Christmas and well into the New Year. This is partly because they make good gifts but there also is another reason. Just as the New Year is a great time for new student enrollments, it’s a great time to sell. When people engage in a new activity, they are hungry for information.
Feed that desire with a good selection of related books and videos. This hunger for information can actually be helped by severe winter weather. There is a lot of time to read and watch a video on a new form or other subject of interest.
Halloween is a good time to display uniforms in your front window. Depending on the latest fad, some years you may sell a lot of uniforms for one time costume use only. Of course with each person who comes in off the street to purchase a Halloween costume, you will give a guest pass and offer them a free trial lesson.
You may get several students a year from this type of approach. It may even pay to take out a small ad in your local paper advertising that your carry such uniforms.
Prospective students will come to you in a variety of ways; capitalize on this in any way you can.
Look at your own school and try to see how trends develop. Some things will just sell better at one time of the year than another. This may vary from area to area. Analyze these trends and order your merchandise with these in mind. With attention to detail in this area you should be able to keep your inventory under control and at the same time enjoy increased sales and profitability.